Beauty's Beast!

August 30, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I decided to take a whole new approach to these "Twirl Photos".

First: I took one of the brushes and made some "lines" using the leaf brush.

Step 2: Using the previous settings in my other blog to "zoom" these lines.

Step 3: TWIRL the zoomed image:


Step 4: FLIP this horiz, and "lighten" the layer -- This is when I saw "Beast"

ADDING MORE: Added "shoulders" "Arms" "Body" and more - Each one added a little bit more.

Adding "shoulders" under the "cape"

Adding some "body" 

Adding some "Eyes"

Moving into Topaz GLOW2 to add a little "fur and feathers" to give it a little strength to the lines

ALL Put together!

LIGHTROOM Adjustments

Using a little brush to enhance the Reds and Darken some Orange



Twirl Photography

August 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I started to play with these a little while back and thought I'd put together a very quick, example of how these work.

First, you start with a photo - Fireworks shots seem to work the best, or flowers.

Original PhotoOriginal Photo

Create a dup layer, This will be used to convert the photo from a photo into lines and zoomed lines

  • Mezzotint:
    • Filter 
    • Pixelate
    • Mezzotint
    • Select Medium Lines 
    • OK
    • FILTER
    • Blur
    • Radial Blur
      • Set the amount to 100
      • Blur method to Zoom 
      • Quality to Best
    • OK
    • REPEAT at least 1-2 times (this was 3-4 times)
    • Below is the result:

LAYER 3 (Twirl 1) - TWIRL
Create a dup layer:  The twirl is used to give it this unique rotated look

  • Activate the Twirl 1 layer 
  • Choose Filter 
    • Distort 
    • Twirl
    • Enter an angle value and look at the preview till you get a look you like
    • OK
  • Result:

Create a dup layer:  Now we need a Mirror image of the Twirl

  • Duplicate the Twirl 1 layer (now Twirl 2)
  • EDIT
  • Change the Layer from NORMAL to LIGHTEN
  • Result:

The following show how I added additional layer with more mirror and flips and even some rotates, its up to you how you want to do things, and how many layers you want to make.
Just play and see how it looks!

One last little thing I did for this image was to take and Duplicate all these layers, and MERGE THEM into 1 layer
Then I take that layer into Toapz Lab's Glow and add some cool "Fur and Feathers" to it, bring it back into PS and changed it to 50% Opacity.


Would love for you to post your Twirls!


Concord City Hall

January 20, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Some info behind this shot:


Taken from the parking deck across the street.
Had to get creative on using my tripod to get over the 5 foot + wall and not get that wall in my shot.
Used my 10-24mm lens - perfect for these shots.

This image is a combination of the following (3) Exposure shots:
Camera Model Name : NIKON D7200
Focal Length             : 11.0 mm
Shutter Speed?(s)     : 2 / 0.5 / 8 seconds
Aperture                   : 14.0
ISO                           : 200

These were taken into EasyHDR and combined to form the following shot:

EasyHDR Combined shotEasyHDR Combined shot

From this shot I did a little playing in PS (light/color/etc).  Then moved it into Topaz Impression, and applied a setting i have been using on a lot of my shots (one I made) based on one of the presets (Georgia O'Keefe).

I use this to "smooth" out the harshness of the HDR and (to me) it gives it a little something, not sure what.




August 13, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Decided to go out in the super humid and warm night and play a little with some Light Painting.

To do this you need a few things. 

  • Good Tripod
  • Camera that can do long exposures - ie 15-30 seconds at least
  • remote trigger release of some kind
  • light source(s) - flashlight, flash, glow sticks, etc.
  • willing participant(s) - sometimes its nice to have multiple people to help
  • a dark location - sometimes the darker the better
  • patience


My son and I went out to a closed road near a lake.  Got the tripod setup, used the flashlight and other lights to locate where to set him up, and to light him so I could get him in focus. We decided to try a "beam up" kind of thing, with him on his phone calling his spaceship to beam him up.

The process would be as follows:

  • Alex would stand as still as possible
  • I had the camera set to a 25 second exposure - iso 100 or so, f3 on the 35mm prime 
  • With a 2 second pause after i remotely fire the trigger
  • Fire the trigger, all lights off
  • Do a quick light on him to make sure he was lit from head to toe - basicly use the flashlight to light him up.
  • I had 2 flashlights - one was a very bright LED and the other was a strange little one that had 3 moveable head with lights.
  • Run around Alex in circles moving the lights from feet to head and above.
  • Check camera see what things looked like
    • mine had noise reduction on - helps a lot - and it takes a while to bring up the image
    • check the image, zoom in, see how in focus things are
  • try again 

Did this a few times - each time can take 5+ mins just to check and setup.  We tried several other shots as well (check them here).



No editing at all on this yet. you can see my ghosts in there, and its a little too bright and needs some more shadows, etc.
You can really see my head/face/glasses on the right next to Alex's head.



CLEANED UPCLEANED UPSome basic cleanup

Lots of playing in lightroom, darkening areas where my ghosts were, playing with the sliders for highlight, shadow, etc. trying to get it as clean as i could.



INITIAL BEAMINGINITIAL BEAMINGCleaned up, but not exactly what I was going for.

Cropped and a little more playing, and a little stamp brush in PS.


BEAMINGBEAMING#LightPainting #roco #clouds #startrek #beammeup #toocool @startrek

LOTS more here. 

  • Took a section from the zoomed out photo and added it to the bottom of this cropped section
  • faded it out and Alex's middle with it.  Giving it the look of him beaming out
  • used some brushes to keep his arm/elbow in solid
  • made a duplicate of the orig layer, took it into Topaz Glow added some neon to the lights
  • made another duplicate of the orig layer, took that one into Glow and used Fur and Feathers (25% or so) to give things a little more texture
  • blended them all back together, with a mask & brush
  • back to lightroom for some more highlight/shadow cleanup.

What do you think?  I love trying new things out, seeing how they come out, learning all the time!

Thanks for checking this out.  If you are interested in a shot like this of you let me know!







January 04, 2016  •  1 Comment

I'm no expert photographer, and every year (day actually) I see how much I don't know.  So, you have to get out there and try new things, learn new ways of doing things.  This applies to everything in life.

I had a couple of my friends come help me out with a little "levitation" photography.  


Blank BGBlank BG

You will notice there is nothing really in this image.
I missed the shadow on the left side, but that was easily removed in Photoshop.

Step 2 - Add in the people

SetupSetup the people to look the way you want!

Here you can see how the "levitation" is actually done.  You can see the shadow of the stepladder on the ground as well.
Notice how her legs are, she has to stand on something (right?)

Step 3: Layer it all and mask out what you don't want.

Almost doneLittle more clean up to do

So, this is a pretty close to being done edit.  I removed the shadows (using the mask tool, its pretty simple), also decided to rotate her left leg to give it more of a feel of her being pulled up into the air and not just standing there.

This looked pretty good, but I really didn't like the telephone lines in the background.  Photoshop has a "spot healing" brush that can make these pretty much just go away.

Step 4: Final Image

So, this is the final image, I could have done a lot more - adding some other items, maybe next time ill get some leaves and put them flying around, or something that looks like wind blowing around.

The actual shooting took about 10 mins, and the editing about 30-45 total.
Its a good idea to check your background first and make sure you don't need to remove things, next time I will make sure there is a lot cleaner background.

Thanks to my friends for helping me out!
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