Photography Software Review: Flaming Pear’s Flood Filter

Desert Arch with Flood

I have been going through an extreme phase lately – and Flaming Pear’s Flood filter has been fueling a lot of the fun.

I purchased this filter last year, in a desperate attempt to fix this image.

Beached boat at Sunrise

It was a beautiful sunrise, but I thought the bare mud bank really detracted from the tranquility of the scene.  Much to Peter’s chagrin, I bought Flaming Pear’s Flood Filter to see if I could remedy the problem.

Beached Boat at Sunrise (with added water)

I’ve learned a lot since making this image – how to blur the seam so the transition isn’t so obvious, and to try to match the ripples in the water.  To be honest I have found the interface for this filter challenging.

My biggest complaints are that the interface window does not enlarge to full screen; and the image inside the interface is small, so it can be challenging to see the seam line and the continuity of ripples.  I am completely willing to admit user error, and that I find the tutorial videos that other companies produce to be very helpful.

Now the things I love about it, I can easily create amazing reflections and mask ugly foregrounds.  For example, I loved this colorful mural.  I could have cropped it to create a panoramic, but thought it would be interesting to really accentuate the color by creating an unexpected surreal look.

Colorful mural with ugly ground

I used Flood to create a reflection so that the image was full of color, and the audience had to guess why there was water, where was I standing, etc.  I might still crop it to eliminate the brick wall above…..just not sure if it helps add some respite to overstimulated eyes.

Colorful mural reflected in water

Speaking of surreal, I am currently working on a series of the silly and ridiculous.  Peter, the lucky dog, is my subject in every photo.  I make sure he is staring up at something and then I flood him.  (Depending on whether he has annoyed me recently, depends on how high I raise the water level ;)).  I also try to take these images with my infrared camera to add an extra dimension of un-reality.

Desert Arch
Desert Arch with Flood

As I mentioned before, the user interface isn’t as easy as some of my other plug-ins. Before you process, I would recommend thinking about:

  • How high do you want the water line?
  • How smooth do you want the reflection?
  • Do the ripples in the water match the other water that may be present (e.g. filling in a low tide foreground to ocean water in the background)?
  • Have you placed the seam line in a place where it will be easy to blur in Photoshop?

Once you have an idea of where you want to go, then move each slider starting at the top to try to get to the desired effect.  You may have to go back and forth between them.

For those of you who really like to do unusual things with your images, the Flood filter gives you a whole new range of possibilities.  I have nick named it my fun filter – whenever I am really stuck, I “flood it” just to see if it will help wash away the creative obstructions.

One Comment

  1. Mark McDermott

    “Speaking of surreal, I am currently working on a series of the silly and ridiculous. Peter, the lucky dog, is my subject in every photo.” – somewhat of a redundant statement, isn’t it? 😉

    This looks like fun – I may have to try it. I have lots of photos that could probably be improved by partial drowning (after all, it’s not torture anymore…)

    I am already trying to think of ways to mask the lower half to simulate water lapping against contours, like a stream. I realize that’s easily done in Photoshop, but I also assume the reflection is a simple mirror across the horizon line, so the reflection won’t be accurate if you conform it to some odd contours. hence the head scratching. Thanks for all the great writing you guys do! I look forward to it every week.

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