Category Archives: Digital Art

Solarized Crotons

Crotons, Codiaeum variegatum, are evergreen, tropical shrubs that have been commonly grown in Florida landscapes for decades. They belong to the Euphorbiaceae Family. In southeastern Asia they have been cultivated for centuries and many hundreds of cultivars have been bred with a range of different leaf shapes, sizes and colors.
Crotons are originally native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and northern Queensland, Australia. It is a tropical shrub and grows best in the southern and central parts of Florida. Frost or temperatures below freezing temperatures can damage crotons.
If they get damaged by cold, delay any pruning until the danger of frost is past. In central Florida this is usually late February or early March. If the plant is damaged, lightly scratch a stem. If it is green then the stem is alive and will resprout. If not, usually the lower stems survive and resprout from the roots. Plant it in a warm location in the landscape. In colder locations be prepared to protect the shrub in winter or grow in containers and bring them indoors during freezing weather.
Crotons are easy to grow. Most prefer full sun or bright shade. Plants in higher light have the brighter coloring. Some varieties prefer indirect sun and will look washed out with full sun. Crotons can tolerate shade but the shadier the location the less vivid the foliage color will be.



Prints of this image are available for sale here:

Sabattier Effect Revisited

Last night I pulled up an image I had taken of a Blue and Gold Macaw (see below). I then applied a Sabattier Effect to the Macaw (also see below).

Using this effect can create some strange images. It is fun to play with! I have a written and video tutorial if you would like to learn more and play along. You can see the tutorial here: Sabattier Tutorial.

If you create some images doing this, feel free to share them on my Facebook Photo Page here: Bill Barber FaceBook Photography Page

Below is the before and after of the Blue & Gold Macaw.

Blue and Gold Macaw-web Blue-and-Gold-Macaw-Sabattier-web

Pineapple Fountain – A different look

One of the most eye-catching fountains in the whole city, Charleston’s famous Pineapple Fountain stands in Waterfront Park, in the downtown district. The Pineapple Fountain has become one of the city’s most photographed landmarks and symbolizes hospitality.

I have posted this image previously, but this time have taken a different “look” at it. Hope you enjoy it!

Click on image for larger view



Reworked Image

This morning I reworked an older image that I had taken on the Inlet side of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church here in Murrells Inlet. Here we are close to the beginning of Advent and obviously this picture was originally taken during Lent! I liked the “rework” and thought I would throw it up here for your comments.

Click on image for larger view:


Faux Painting

I have many friends who do amazing work with watercolors, acrylics, oils, etc. Paint brushes do not belong in my hands! However, from time-to-time I do enjoy taking a photographic image and making it look like a painting. Here is one i did just this afternoon. I hope you enjoy it!


“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!


“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 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

“M” is for

“M” is for Middleton Place!

Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and home to America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. The Garden Club of America has called the 65 acres “the most important and most interesting garden in America”.  Centuries-old camellias bloom in the winter months and azaleas blaze on the hillside above the Rice Mill Pond in the spring. In summer, kalmia, magnolias, crepe myrtles and roses accent a landscape magnificent throughout the year. The Gardens have been planned so that there is something blooming at Middleton Place year-round.

Below is an image I captured, and applied a painterly effect to, during my last visit to Middleton Place.

Click on image for larger view:


“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.



“F” is for

I guess it would be appropriate today if “F” was for FROZEN!  However, it is not. Today “F” is for Fractal.

Benoit B. Mandelbrot coined the term “fractal” in the 1960s, he was a rebel. Today, he’s revered for inventing a new geometry.

Think of fractal geometry as a way to measure the rough and tumble real world. Nature abounds with complex shapes, from trees to snowflakes to mountains. What Mandelbrot discovered is these geometric shapes look the same when you break them into their smaller components. Consider the cauliflower, whose smaller and smaller buds mirror the whole bunch.

Relative to art, fractals are a unique, digital art form, using mathematical formulas to create art with an infinite diversity of form, detail, color and light. In simple terms, a fractal is a graphical representation of a mathematical equation. The formula used for a particular image determines how each pixel in the image is formed and colored. (Pixels are simply little squares which are the smallest display elements that make up the images you see on a computer monitor or television.) A typical fractal image contains millions of these pixels.

Below are a few “fractaled” images I have created. I hope you enjoy them.

Click on individual image for larger view.

Leaf-webPurple-Gerbera-webDougs-Truck-web  Gerbera-Square-webYellow-Rose-Frac-webDown-the-Drain-webFractalized-Floral-webTenticle-Arms-web