I have long admired the digital artwork of husband and wife team,
Michael and Tammy Rice. They take photographs to a new level and well
beyond the digital image captured by the camera or a film negative
scanned to a digital form.
- Michael and Tammy write on their web site - "The
images are a combination of digital and film. Our post processing
includes using Lightroom, Photoshop, and Painter. Some are the result of
a combination of images using the HDR process"
Before the photographer can even take this road into
'impressionist art' - he first has to have the 'eye and mind' of
an artist - so I am dead in the water before I even start. It is one
thing to visualise a scene turned into a photograph (how many do we
bin) but quite another to visualise it in an 'impressionist form'
either in black and white or colour. In the first place, there is no
doubt that the digital or film image captured by the camera has to produce the correct
material within the scene; material that can be seen instantly as art in
itself before you even fire the shutter and move forward to the computer
digital post processing and the final digital paint stages using Corel
Painter 12 Software.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software can be used to post process a 'RAW'
photo image file
(or a film negative which has been digitally scanned) from the camera and convert it to a tiff or jpeg file format (amongst
others) ready to be
transferred digitally into Corel Painter software to be dramatically
altered using 'painting skills' and a digital tablet to apply changes to
the image. Alternatively the file could be a jpeg straight from the
digital camera, tweaked in Lightroom and likewise sent digitally as a jpeg to
Corel Painter for further work. Many cameras come with their own
'bundled' software, so Lightroom might not be required, although the
very name 'Lightroom' demonstrates the ability to change light patterns
within the image which will suit digital artwork processes.
Dynamic Photo-HDR is a HDR software
package that I prefer over Photomatix (I have both). It is
relatively easy to use a jpeg, tiff or RAW image file and convert it to
HDR, either as a single file conversion or by blending three files (of
different exposures) together in the software to create a single HDR
image. For HDR work and to open up the dynamic range, a
minimum of 3 separate (bracketed) images of a scene shot from a camera
on a tripod, each with - 0 + exposures are the best way to obtain
'optimum' results in HDR blending. This is where you can deliberately lift up the colours and
tonality to create a digital art image which can then be transferred
into Corel Painter or back into Lightroom and then into Corel Painter
for further alteration using the tablet.
The above images were originally single 'RAW' versions
and after some colour saturation, brightness and contrast tweaking, I
cheated and made
3 tiff files from each in Adobe Lightroom with +/- exposures and used
Dynamic Photo-HDR software to blend them together and edit the final
colour, light and rendering. They were finally converted to re-sized jpegs
for the web. Neither image was ideal for impressionist art work but I
'hacked' them about in post processing to see what could be achieved in
a very short time for this blog. The combined power of Lightroom and Dynamic Photo-HDR
software is very powerful but for the final 'paint' effects I would require
to purchase Corel Painter 12 and a good
sized A3 tablet.
You will never see the 'optimum' effect of my images above, unless I
printed them at A3 size or larger, put them on a wall and stood back to
view them. I cannot achieve the same effect by re-sizing them down to
1,000 pixel length size for display here!
I mess about with 'impressionist art' but to properly do it justice, I
would have to spend a great deal of time in developing the photographic
and software skills - I am still not sure that it is a road I want to
From the Corel Site -
"Expand your possibilities! Painter is a powerful addition to your
existing digital art software, providing a high-performance brush engine
and the most realistic digital painting tools in an environment that so
closely reproduces the look, feel and results of traditional art, you
may forget you're using software! With Photoshop support, you can
correctly preserve colors and layers when transferring files between
Photoshop and Painter. Plus, the Painter 12 workspace offers brush
blending, layers, libraries, docking panels, shortcuts and image set-up
options that will help Photoshop users feel right at home"
From the Corel Site - "All of the fun,
none of the mess or smell! With 12 new tools, the Real Wet Oil category
offers the perfect solution for blending and painting flowing colors.
Add solvents to the canvas for even more control. This new brush
category gives artists that heightened sense of realism that only
Painter 12 can deliver"
From the Corel Site -
"Support for the entire Wacom product
line, including Cintiq® interactive pen
displays and Intuos® pen tablets, gives
you the most responsive digital painting
software and the best digital art
experience. Enjoy exceptional freedom of
movement and comfort as you paint in the
most natural way possible"
idea of editing your photographic images and turning them into a paint art form
using a standalone Wacom tablet on your lap on the train, on the plane or out in
the field is very appealing!