Johnson City, Texas – Bluebonnets

It is spring in Texas…this means wildflower season!  At this time of year hopefully you can find bluebonnets all over.  Unfortunately, this year in Austin they are hard to find!  Sometimes when we do not get enough rain..or this year it may have been too cold near can affect the amount of flowers.  We can see small patches near our house here and there…but not enough to take the traditional family shot with.  On Saturday we decided to take a drive to Fredericksburg, then up to the Willow City Loop.  The Willow City Loop is a 13 mile scenic drive through the hill country canyon area that is a hot spot to see wildflowers.  We made the drive (my first time) and saw only a few small patches…so sad!    During our drive up through Johnson City…we did see our biggest patch yet and on the drive back…we stopped and took a few pics!  They are lovely flowers and this shot was done up with the Pixel Bender plug-in for CS5.  Its free and I love using it on flowers and landscape…this is the oilpaint option.  Enjoy spring wherever you may be…hope some flowers are popping up!!

Taos, New Mexico – Pixel Bender Infrared

From the plains of Taos, New Mexico…here is an Infrared photo with the Pixel Bender effect put on it!  Hope you can try this cool free plug-in from Adobe!  CS5 is needed.  Not sure if you can use CS4.  You may have to be a techie to figure that one out.  It creates this neat painterly look.  Can’t beat a free plug in!!!   Check it out here….Pixel Bender

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
  • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 35.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/180 sec
  • Aperture:  f/13
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Silver Efex Pro, onOne Software Photo Tools 2.6, Viveza, Pixel Bender

The Bubble That Got Away!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!  During the past week…any of us photographers took tons of family shots!    We were playing out back in the yard with our new puppy.  She is a Yorkie-Poo and is about 6 months old.  Like any little one they love to play.  My daughter had her new bubble maker from Santa and was letting bubbles fly through the air.  The pup was having a ball chasing them!   I went in and grabbed my 70-200 lens and snapped away.  I put it on Shutter priority and got a few solid shots…fun for memories.

I was lucky with this one…and when I saw it in photoshop, I wanted to make it a bit more artistic.   It does look like a painting…so here were my steps in creating this shot…

In Photoshop CS5…

Color Efex Pro – Tonal Contrast, Viveza and then added a texture in Bridge.  It was cool…then I thought why not try the Plug-In called “Pixel Bender” (its free on Adobe).  I knew it could make photos into painting like shots.  I saw a clip about this on Scott Kelby’s “Photoshop User TV” …a few weeks ago.   I downloaded it here…Pixel Bender.   And used the “Oil Painting” option.  I moved the sliders around a bit and after all my processing..the shot is above.  Very cool!

Now I have tried the Pixel Bender since on a few photos.  I think it works great when there are trees & flowers in the shot!   I will keep trying every once in a while…maybe you will see another Pixel Bender shot soon!  Ah…Plug-Ins are great!! You can create great art!   Have a wonderful week back to work, school or whatever!