For many photographers the use of software programs like Topaz to apply an ‘art treatment’ to a photographic image is akin to heresy. Generally the photographic community is divided between those individuals who want a photographic image to stay as close as possible to how it was originally shot, and those that enjoy manipulating base images and transforming them into other interpretations they see in their minds.
This really comes down to a matter of personal taste. While I certainly enjoy making photographic images, I also find it quite creative and challenging to apply various effects to them. If ‘photo art’ is of no interest to you, then you should probably skip reading any further.
This article takes a fairly common sample of a flower photograph and applies a number of different effects to demonstrate some of the artistic options that are available. I happen to use Topaz, but there are other software programs out there that other people use and enjoy.
First, let’s look at our ‘base’ image of a group of anthyrium/anthurium flowers.
NOTE: click on images to enlarge them.
The next image has had a ‘poster edges’ filter applied to it.
The following image uses a ‘fresco’ filter.
A ‘mosaic tile’ filter has been applied to the next sample.
The next image utilizes a filter called ‘cutout’.
The ‘ocean ripple’ filter on this next image gives it a soft, impressionist feel.
‘Dry brush’ filter has been applied to this example, giving the image a rougher appearance.
For people looking for something a bit more ‘out there’ the last four examples likely push the envelope further than most people would like to go. The next image has had ‘plastic wrap’ filter applied to it.
The ‘color pencil’ filter in the next image gives it almost a hand-drawn appearance.
Using the ‘chrome’ filter shifts the image into something dark and metallic in appearance.
And, finally ‘glowing edges’ filter moves the image into very strange territory indeed, giving it a neon sign look.
I fully appreciate that these types of filter treatments are not for everyone and many readers may hate these effects with some passion, while others may be intrigued and investigate these approaches further.
From a business standpoint I have worked with clients creating custom prints for them and many have been drawn to these kinds of filter treatments (OK…no client has ever picked the ‘Glowing Edges’ filter treatment in the last sample!) and prefer them over a photographic image. If nothing else using these types of filters affords us even more creative freedom to experiment.
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