Thank you for visiting my photography/art blog here at Garvin Hunter Photography. For the past few years I have had many bouts of insomnia and spent far too many sleepless nights watching TV, playing mindless games or just counting those damn sheep. It is exhausting to spend the night thinking about all the things you need to accomplish the next day and fretting that you cannot fall asleep. Recently, I decided to try something new to battle my insomnia. Rather than getting frustrated with my inability to sleep I have begun using this time to paint. Yep, I slip downstairs, turn on some nice music and lose myself in painting a beautiful landscape or maybe some gorgeous flowers. Surprisingly, I have found that after a hour or two of painting I am tired enough to go back to bed and fall asleep. Moreover, I have also created some wonderful pieces of art in the process. In today's blog I am going to share with you some of the pieces that I have completed.
For those who follow my art blog you will remember from a previous blog that my external hard drive failed a few weeks ago forcing me to redownload my entire photography database from the cloud (i.e., 1.5 TB). I am pleased to announce that as of today my photography/art database has been restored and I am now working on restoring my family pictures (450 GB). The system now estimates that everything should be restored in approximately 5 days. Yeah!
For those who have been following me for a while know how much I love photographing beautiful flowers. For this image I chose to lay two flowers on top of a mirror which had approximately 1/4 of inch water on it. The resulting reflection makes a beautiful subject for an art print. The original digital image was processed in Lightroom as well as Photoshop CC. Once I was happy with the image I began hand painting the image using Corel Painter 17. Final touchups on the floral print was done using Photoshop CC.
"Twice the Beauty" is now available for sale through Fine Art America online gallery. I hope you enjoy this print as much as I do.
This beautiful landscape painting is based on a photograph I made several years ago while traveling around Nova Scotia. Specifically, it was taken early one morning at John's Cove which is a small fishing hamlet outside of my hometown Yarmouth , Nova Scotia. I love photographing boats of all shapes and sizes. For this image I thought having the dory in foreground would make an interesting subject. The sunrise was particularly breathtaking on this morning and made for a beautiful backdrop. This image was then used in Corel Painter 17 to make the painting. However, in this example I chose to use the auto paint feature in Painter 17 for the initial rough draft. Once the computer had finished with the rough draft I then went back and repainted various elements with a smaller and more detailed brush. The painting was finally touched up in Photoshop CC.
"Fishing Hamlet at Sunrise" is also available for sale through Fine Art America.
For this floral painting I used a photograph I made back in 2016 while walking through the park. As soon as I noticed this little flower was bathed in golden morning sunlight I knew I had to make an image of it. Using my macro lens and lying on the ground I was able to captured fine details of the flower against the green background of the park. The image was then processed in Photoshop CC and Corel Painter 17. I think it makes a beautiful floral print.
"Flowers in Golden Sunlight" is now available for sale though my Fine Art America online gallery.
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A little while back I was contacted by the company Skeeklens to see if I would consider writing a review of their landscape "Through the Woods Workflow" designed for Lightroom. Anyone who knows me understands how much I like playing with new stuff. To make it even better the company was going to supply me with the package of presets and brushes free of charge in exchange for a fair review. There is nothing better than getting free stuff.
After I had agreed to write the review I began considering the fact that I have spent the majority of my photography career avoiding presets. Personally I have never really enjoyed the results. This is equally true for both the standard set of presets that comes with loaded Lightroom as well as specialty presets created by other photographers. I've grown accustomed to processing my photos manually. I cannot even force myself to use the supplied filters on Instagram little own using presets for my photography.
With that being said, I installed the presets and brushes onto my computer. The "Through the Woods Workflow" comes with 51 presets and 30 brushes. For those who have never used presets before or are unfamiliar with the term I would suggest considering them much like a recipe. The creator of the preset defines how the computer will adjust the photo's individual components like exposure, highlights, shadows, saturation, and clarity to name a few. The exact same set of adjustments are made to any photo each time the preset is used. Whereas brushes are very much like paint brushes, but rather than dipping them into paint and applying it to a canvas or a wall. Lightroom brushes are defined by how they alter a photo's individual components (e.g., exposure, highlights, shadows, saturation.) as they are brushed over the the photo. They provide us the ability to apply changes to a specific area of a photograph.
Sleeklens have organized the Lightroom presets into six groups: (1) all in one, base, (2) exposure, (3) colour, (4) tone/tint, (5) polish, and (6) vignette. Before using any of the presets the Navigator panel in Lightroom was open. This allowed me to preview the changes by simply hovering my mouse/pen over the preset. Sleeklens has done great job organising and naming the presets. The package also comes with 30 local adjustment brushes which are also arranged into broad groups such as (1) basics, (2) colour, (3) effects, (4) haze and (5) light. Again Skeeklens did a nice job naming their brushes taking away any guesswork.. I also appreciate the fact, that Sleeklens provides an extensive library of video tutorials helping people get more out of Lightroom.
Now that the presets and brushes were installed on my computer, I began searching through my photography database for test shots. I will discuss three photos in which I tested the presets/brushes. All of these photos were shot in RAW and then converted to DNG files by Lightroom. I have included both the before and after images to illustrate the power of Sleeklens' presets/brushes.
Test Shot #1
Here is an image I shot a few years ago while visiting in Nova Scotia. As you can see much of the detail in the foreground have ben lost because underexposure. A common issue when photographing sunsets/sunrises. However, I was really quite amazed how quickly I was able to adjust the image using the presets. With six quick clicks of the mouse I was able to enhance the golden warm hues of sunset and bring out the details in the foreground. WOW!!
Workflow (1) all in one - shine into the sunset --> (2) exposure - less highlights --> (3) polish add clarity --> (4) polish -punch it up --> (5) polish - sharpen
Test Shot #2
For the second test shot I chose another sunset image. This is image I made at Cape Forchu, Nova Scotia during my last trip home. Again you quickly see that the image appears to be underexposed and therefore much of the detail in the foreground is lost in the shadows. Heck for that matter only the lighthouse is clearly visible. However, using the powerful set of presets created by Sleeklens I was quickly able to recapture the beauty of the original shot. With only five clicks of the mouse I was able to correct the exposure, colour, clarity of the image. How cool is that?
Workflow (1) all in one - calm sunset --> (2) exposure - less highlights --> (3) tone/tint - cool it down --> (4) polish - add clarity --> (5) exposure - brighten
Test Shot #3
For my final test shot I decided to move away from sunsets and sunrises and chose an image made on a foggy overcast day. This image again was made at Cape Forchu, Nova Scotia on a typical summer day (aka foggy). This is one of my favourite places to photograph. I love all the colours and textures found here. Using the Sleeklens presets I was able to quickly enhance the rocks' details as well as correct for colour.
Workflow (1) base - high dynamic range --> (2) exposure - darken --> (3) color correct - reduce yellows --> (4) polish - sharpen --> (5) polish - add clarity
After using the presets for a couple of days now I have to say that I am very impressed by them. In fact I will now be incorporating them into my current workflow. As a photographer one of my toughest jobs is to sift through my images and discard the bad images. This can be a very tedious job when one considers that often I am speaking of hundreds of images that have to be developed and then filtered. However, by using the Sleeklens presets/brushes I will be able to quickly process the images and decide their value faster. Ultimately allowing me to devote more time doing the things I love and less time with the more tedious adminstrative duties.
While these presets are powerful I would still want to make some additional minor tweaking to the photos before publishing. However this fact does not take away from their usefulness. As in my examples I was able to convert a no nothing RAW image into something quite special with a couple clicks of the mouse. I really look forward to using these presets on my most recent work which has not yet been processed. I am so impressed by the presets that I am now surveying the Sleeklens website for other workflows that I will want to purchase.
In closing I would like to mention that I am also equally impressed with the local adjustment brushes that were included with my package. The only reason they were not discussed as much is that their impact on a photo is much harder to illustrate. However, I am thinking of including them in a later review.
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It is Thursday which means only one more day of work. I have been painting pretty much the entire day and I am loving the outcomes. This gorgeous floral painting of white Phlox is one of my all-time favourites. These delicate and beautiful flowers make for such a wonderful subject. They look so soft and cheerful that I always reach out with my hand and touch their tender petals. Using various blender brushes I softened the background so as to ensure nothing would distract the viewer from looking at the white Phlox.
This beautiful floral print is based on a photography I made in early 2016 while doing a crop tour with my wife in our home garden. Using Corel Painter 17 I hand painted the flowers using an oil smeary round brush. For the flowers in the front I bumped up the amount of detail in the settings and reduced the size of my brush.
"Painting of white Phlox" is now available to be purchased through my Fine Art America online gallery as well as on RebBubble, Crated and Photo4Me. You can save 25% on my commission by simply using the promotion discount code DYGRUT when checking out. This promotional code only works with my Fine Art America gallery. This promotional offer expires Feb 20, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST. If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to drop me a line using the comments feature.
I dare you to be sad when looking at this charming floral print. "Golden Sunrise" was photographed just outside of my hometown of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. I was up early photographing the sunrise at a. local harbour when I decided to capture these little fellas. I love the warm golden light in the background against the white petals of the daisy. There is so much to enjoy in this beautiful floral print that I find my eyes just dance around the image. As with my White Phox print I used Corel Painter 17 to convert my digital image into a digital painting. Hope you enjoy.
"Goden Sunrise" is also available for purchase through my Fine Art America online gallery, Photo4Me, Crated and Redbubble. Over the next couple of weeks I will be adding these prints to my other galleries. Use my promotional offer as discussed earlier to save 25% off my commission.
One last thing before I retire for the evening. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter and keep up to date on my most recent work and any new promotions I am offering!! Thank you visiting my photography/art blog and I will see you again soon.
Hey everyone, thanks for joining my photography/art blog here at garvinhunter,com. It is here that I will discuss my most recent work as well as general topics in both photography and art. It is also my intention to start writing about the many lessons that I have learnt over the years in terms of marketing myself online. Hopefully, these posts will be helpful to others trying to increase their exposure online. Thanks again for joining!!
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