Not all nights is it this bright. So, I admit that I have lent it a hand with one of my favorite photo apps, Enlight.
This is a sunflower photograph I took recently. Warren and I were on a drive heading east in Washington state. We stopped in at Index which is a very picturesque little village nestled among the cascades and sits below Mt. Index.
On the way home, we stopped in Gold Bar for lunch. I had the absolute worst meal of grease ever. I will spare you the details. I’ll just say that when traveling in small towns, Mexican is your best bet. While it may not be the best, it is hard to ruin a taco. One has to work incredibly hard to ruin rice, beans and a taco.
After lunch, we came upon a poor little bedraggled sunflower plant in someone’s front yard. I have been seeing glorious fields of sunflowers lately. I was extremely disappointed. But I figured, what the heck. You never know. Well, I ended up with this beautiful photo.
So, you never know when that one special photo will show up in your camera.
This was taken with my iPhone 6 Plus camera on auto, using Camera+. I may have used macro mode, I forget.
For post processing, I started in Enlight. That is my new go-to app. I have been a real fan of Snapseed and still use it. But I find that I can make some more subtle changes in Enlight. I especially like the Clarify settings under image. Those settings there seem to offer a bit different set of adjustments for sharp, saturation and black.
Then I took this into iColorama in the style settings.
Finally, I took it into Tangled Fx and used one of my custom settings. I love Tangled Fx. I like to make my own adjustments to their settings. I have about 15 special settings.
This is a painting I recently finished in my iPad Pro. As many of you know from my previous blogs, I absolutely love my iPad Pro. I did not expect to like it so much, but I do.
I also love the Apple Stylus or Pencil as they call it. Apple completely knocked it out of the park when they made this stylus. There is no drag on the stylus. It draws just like you are using a real brush. It is amazing.
On a completely different Apple product, I watched the Apple press conference yesterday. I swore there was nothing, nothing that could get me to upgrade from my iPhone 6 Plus. I am perfectly happy with it. Except for one little thing. The camera. Yep. The camera. And Apple made a huge improvement in the camera. They could have made it even better, but at least they are taking us up to 12 mega pixels. So, yep, I gotta have one. Plus, guess what? Apple has learned how to make black. Well, I gotta have black. I have my choice of matte or gloss. They are trying to convince consumers that black is a big deal, and I’m falling for it. But really, black?
Sigh, oh well, I’ll just open my wallet and let Apple pick away.
I look forward to sharing my new sharper photos with you next year when I have my new iPhone 7 Plus.
Additionally, Apple is going to be bringing us, hopefully, a depth of field feature via software. In the iPhone 7 Plus, one will get an extra lens that zooms. Go Apple, take my money!
This is a photo I took with Camera+. There is a big difference between Camera Plus and Camera+, so don’t get confused. Camera+ is an awesome app for your iPhone. However, don’t buy it for the iPad. It’s a total ripoff. It has none of the features it does on the iPhone.
I used their macro setting which is not a real macro setting, but definitely brings you in closer on your subject. Camera+ will let you set exposure, focus, white balance and other settings if you want. They give you more than one way to do this. I like to just tap both fingers on the phone screen and then tap in the exposure circle or the focus square to get what I want when I shoot. Also their auto focus works great.
I shot this last year in Maui, although it could have been shot here in Seattle. But, this is a Maui fern. It is in a favorite place of mine, Kula Lodge in Maui, up in the mountain, as you go towards Haleakala, the volcano on Maui.
This was overexposed and posed some other problems. I was going to toss it, but found that hard to do. I had recently watched a Mike Moats video. If you don’t know who he is, rush, I mean, rush over here. Mike is a totally awesome macro photographer.
Anyway, I was watching one of his videos where he used Nik Software’s Viveza2 to work on a photo that had some problems. Nik Software is made by Google. It used to cost a lot of money. But now, for some odd reason they give it away free. There are also free videos on how to use it up at You Tube.
Anyway, in Viveze2 there are these little dots that you put on your photo, They expand into a circle that you can then add contrast, saturation and other elements to in your photo. So I worked on the overexposed areas in the photo and Viveza2 did it’s magic and my photo was no longer overexposed.
I hope you enjoy this image. I had fun taking it and enhancing it.
This is a new painting from my iPad Pro. When I initially purchased the iPad Pro, I did not expect much from it. I thought I would edit some photos on it, and do this and that. But, OMG, the iPad Pro can do so much! I love it. When combined with the Apple Pencil, it is a powerful new digital tool for the digital artist. And, this is just the first one. As technology grows and expands, it will only get better.
I have always painted on my computer on an app called Painter, made by Corel. Well, this last year, I have had nothing but heartache from Painter. Corel, has done its usual thing of doing nothing to help the customer. So, I have headed out in the world looking for alternatives to Painter. I am shocked that I am finding them on my iPad Pro.
I did this painting in an app called Procreate on my iPad Pro. In Procreate you can paint on any size canvas that you choose. You can pick your dpi. So this canvas is about 31″ x 13″ at 150 dpi. If I tried to put this on Painter, the poor old thing would crash and burn. I have also used large-sized canvases at 300 dpi on Procreate. What is great about Procreate is the huge number of undo’s you can have. Like 200 and some. Painter would never stand for that. It would spit and cough and carry on and do everything but paint smoothly. Also Procreate has fabulous customer service. You can contact them directly on the internet; and I have even contacted them on Instagram and gotten responses. Even to the most mundane of questions. There they are. There is a good community backing up Procreate where you can exchange brushes.
There is another painting app that I am finding to be excellent it is called Paintstorm Studio. It is completely awesome. It is going to be a real competitor to Painter. You can use it on your iPad and on your computer. The only problem with it is that it has a very sophisticated brush engine. The developers are Asian. So, there are no written instructions at this time. You can watch some really fast videos. But I need written, understandable instructions. I keep making runs at Paintstorm, and eventually, I will figure it out. But a written manual would be nice.
I didn’t really mean to talk about software, but there you have it, a little software review.
I had a lot of fun painting this abstract. It is an odd size. It is a size that I haven’t tried before, but I rather like it. It is fun to try different sizes. I’ve painted on a square for way too long. It was a joy to be able to paint and not have my app have brush lag and spit at me!
This is a photo of the Pike Place Market. A very famous public market in Seattle. Positively every photographer in Seattle has taken a photo of the front of the Market. But, nobody every drives along Aurora Avenue and nabs a photo of the back of the Market. And for good reason, it’s rather boring. The front of the market is colorful with lots of action going on.
But the back of the market, not so much.
I recently opened a second account on Instagram. I call it @seattle_kerry_style. My reason for opening this account is to give another look at Seattle. I am a medium good photographer. I can’t do the drop dead gorgeous photos of Seattle yet. But, I can do some interesting alternative looks at Seattle like this.
I took this photo into my iPhone 6 Plus. I started in Snapseed which is where I start with all photos. I used the tuneup feature to just get it into shape. A little brilliance, contrast and saturation.
Then I took it into Enlight, which is becoming one of my favorite enhancement apps. The more I use that app, the more I find to use. I started under Image and used Adjust and chose Tools. I went into Basic and used some of the choices there. Then back to tools and into Details. I used structure there. Then maybe into Color to use saturation. I forget. Then, I checked the check mark and chose Clarity. Again, I went to the tools rather than use their presets. I really like the settings in Clarity, although I don’t use the Clarity setting much. I like to use sharpen there, as well as fine, blacks and saturation.
Then when I got what I wanted, I clicked the check mark and chose Target under Image.
This is something new to me and I don’t know if I’m using it correctly. But I like how I’m using it and what it will do.
There are three choices of gradient under Target, radial, linear and mirror. I have used radial. I take the radial gradient and put it over one small area in the photo. Then, I click on Tools. That takes me to settings for the gradient. I then choose Tone. That opens up further settings for the gradient. I choose hue first, then saturation, contrast and exposure. I put them up a medium amount so there is some change in the photo area I have chosen.
Then I click on Tools which takes me back to the gradient shape and I play around with placing it where I like the effect it makes. For instance, I placed this gradient radial to make the purples, the pinks, and the greens in the photo.
Then, I will go back to Tools and play with placement of the gradient, then back to Tone to play with the settings to get what I want.
I keep going back and forth like this until I get what I want in that area.I repeat this several times until I have the photo covered in colors that I like.
Then, I save it and take the photo into the app Procreate on my iPad Pro. In the front buildings that are green and purple that have some grey on them, there was much more grey than I wanted and it was very rough. I thought it looked out-of-place with the rest of the photo. So I took the oil pastel brush under Sketching in Procreate and lightly brushes in those areas to smooth them out and add a bit more color.
I’m new to doing all this. So, I’m probably doing it all wrong. But I’m having fun and I’m liking my results.
What is surprising me, is I thought one needed Photoshop to do all this. It amazes me that I can do it all on either my iPhone or iPad Pro. Digital technology is moving forward amazingly fast. More and more it jumps forward every day. It is so exciting to be on this ride with digital. It’s quite an adventure!
I think my decision to not post every single painting I do has freed me to blog.
I am painting way faster than I used to. Plus, I’m also doing photography. To post every painting and every photograph is unrealistic. In addition, not all of them are worthy of viewing. I know, it’s sad but true. My husband puts it this way.
Look at baseball players. If they hit .400 they are considered amazing. But very few of them have ever had a .400 career. Then look at most pitchers. They can’t usually hit at all. Of course, they pitch.
I have to admit, not all my paintings are home runs. I’m not even hitting .400. But I’m doing better than I used to. Practice. That’s what makes the difference. And classes.
Also being in touch with other artists is very important. Then I find out that what I experience is not unique. The older I get, the more I find that what I experience is most likely experienced by other human beings.
Just this last weekend, I was watching a video done by digital artists Aaron Rutton (http://aaronrutton.com) and Skip Allen (http://skipallenpaints.com). The screen was split in two. On one side, Skip was painting some beautiful watercolor flowers. Aaron was hosting Skip and was just kind of doodling and not trying very hard. Frankly, he was making a mess.
Then Aaron checked on the size of his audience. He saw they had 95 viewers. He decided he should up his game. He drew this fabulous portrait. That’s what happens to me if I don’t try hard enough. I draw a mess.
Then, Skip showed some flowers he had done in preparing for the video they were doing. He was unhappy with his results in the video. He thought they were too tight. He showed his first flowers and how loose they were and how as he went forward they kept getting tighter. They looked pretty good to me. But I completely related to what he was saying. The more I work at my art, the tighter it gets.
Until I saw that video, I thought I was the only person cursed with this problem. But, no, yet again, I find I’m just like other people. If I don’t pay attention to my art when I’m doing it, I get a mess. If I’m not careful, it gets too tight very fast.
That, finally, brings me to the above painting. I did this on my new iPad Pro. I love painting on it. I am using the painting app Procreate which is totally awesome. It comes with a ton of brushes in all kinds of media. It works extremely well with the Apple Pencil. I’m fact, this last weekend, they had an update to make it even more compatible with the Apple Pencil.
This morning I was working on this painting, and I had this crisis. I really wanted to do more to it. But I knew if I did it would get tight and be ruined. I find I always am doing that to my paintings. Too tight. So, even though this feels unfinished, I’m calling it finished. It was really hard to sign it and put it up. Every fiber in my body wants to do more to this. But I’m not going to. Just this once. Then I’ll see what happens next painting.