Category Archives: abstract

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Last night I as playing with some fractals, below is the result! Right now it is nameless. If you would like to suggest a name, leave your suggestion in the comments! Thanks for playing!

frax_47362_custom-web

“T” is for

“T” is for TIME. But what really is time? Does anyone really know what time it is? Is there such a thing as a time-warp? What does it mean to “kill time”? And is it possible to “save” time or “waste” time? We could name many more uses of the word “time”.

But, here is a different look at time!  I hope you enjoy it!

Time-web

“Q” is for

QUAINT!  A definition of Quaint says —  Something is quaint when it has a certain old-fashioned charm, or if it is interesting in a nice way but a little strange too.

So, with that in mind –  is this quaint? Seems to fit the definition!

Click on image for larger view:

St-Thomas-Wall-Art-Framed-web

“O” is for

This will come as no surprise to those who know me. “O” is for ORBS!

One fall day in 2009, I was reading through some of the forums at www.photoshopelementsuser.com when I came across some information posted by a lady from the UK named Wendy Williams. Wendy was telling forum members how she had taken photographs and created some “orbs”. These “orbs” were supposed to look like what you would see reflected in a gazing ball placed in a garden. She also posted a number of examples. Additionally, Wendy posted step-by-step instructions so anyone interested could create the same “orbs”. Well, I was indeed interested. I took Wendy’s instructions and created a few of these “orbs”. I was addicted after the first attempt!

If you would like to learn how to make your own orbs, there are video and written tutorials on this website. Click on “Tutorials” in the menu bar above, or just click this link.

Below are some of my “orbs”. You can see others in my Orb gallery.

Click on image for larger view:
BirdofParadiseOrb-web Brookgreen-Find-orb-web GraveYardGateOrb-web Leaves-Orb-web redgreenyellow-orb-web Rope-a-Dope-Orb-web

“K” is for

KALEIDOSCOPES!  One of the best things of digital photography is the ability to do so much with your images. Sometimes I like to do some “fun” stuff such as making kaleidoscopes from my images.

In 1816, the kaleidoscope was invented by Scottish scientist, Sir David Brewster, and patented by him in 1817 (GB 4136).

David Brewster named his invention after the Greek words, kalos or beautiful, eidos or form, and scopos or watcher. So kaleidoscope means the beautiful form watcher.

Brewster’s kaleidoscope was a tube containing loose pieces of colored glass and other pretty objects, reflected by mirrors or glass lenses set at angles, that created patterns when viewed through the end of the tube.

Today you can create your own kaleidiscopes using Photoshop (32-bit) or Photoshop Elements. If you want to learn how I have a video and written tutorial in my “Tutorials” section. See the menu above, or just click here to be taken directly to the tutorial. Be aware that what I have given you only works on a PC.  If you work on a Mac, contact me for instructions.

Below is a kaleidoscope I created just this evening, others can be seen in my gallery here.

 

ornament4-kaleidoscope-web

“I” is for

IMPRESSIONIST!

I spent this past weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, attending the Carolinas’ Nature Photography Association Annual Meeting. This yearly gathering of photographers from North and South Carolina is always jam-packed with great workshops, lectures, new ideas, and of course the fellowship of like-minded photographers. This year our Keynote Speaker was Charles Needle. Charles is a highly acclaimed fine art and editorial nature photographer with a unique eye for design and artistic interpretation. Although he gave several presentations, his primary topic was Impressionistic Photography. Think Claude Monet. The audience of close to 400 photographers was electrified and filled with enthusiasm after Mr. Needles presentations. As soon as I got home I had to delve into some impressionism. Below you can see my first attempt.

If yo are interested in seeing some of Charles Needles work, you can visit his webpage by clicking this link! If you want to learn more about the Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association, click this link!

Click on image for larger view.

 

Charleston-Impressionist-web

Kaleidoscopes

Last month I showed you some kaleidscopes I had digitally created from photographs. You can re-read that blog post here.

In 1816, the kaleidoscope was invented by Scottish scientist, Sir David Brewster, and patented by him in 1817 (GB 4136).

David Brewster named his invention after the Greek words, kalos or beautiful, eidos or form, and scopos or watcher. So kaleidoscope means the beautiful form watcher.

Brewster’s kaleidoscope was a tube containing loose pieces of colored glass and other pretty objects, reflected by mirrors or glass lenses set at angles, that created patterns when viewed through the end of the tube.

Today you can create your own kaleidiscopes using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. If you want to learn how I have a video and written tutorial in my “Tutorials” section. See the menu above, or just click here to be taken directly to the tutorial. Be aware that what I have given you only works on a PC. Maybe a Mac user will be kind enough to link us to something in the comments.

Here are three kaleidoscopes I created just this afternoon AND all three came from the SAME original image of some shrimp boats.

Click image for larger view:

Shrimp-Boats1-web Shrimp-Boats2-web Shrimp-Boats3-web

Kaleidoscopes

Do you remember playing with a kaleidoscope as a kid? You know, that cylinder with mirrors and loose colored objects like beads or pebbles or bits of glass. You would turn the cylinder and watch with amazement as wonderous shapes took form and then changed before your eyes.

Most kaleidoscopes are mass-produced from inexpensive materials, and intended as children’s toys. At the other extreme are handmade pieces that display fine craftsmanship. Craft galleries often carry a few kaleidoscopes, while other enterprises specialize in them, carrying dozens of different types from different artists and craftspeople. Most handmade kaleidoscopes are now made in Russia and Italy, following a long tradition of glass craftmanship in those countries.

I like to create my own kaleidoscope images – images that look like what you might see when looking into a kaleidoscope. Below are some I created today. Let me know if you enjoy them!

Click each image for larger view.

BoatKal-web Kal2-web Leaves-Orb-Kal-web Milk-CEF4-web MilkFC12-2-web MilkFC12-3-web MilkFC12-web

More Milk and Food Coloring

Toward the end of July I told you about a little milk & food coloring experiment I did. I gave you some directions on how to do your own and showed  you some examples of my meager efforts.

Yesterday I pulled up one of these images and ran it through the NIK Plugin Color Efex Pro 4.  Color Efex Pro 4 is part of the Nik Collection and provides a comprehensive set of filters for color correction, retouching, and creative effects.

After combining several of these filters here is what I achieved!

Click on image for larger view:

milk

 

Make Abstract Photos From Milk and Food Coloring

Make Abstract Photos From Milk and Food Coloring

Strange as it may sound, you can make twisted tie-dye swirls and churning volcanos of color by simply mixing milk, soap, and a little food coloring. Plus, you don’t need any fancy gear and all it costs is lunch money.
Your fifth grade baking soda volcano may not have turned out so well, but take my word for it this experiment is an easy and fun way to make abstract art!

You never know what creations will come out of this churning rainbow wonderland and it’s 

good times for everyone from kids to Great Uncle Horrace.

And although it’s quick and easy to clean up, it won’t be short on the wow factor.

THE INGREDIENTS:
Whole or 2% milk
Dinner Plate
Food coloring (red, blue, green, yellow)
Dish-washing soap (Dawn seems to work well)
Q-tips

Milk-1

 

STEP 1: POUR THE MILK

Set your dinner plate somewhere level and safe from getting knocked over, and then pour in a layer of milk.
A thin coat will do, you don’t need to go overboard.

 

Milk-2

 

STEP 2: ADD A DASH OF COLOR

Grab your droppers of food coloring and add a few drops of each color to the center of your plate of milk.
The food coloring will allow you to see the reaction that happens in the next step so feel free to experiment with the placement of your dye drops for different effects.

 

Milk-3

 

STEP 3: GET SOAPY

Apply a good dollop of dish soap to one end of a clean Q-tip.
Twirl the soap around a bit to make sure the whole cotton swab is coated.

Milk-4

 

STEP 4: DIP YOUR Q-TIP

Dab your soapy swab into your milk and dye mixture and watch the colorful explosion!
You can keep dipping your Q-tip and reapplying soap to create new shapes, colors, and textures.

Milk-5

 

STEP 5: CAPTURE THE COLOR
Grab a phone, compact, or DSLR and start snapping.

I found that increasing the saturation, contrast, and sharpening, helps to get pictures that really pop.

Milk-6

Try using a macro lens with your phone or DSLR for super close ups.

Also, using a fast shutter speed will help prevent the moving colors from blurring.

You can experiment with new color combinations, try using a different type of milk, drop colors around at random, use two or three Q-tips at once, or anything else you can think of to spice up your pics.

 

HAVE FUN!