Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spring - the Crocus Edition

I've been so lazy with my photography lately but I made myself do a couple things this week. 
First I ventured out to the Garden and Art Center because I knew the spring flowers should be blooming. (Although with our higher than normal temps, spring is 3 weeks early this year.)
Second, this morning I watch a video on how to use Topaz Texture Effects which I've owned since it came out and have never used it.
This is my first trial run. One thing fabulous about this software is that you can scroll over the textures and see what it will look like on your photo. You can also scroll over the blend modes for previews which makes it so much faster. (You can even access your own textures through it.) Tons of presets and oodles of tweaks to your hearts content.)
Products used, My Watercolor Brushes, Anna's Script Tease Nature, and my Sketchy Loops which will be in the store real soon.

I used Pretty Presets Lightroom Luminous on this shot. (Rose petals)

Another with that preset.

And another that I decide to mirror for my new header.

Dark and mysterious, edited with Kim Klassen's Chocolate.

All shots were taken with my Canon 100m Macro. I experimented with some focus stacking to see if I could get four flowers with four different focal lengths combined in one image to all be in focus.
Quite fun. Maybe not perfect, but it was a great exercise. 

If you want to try this out. Go shoot some images with focus variations. In Photoshop...
File> Scripts> Load Files Into Stacks

 Browse to find and select your files. Choose Open.

 Before selecting OK, check the box 'Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images'. It does a good job, but because of the blur from the macro lens I had to do a bit of my own adjusting. A tripod would  be advantage in most cases.

Now the masking begins on each layer. It's easiest to start at the bottom and work your way forward.
 Start with a black mask and 'paint in' the sharp areas. If you're not familiar with masking... ask Google.

Crop your image to clean up all the edges. Viola! Now if I want to I can load this back into Lightroom for further editing. I did do a touch of editing before I exported them to a folder on my desktop. (before the stacking)

I'm so glad spring is here. It's even raining a bit today. Ah... that fresh smell!


  1. Beautiful! I think the arrival of the spring flowers usually signals a return to colour photography for me. I have mixed success with photo stacking for flower photography.

  2. These striped crocus are stunning. They look like the large ones too. I love your watercolor brushes! Thanks for the wonderful tutorial Roxi! You're so talented!!

  3. cool...I will have to try this!


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