Picture This!
Special Effects

To use an old phrase: “Far Out.” That was our reaction to this month’s Picture This! assignment, Special Effects. Readers sent us images made in camera and post-processed to change reality in unique and wonderful ways. While some readers shared their recipes some didn’t, which led us to some interesting discussions on how some of the images we received were created. Whatever the formula, we keep thinking about Fred Picker’s famous quote: “Photographers owe nothing to reality.” It also engendered thoughts about how digital has made us all into both custom printers and graphic artists of the first degree.

New Orleans Band
W.W. King made this shot of a band, with a Nikon D200 and a Tamron 28-300mm lens, turned into a graphic study worthy of a poster for the city.
© 2008, W.W. King, All Rights Reserved

This meditative design, worthy of a church stained glass window, was created by Donald Ridone; original images were made with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel.
© 2008, Donald Ridone, All Rights Reserved

Antique Store
Steve Miller sent in this graphic interpretation of a store in western Michigan created in Photoshop Elements; the original was shot with a Pentax ZX-M on Fuji’s Provia 100 film.
© 2008, Steve Miller, All Rights Reserved

Easter Bouquet
Adding film grain and saturation to this shot made with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, Teresa Reid was inspired to create this interpretation because of the unusual shapes and edges of the original image.
© 2008, Teresa Reid, All Rights Reserved

Irwin Medoff did this self-portrait with a Panasonic DMC-FZ20 camera on a tripod. He later added the Greek column (from a bridal cake support) and used the Glowing Edges filter in Photoshop and elongated it for the final effect.
© 2008, Irwin Medoff, All Rights Reserved

Notre Dame
Irwin H. Segel used Transform in Photoshop with a Cutout filter to create this, well, transformed image of Notre Dame in Paris.
© 2008, Irwin Segel, All Rights Reserved

High-Energy Kitten
R. Fox sent us this electrified interpretation made with the Redfield Fractalius plug-in in Photoshop.
© 2008, R. Fox, All Rights Reserved

Twirled Crocosmia
Don Charlton photographed this flower with his Canon EOS 5D and in Elements turned it sepia, “twirled” it and “covered it with a slightly opaque red layer, erasing as desired.”
© 2008, Don Charlton, All Rights Reserved

Digital City
Perhaps the most transformed of all the images we received, this shot started out, according to Robert Wicker, as “a horizontal photo of pansies.” He used Twirl, Extrusion, and image rotation to get this amazing special effect.
© 2008, Robert Wicker, All Rights Reserved

Old Glory
Taken on the 4th of July, Roxie Christensen desaturated the image then used a layer mask to bring back the color in the flag, then added a diffuse glow to the layer.
© 2008, Roxie Christensen, All Rights Reserved