Looking Through the Window

I love looking in windows when I’m taking pictures. Part of it is wondering how others live, but I think a bigger part is just curiosity as to what’s there. I liked this storefront window – not only was it decorated colorfully, but you could see all the way through to the building behind it, which is not common.

This triptych finished the window in three different styles. I originally started working on it as a creativity exercise on minimalism then moved onto another exercise in black & white.

One of the things I like about doing creativity exercises is that it expands my skills and gets me out of my comfort zone. I don’t have to like the end result, I need to be open to trying and failing. It’s frustrating sometimes though, having to sit and think what do I do next? And how do I do it? Thankfully Google offers up a lot of answers, as do the forums for my various photography software.

The middle photo was my usual fine art photography style, using Topaz Studio 1.

The left one was from Topaz Studio 2, AI Remix. My intention was to try something really different and I did! It turned out pretty good but is definitely not my usual style.

The right style was black and white with a high key. I don’t usually like black and white, but this also turned out good. I used ON1 for the rendering.

These pictures were taken at a store front in Dayton, Virginia.

Looking Towards the Sun

“And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered.”
― Nicholas Sparks

This was post processed using Edward Hopper 1 in Topaz Studio and a 2 Lil’ Owls texture from the Exposition collection. Finishing touches in ON1 included a surreal dynamic contrast, lens blur for the vignette and the border, instant.

Taking a Walk

Smiling Back at Me
Taken at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Richmond, Virginia
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I love taking walks and often use my camera as an excuse to do so. Having a wonderful botanical garden so close to my house makes a big difference too – I can be there with a short drive and the scenery changes constantly.

With my camera, I’m much more observant on my walks. This is true with my cell phone camera as well. I’m looking and scanning for what could be an interesting picture. I’m also looking to see what’s new, different, or what’s changed since the last time I was there.

Not every picture is perfect and not every photo is worthy of post processing work. But by showing up and taking pictures frequently, many are in fact worth further work. But to have such pictures in my inventory, I have to be out there taking them.

The flowers above are so cheery – I feel like they’re just waiting for me to smile back at them.

This was post processed using the Fresh Start Haze and Soft Boost actions from 2 Lil’ Owls. Textures were from Jai Johnson’s Impressionist Spring and Splendid Spring collections. Topaz provided the Artries Movie Poster abstraction, and ON1 was used for various finishing effects.

Endless Summer Sky

“Sounds of the wind and sounds of the sea make me happy just to be”.

– June Polis

Endless Summer Sky
Taken near Pea Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
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I took this picture near Pea Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. I love the immensity of the sky and water here and the feeling it gives me of time stretching out forever.

This was mostly post processed with ON1 using Landscape Pop Sunshine, Rice Paper Dark, a vignette and emulsion frame.

I did look up June Polis. She was the mother of Susan Polis Schutz, the founder of Blue Mountain Arts greeting cards. June worked for her daughter for 20 years as a sales manager.