Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's a Tool.........

©2010 Dianne Poinski

One of the reasons I have totally embraced digital photography is for the first time, it feels like it's going to be possible to actually create the images I have been seeing in my imagination. How I got from the original version of this poinsettia to the one you see above, is a perfect example.

For the last few months I have been playing around with texture layers in Photoshop and loving it! A couple of weeks ago I discovered Leslie Nicole and her Photo Artist Textures site. Not only does she offer some wonderful textures, but she also gives information on how to use them. Her own images are beautiful and I was very inspired by what I saw.

When I discovered that Leslie use to also hand-color her images, I was surprised at first, and then it made complete sense. In an email to me she compared using textures to hand-coloring - " Put color on, take it off in places, layer other colors..." I also feel that my choice of grainy film was an early attempt to add texture to my photographs.

While this image is not handcolored, I can see where this effect will be a natural fit with the handcoloring - just like grainy film was - and I can't wait to start experimenting.

This poinsettia is my nod to the "season" and I thought I would share the steps I took to create it.

Here is the original, "out of the camera" version:

After using a filter to soften the image a bit, I added one of the textures I purchased from Leslie - "Grenat", adjusted the opacity, did a little masking.....

I then added another layer - "Printemps" and made a few more adjustments to bring out some yellow.

The last texture layer I added was called "Vintage-Forest" (love that name).

I did a few more adjustments, cropped and added the edge treatment and had to step away from my computer. I could have played with this all night!

To some people this may seem like a lot of digital manipulation and there was a time when I would have agreed. What I feel now, is that I am using the tools that are available to me to enhance the mood, add the colors and create the images I have always longed to make. These will be both "hand"colored and digitally colored - it will depend on the image. As long as I get close to my original vision, I will be happy......

It's also time for me to stop defending myself and my decision to do more work in the computer. Maybe that's my New Year's resolution...............


  1. You sure have a handle on the new tools. Your image is beautiful!

  2. Your image is beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing your process.

  3. No matter if hand colored or computer enhanced you work remains quite lovely and is very easy on the eye indeed.

  4. It's lovely, and so wonderful to get to see your process!

    I feel that exploring and adding new tools keeps vision fresh.

  5. Thank you everyone!
    Katherine - you are so right. Adding different tools and techniques has sparked new enthusiasm for what I do.

  6. I think you're right Dianne--you absolutely don't need to defend your process--if the tools exist to help you to your internal vision--your decision to utilize them is a strength! The pointsetta photo is gorgeous and much the richer for its digital layers:)