As I progress on my photography journey and explore the works of other photographers, certain things always capture my attention. Most landscape photographers strive to capture the same iconic shots, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and they edit their pictures using the latest and greatest methods, or invest in the latest equipment. Rarely do I come across another landscape photographer that has a unique visual style.During a recent trip to Idaho, I stumbled upon some fine art photography prints that were crafted to look like oil paintings. I was immediately captivated by the fresh look of these prints, which added a new dimension to the beauty of nature. Personally, I get bored with the same old routine. The same edits, the same compositions, and the same pictures can become repetitive. I often find myself seeking alternative ways of expressing my creativity. This is why I am drawn to experimenting with infrared and black and white photography.
When I saw the "Oil Painted" prints adorning the walls of the Sun Valley Inn, I knew that I had discovered something new and unique. I remembered a Photoshop plugin from a few years ago that offered similar painterly effects, but it is no longer available. Fortunately, there are now other tools available that can produce similar results. I am thrilled to present my new collection of Oil Painted Nature Photography, which offers a fresh and unique perspective on the beauty of the natural world.
Oil painting is a process that involves mixing pigments with drying oils like walnut, safflower, and poppyseed. This technique has numerous benefits over other painting styles, including a wider range of colors from light to dark, and greater flexibility. However, the downside is that oil paint takes longer to dry. But, in the world of art, rushing the process often leads to failed images. While researching oil painting, I discovered that the oldest known oil painting dates back to the 7th century A.D. and was created by Buddhists in Afghanistan. That is a remarkably old painting! In the past, oil paint colors were derived from minerals or plants. Today, synthetic chemicals are used to create paint, which offers a wider range of colors, although the use of chemicals can be concerning. As an auto body painter, I remember using multiple toners to create a single color for a car. Initially, cars only came in black, but eventually, green and red were added to the palette, and now, cars come in a plethora of colors. Oil painting works in much the same way. If an artist needs a specific color, they can mix a few together to create it themselves. Ultimately, the beauty of oil painting lies in the artist's vision and creativity.
Filter Built Into Photoshop
During my holiday in Sun Valley, Idaho, I took the opportunity to research oil painting. I discovered that "Oil Painting" is now included in the Filters tab of Photoshop. Excited to try it out, I couldn't wait to get home. Unfortunately, my journey back was not without its difficulties. The roads were treacherous and it took much longer than expected. The drive from Sun Valley to I-84 was manageable, but from there on, the roads were a nightmare. My car was sliding around, and we witnessed several accidents, including one car overturned in a ditch. What should have been a 30-minute drive turned into an hour-long ordeal. We eventually made it to Boise, where we stayed with my parents overnight. The next day, the roads were still terrible, and it took over five hours to get to Pendleton, Oregon, instead of the usual four. Once we arrived in Pendleton, the driving conditions improved. However, I digress - this blog post is about the Oil Paint filter in Photoshop, so let's get back to that.
When I finally arrived home, I eagerly opened up Photoshop to test out the Oil Paint filter. I was amazed at the results. The filter gave my photos a completely different look and feel, almost as if they were oil paintings themselves. It was a refreshing change from the usual editing techniques and styles that are so commonplace in landscape photography.
As I experimented with the Oil Paint filter, I realized that the possibilities were endless. By adjusting the sliders and settings, I could create a wide range of styles and moods. I could mimic the brushstrokes of a particular painter or create my own unique style. It was a whole new world of creativity that had opened up for me.
Testing The Filter
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Oil Painting filter built into Photoshop worked better than I had expected. I began by uploading several photos to the program to experiment with the filter. After a few minutes of tweaking the settings, I was able to create an action that would produce consistent Oil Painted fine art prints. However, I did notice that certain areas of my prints didn't show the effect well, particularly dark areas, and unremarkable skies still appeared dull.
I encountered interesting challenges while working with some of the prints. For example, the red barns in my Palouse images were affected differently based on the direction of the wheat. If the angle setting of the filter was set to 90 or 180 degrees and the wheat was aligned up and down, there was little change. To overcome this, I made two copies of the image with the Oil Paint effect and altered the angle on each one, allowing me to blend the effect into areas that didn't work well on the first copy.
In addition to the angle, other settings in the Oil Paint filter, such as shine, stylization, bristle size, and cleanliness, can significantly alter the final outcome. It's important to experiment with each setting to determine which ones fit your style best.
Enlarging The "Oil Paint" Fine Art Prints
It's fascinating to hear about the effects of the Oil Paint filter on your fine art prints, especially when applied to infrared images from your Canon SL1 camera. It's impressive that you were able to enlarge the prints to 40x60 using Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI and maintain the image quality, despite the limited detail in the original image. The unique effects of the filter on the lines in cityscapes also add an interesting element to the final image. It sounds like you have found a new tool to enhance and experiment with your photography.
In conclusion, the Oil Paint filter in Photoshop can be a great tool for artists and photographers looking to add a painterly effect to their images. With various settings to adjust, it offers a lot of flexibility in achieving different styles and results. It can be particularly effective in enhancing certain types of images, such as landscapes or cityscapes, while not always being suitable for every type of image. It's also worth noting that the filter can work well in conjunction with other image editing software, such as Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI, to further enhance the final output. Overall, the Oil Paint filter is a great addition to any digital artist's toolbox.