Creating a painting from a photograph

San Francisco's Chinatown
San Francisco’s Chinatown

I very rarely will post my original images, in part because I don’t want to drive my guru and friend, Jack Graham, to tears wondering if he has wasted hours of his life teaching me to photograph.  I look at every photograph I make and try to remember what it was that compelled me to push the shutter.  I mean there had to be something there that I reacted to and was willing to invest time in taking, editing, and processing an image.  This was one of those images.

Peter and I were walking through Chinatown in San Francisco one morning.  I love the experience much more since we started photographing.  We casually hop-scotched across the street to try to capture unique elements of the environment.  I think what appeals to me the most about this location is the different textures and colors.  So here is my original capture – no editing.

1308_MFA_San Francisco_197

After doing some basic adjustments in Lightroom (cropped, increased the shadows, reduced the highlights), I ran it through Topaz’s new ReStyle plug-in.  I am very excited about this software, and may write in more depth about it in a later post.  Once I focused in and realized it was the red tones that compelled me to take the picture, I accentuated them by picking one of ReStyle’s presets in the Architecture category.

I still felt there was more potential.  So I ran the image through Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3, to give it a painterly effect.  This is one of their Pastel presets.

San Francisco's Chinatown
San Francisco’s Chinatown

If you’d like more information about either of these plug-ins let me know.


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