Half Photo, Half Painting

If it weren’t for the tools available to us in the digital age that we live in, many forms of art would either be impossible or extremely difficult. It wasn’t long ago that people were forced to use film cameras (gasp!) as there was no alternative. You had to have dark room skills to get your photos to turn out just right, and if you messed up, well, it was all over.

In the modern world we have many software applications available to us to manipulate our digital photos, the most prominent being Photoshop (which is what I use). It’s really amazing what you can do with this piece of software. Straighten your image, bring out the sharpness of the details, blur your subject’s skin, quickly fix imperfections, enhance or change colors, fix lens distortion…it’s downright amazing. And if you mess up? Just undo baby. If only life had an undo button.

Flickr user Pamela Viola appears to be a master of Photoshop, creating images that are half photograph, half painting. My educated guess, based on some of the comments on her photos, is that she achieves this look by layering textures on top of her base images, giving them a weathered, painterly look, almost as if they were painted on canvas hundreds of years ago. I’d love to see how she accomplishes this look.

If you can’t afford Photoshop or CS2, definitely pick up a copy of Photoshop Elements or some other manipulation program. At a bare minimum you should be able to crop your images and adjust the contrast and color. You’ll be amazed at how an ordinary photograph can turn into something spectacular.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Hailing from the Mile High City, Max has also lived in Tinsel Town, the Emerald City, as well as the City of Brotherly Love. Now a District resident, he likes to write about cool photos by local photographers, the DC restaurant and bar scene, or anything else that pops into his mind.

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