Cliff Island Ocean Textures Are Art

The image above was taken at the Robert E. Perry home on Eagle Island off the coast of Maine in Casco Bay. I will be posting on this historic site shortly. What you are seeing is the stairs leading up to the home, with side walls covered in a golden/orange lichen.  It seemed very unique to this area and island, but I did notice a small amount of it on two other islands that I visited.

These are rocks in the clear waters of Casco Bay.

This is looking almost at water level as waves rippled across the bay. Seaweed floats atop the water.

This remarkable rock formation was photographed on Eagle Island. It is rock washed by the ocean and weathered over the years.

This the one of the beaches with the water flowing in and out with the tides.

Another photo of pretty rock coated in lichen.

Seaweed washed up on black rock on Eagle Island.

A sea anemone that I found at Carolyn’s beach.

This was a cliff face on Cliff Island.

Mussels taken by gulls and covered in ocean water at low tide.

Red seaweed washed ashore on the beach covered in rock.

Black seaweed laying across washed beach stone.

Another shot looking down through the clear waters. The sun is making the unique pattern in the water.

More cliff rock.

A birch log washed ashore.

Millions of colorful snail shells at water’s edge.

Barnacles coating the rock.

A pretty still-life of mussels and snails on the beach.

Odd place for an oak leaf. And below, hand-made glass. Amazing art that I will show later as well.

Chanticleer Gardens wrap up on Garden Walk Garden Talk, stop and see.

When the Light is Just Right for Photography

Even Field Finds are Foto Fantastic

Morning light makes the landscape lively and lush, both for the homeowner and the photographer shooting it. In photography, the softness of light brings life to the smallest of detail, shown above in the fine silk webbing glistening like crumpled cellophane. Or below with the grass heads with a satiny sheen. We are in a natural landscape, not one designed, but the principles are the same. All the images are shot on Cliff Island off the coast of Maine.

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Texturize a Photo Tutorial

Well, I did promise a tutorial on GWGT. I did this quickly to show you how to use textures on photographs to give an aged or artistic look to an image. One that you create from scratch. See the finished ‘antique’ postcard below.

Five Minute Tutorial

First we start with two images, one, the base photo, and the other the texturizing image. Our goal is to create an old-time postcard that you can fool your friends into believing you made a great find, at least those friends that know little about photography and even less about antique postcards. It is all for fun. I am showing my desktop so you can click to see the settings I make in Photoshop. Just click to enlarge the images.

Of course what better to recreate an old image than one of Niagara Falls. I will be purposely making this tutorial a little more difficult so you can see a process. Starting with picking an original image that is not in landscape mode and a texture that is. You will see why in a moment.

The texture is a lake bottom with swimming fish. Again, not a typical texture to use, but the color is something we are after for an old world look. What we do is have both images open in Photoshop, then we just drag the texture into the document of Niagara Falls. It will position itself in a layer above the image of the Falls. Simple so far.

Now see that they don’t fit each other? No problem. We just grab the transform handles of the texture and enlarge the image. This allows us to move the image to a better textural pattern. See I enlarged and moved it over to the left. Also notice how the image picked up age with the yellow/orange color. We change the Layer Blending mode to Overlay and it blends with the Falls image below. It still retains the texture too, most noticeably in the sky.

This is how to add textures to photos, but it doesn’t look like much yet, but wait. We duplicate the original layer and change the Layer Blending mode of the Duplicate to Multiply. Now we are getting somewhere.

Getting better with greater contrast and saturation, just like those old saturated printed postcards.  But, this also made some parts of the image very dark. We can fix that with a layer mask. Click to add a layer mask and with the Brush tool, paint black on the mask itself. This will reveal some of the layer below which makes the lower left of the image much brighter.

A few steps below in the Layers panel, you see the layer mask applied. The image below has the area in question revealed. This step becomes unnecessary when we crop it to postcard size though. But masking is another thing you can see the effect, so I did it anyway.

But are we done? Nope. This step will add some real interest. Draw a selection very roughly around the image on the Duplicate layer.

When you have your marching ant selection, we are going to do a step you might not know. Select>Refine Edge. It opens the window below. We push the radius slider all the way up as shown and add a little contrast. How’s this look?

Click OK and what you get is the refined selection. Where did our white go? We invert the selection with Select>Inverse.

Now for the fun part. Hit Option/Delete (Alt/Backspace) to fill the active selection with black. We can’t leave it this way so…

We lower the opacity of the layer to give an aged look and darkened edges. I added a layer mask to this layer to mask some of the ‘frame’ at the top of the image but this is not necessary.  But, we don’t have a postcard yet. So we reduce the size of the frame layer to postcard size. This eliminates the bright blue sky too.

Using this as the overall size, crop the entire image.

In this image below, I first sharpened the image to increase the definition of the roughness. I created a New Layer and filled it with black. I then added Noise to the black layer. Filter>Noise>Add Noise. I changed the Layer Blending Mode to Overlay on the Noise layer and reduced the opacity of this layer. It gives an old film camera graininess to the image. I can further age it with torn edges and paper folds, but I think this makes a nice old postcard. Enlarge to see the graininess, but I kinda prefer it without.

Add some text and you have your Greetings From Niagara Falls. The postcard even has that metallic sheen seen on the ‘period’ cards they sell in the gift shops around the Falls.

Just for fun, I left a big fish swimming across the Falls. I wanted to see if anybody noticed.  Because it is distracting from the image, I would have eliminated this if this really was going to be a postcard. Content Aware anyone? I did on it on the GWGT post Monthly Weather Calendar – March 2012.