Category Archives: photo processing

Putting a twist on it using the GIMP

I used the GIMP to turn a photo of an amaryllis into a swirling abstract.
An abstract of my amaryllis.

I admire the work of both Bren of Brashley Photography and Julie Powell. I’ve learned a lot from them. This morning Bren posted a “Twirling Tuesday Challenge”. It intrigued me, but the directions (written by Julie Powell) were for Photoshop.

Being an amateur on a fixed income I haven’t sprung for the Adobe Photoshop software. I wondered if I could create a similar effect in the GIMP. GIMP stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program. It is shareware, which means the price right.

A bit of internet research and experimentation today led me to this process:

Step 1: Load my photo.

My bright red amaryllis in full bloom is cheering on a chilly, gray March day.
This picture seems to radiate out from the center of the flower. I thought it might make an interesting twirl.

Step not taken:

Both Julie Powell’s directions and the video on Brashley photos post use a Photoshop filter in the pixelate menu called “mezzotint”. The GIMP doesn’t have that choice near that in its pixelize filter. There is a GIMP plug in to get the effect, but I decided to see what would happen without that step. I was in the mood to play with pretty things, not be a computer geek..maybe next week.

Step 2: Zoom Motion Blur

Filters>Blur>Zoom motion blur. I moved the center to the middle of the flower and cranked the blurring factor up to 0.515 and left the other parameters at default.

Amaryllis with the GIMP's Zoom motion blur applied.

Step 3: Repeat step 2

Amaryllis photo with the GIMP's Zoom mothion bur filter applied twice.
Same settings as for step 2 were used.

If you wanted you could repeat this again.

Step 4: A positive spin on it

I made a copy of the step 3 layer and applied Filters>Distorts>Whirl and Pinch using the default settings to get this:

Amaryllis photo with zoom motion blurring and a whirl and pinch distort added using the GIMP.
Whirled and pinched.

Step 5: A negative spin on it

I mad another duplicate of the step 3 image, moved it above the layer from step 4, and again used the Filter>Distorts>Whirl and Pinch, but for this layer I made the angle negative (I forgot to jot down the exact number, but I think it was around -200).

A negative spin on it.

Step 6: Experiment with blend modes

Not much to say about this, I just tested all of the various blend modes on the layer made in step 5 until I found ones I liked. Here are my two favorites:

Lighten only blend mode.
Addition blend mode.

Summary

It was fun to give this a try and the GIMP was quite easy to use to get the twirled effect. So much so that I may become addicted to abstraction.

Adding atmosphere in Photo Processing

Bren at Ryan Photography has a challenge called Before and After, to take a photo she provides and post process it. Below is an intro and link to a post I did on theSquirrelChase.com where I gave it a go. Have you given it a try? It is kind of interesting to work with someone else’s photo and you don’t have a preconceived idea of what it should look like.

I am experimenting with several programs to process photos. My previous post, Photo Processing Adventures with a Heffalump, outlines using several programs with an old JPG file. This week I re-noticed a photo challenge by Ryan Photography called the Before and After Challenge, to take a given photo and edit it. I decided to have a go, using two different methods to add atmosphere.

Arty-choke

Last Saturday we went to an art show featuring some watercolor painting by my husband’s very talented uncle. Beside the library where the show was held there was a pea patch garden. I love pea patches.

Even though it was a rather grey, drippy day I wandered about a bit. This patch of artichokes, past the harvest stage, caught my eye. From different angles the flowers* brought to mind roses and waterlilies.

These were processed using various effects in Topaz Studio 2.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day

*The artichoke we eat is the bud of a large, thistle-like flower. This post shows the artichoke flower we found when we came home from a vacation last year.

Photo processing adventures with a heffalump

I dropped a can of beans on my foot.

So I’ve mostly been confined to quarters. For me that means messing about with my computer and photographs. So this is not a story of great adventure in the wide world.

Here goes:

Once upon a time, a not-so-little, not-so-young girl..okay it was really an old-enough-to-be-a-grandmother, mature (most of the time) woman…got to go on a once-in-a-lifetime safari in Africa. She bought a new camera for the trip, with a huge (to her) zoom of 21x…

So long ago in experience, if not so many years. I have this block of photos from that trip that I treasure because they bring back great memories. My beloved (and still functioning!) Nikon L120 point and shoot caught some really great pictures, and I eventually got LightRoom to clean them up a bit and have used them now and again in posts.

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