Category Archives: photo processing

Store signs in black and white

As I mentioned in an earlier post I’ve been experimenting with black and white photo processing. I’ve also been trying to get my photos a bit better organized. These two have come together for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge this week: some photos from trips I made to China, specifically Shandong Province, over the years, focusing on the signs on store front signs.

I used Nik Silver Efex Pro, an older version of it that I got some times ago, while it was a free plug-in for the GIMP. I think you have to pay for Nik now.

If you click on any of the pictures it will expand and you can scroll through them at a larger size. Some of them got quite small in the tiled gallery.

Twirled, flipped and blended

I see a psychedelic butterfly…what do you see?
Abstract pattern formed by using zoom motion blur, pinch and whirl distortion, transformation and blending modes in the GIMP.
I see a stylized waterlily…what do you see?
Deep purple clematis flower in full bloom.
Original photo.

Again I had great fun with Bren of Brashley photography’s Twirling Tuesday challenge. You should pop over to her site to see the lovely mandala like art she made from a yellow rose. It is always amazing to see what pops out of a fairly standard picture when one starts to play.

Blend modes

I’ve been having tremendous fun ever since I discovered twirling, many thanks to Bren of Brashley Photography and her Twirling Tuesday. In addition to just plain fun, it’s been a great help as I try to come to grips with the blend modes in the GIMP (they are the same in Photoshop). It is amazing how many different effects one can get from one photo.

Taking this photo of a peachy-orange deciduous azalea:

The two spun up layers are these:

Using different blend modes there are a stunning number of very different effects, here are some examples:

Then layering the original onto the different blended spirals using different blend modes you can get even more effects, including these rather trippy ones:

I find it fascinating, fun and rather relaxing to take a picture and see how many different looks I can get.

If you want to give it a try Bren’s post has directions for doing the twirling in Photoshop and my post Putting a twist on it using the GIMP has directions for using the GIMP (which is open-source=free).