How does a photo develop from original Raw to finished print?

I first mentioned this last week in this post, but I have been playing with the Impresso Plugin that produces some really nice oil painting effects in Lightroom and Photoshop with very few steps (although there are many options I haven’t fully got to grips with yet!) and after I completed one recent image I went back and looked at the progression from the original shot to the finished item:

Use of Impresso Pro plugin in Photoshop to create realistic oil painting effects

Finished Impresso Oil Painting

An artist shouldn’t really show the original photo as it makes it seem like nothing is real any more, but here are the steps I went through.

Because I was facing directly into the setting sun, and I had my tripod with me, I decided to take some HDR shots to provide for detail in the dark trees on the left. For some reason my camera was set to a color temperature of 4200 (which doesn’t matter at allĀ in a Raw capture), and so my first view of the standard exposure was this one:

Original "standard exposure"

Original “standard exposure”

Almost makes you want to throw it into the recycle bin! However, I wanted to see what the HDR version would look like and so I used the new “merge to HDR” feature in Lightroom and tweaked the color temperature a bit to get the blues in the sky as I wanted them:

Merge to HDR in Lightroom

Merge to HDR in Lightroom

Now you can see the detail in the nearest headland and the sky isn’t blown out. But it doesn’t look much like a sunset! And that rock in the foreground is pretty annoying. So I opened this version in Photoshop and then warmed up the temperature considerably in Lightroom to get the oranges and warm colors and created a layered image in Photoshop:

Mixing warm and cold colors into the image

Mixing warm and cold colors into the image

So my final image that went on my various stock agencies, including Backyard Stock Photos and Symzio was this one:

Final modified photograph

Final modified photograph

I then decided to play with the Impresso Plugin to create an oil painting – just a few clicks through the different presets coupled with adding back some detail in the vegetation on the left gave me this one – click on the image to see it in larger size on Fine Art America:

Use of Impresso Pro plugin in Photoshop to create realistic oil painting effects

Finished Impresso Oil Painting

The final step took no more than five minutes – and I ended up with something that I would like to see on my own wall as a large print – canvas would look nice!

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2 Responses

  1. Oh wow, this is really nice effect, Steve!

  1. December 30, 2015

    […] Apart from that, it is easy and fast to use – just what you need to create artistic digital art pictures for Fine Art America. I’ll report back on sales, and for more of my work, check out this more recent post. […]

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