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The Toy Car Project

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NC Museum of Art Images

For the past 12 years I have taken over 100 photographs at the NC Museum of Art, here in Raleigh, NC. Below is a sampling of a few of my favorite images for this wonderful Museum. You can look at all of my images on Flickr with this link . Cheers, Wade

My “Pencil” Submission Explained

One of my favorite submissions for the 25th round of the Photography Scavenger Hunt was for the word Pencil. My final image is shown below, but I didn’t actually draw this. I used several Topaz plugins, which I’ll detail for you after the final image. Final Pencil Image Here is the image that I started with, which is a simple macro shot with the pencil balanced on the Hot Wheels car. Initial Photograph The first thing I did was clean up the image in Lightroom. Then I sent it to Topaz’s Glow plugin, where I used the liquid lines filter to make the car look more smooth and give it a little pop. I masked out the pencil, so it would always look real. Here’s that image Second Edited Image Next, I used Topaz Texture plugin to give the whole car a sketched look. I masked out the pencil again. Third Image with the Sketched look applied After that, I sent the image back to Topaz’s Texture plugin and used the black and white sketch filter on just part of the image and masked out the parts I want

Just Go!

Does winter have you wishing you could create more art, but you’re stuck indoors? I was feeling the winter blues and decided that today I would get out and photograph something new. I had to go to Durham, NC for a client house picture, so I planned to shoot something in Durham for me, too. It’s amazing how once you get out there with your camera (or sketch pad or notebook) the ideas start flowing. My friend, Lauri Novak, wrote an article about this recently (link below), where she talks about getting out there and shooting. She was so right! And as a bonus I got some steps in too! I was thinking I’d shoot downtown Durham, but decided that I’d head over to Duke Gardens instead. Even in winter, the gardens have some interesting plants, paths, trees and buildings to shoot. I’ve been to the gardens so many times, I have a route I take that lets me hit the interesting spots. I started with the white garden which is behind the visitor center, then walked over to the learning center. After th

Even more 15 things about me

  I’ve written two posts about myself (links after), with 15 items in each post, here are some more random things about me: I moved to NC from MN when I was 21 to attend college, I had $60 in my pocket and a car full of clothes. I drove the 21 hours straight with only a 2 hour nap at a rest stop. I can touch my nose with my tongue. I have a smaller than normal gap between my nose and mouth (and maybe a long tongue). I like peanut M&Ms. Country music is my favorite most of the time, but I will go through periods of listening to only rock, then switch back to country. When my kids were teenagers, I listened to all the music they listened to. I would grab their CDs and copy them, then listen to the CDs in my car. I found some new favorites and also encouraged my kids to stop listening to some music. Sandi and I setup a rewards program for school grades for our two children when they started elementary school. For each “A” they would receive whatever grade they were in, so for 3rd grad

A Little Better All The Time

Thirteen years ago, I received a Canon DSLR as a birthday gift (I did ask for it). I wanted the camera to capture life moments of our kids participating in sports. I did use the camera for that purpose for the first five years or so. Later, when the kids were grown, I started experimenting with my camera and trying to make art. I liked to draw and paint when I was younger, so I thought this could be something I’d enjoy. At first my shots were more of the “snapshot” variety, you know the pictures I talking about. You see something happening and you take a quick snap. Gradually, I started to learn more about the camera settings and began to see in my mind’s eye what I wanted to capture. Of course, visualizing your shot and actually achieving it are two different things. Over the years, my skill improved and my processing of each photo also improved. One thing that helped me improve was doing a 365 project, which I did back in 2012 (and yes, I should do another one). Having to take a “dec

How I Edited this Blue Heron Image

  I thought I’d share my edits on this image of a Blue Heron that I took this afternoon.  Here is the original image, pretty much straight out of the camera (I shoot in RAW, so this is a jpeg version). This was my best image from a group of about thirty shots I took of the Heron, must were just standing so not very interesting. The fist things I do in Lightroom are to adjust for the lens and then fix any white balance and color issues. I also cropped the image a lot and added a little contrast. For this image I also lightened the birds head, neck and legs a little. My finished edits looked like this: I liked this finished look, but wanted the background to be a little more blurry or abstract. I have been using Topaz’s Impression 2 plug-in for a while and thought I would try that. I tried several preset paint effects in Topaz and finally settled on a basic Painting effect. I then added a mask to the Heron’s head and neck to remove the painting effect. As I wanted his head and eye to sta