Post-Production Software – Part 4

MyPaint is a program designed for the creation of digital art or artistic expression on a digital image in .PNG; . JPEG or .ORA (Open Raster images). Do not worry if you do not understand the “Open Raster” terminology for a file format. This .ORA format will largely only be used by or applicable to professional artists.

For those that do use the Open Raster format, you will be interested to know that you can transfer .ORA images between GIMP and MyPaint.

MyPaint does not as much occur in the daily workflow of a photographer, unless there is a special ordered image to be styled or retouched as a painting.

Parents, this is a wonderful and inexpensive alternative to getting an artistic interpretation of your child’s professional portrait. Using one of your favorite photographs of you child, import the photo in .JPEG (.JPG is the same format) into MyPaint and use the different brushes for your desired effect.

Copyright of Foetoss Light 2012

I took a photo I had taken, imported it into MyPaint and used different brush style to compliment or fit the texture of the surface being altered. Now it has a feel or photograph and hand painting.

Artistically inclined users will find MyPaint intuitive. Be sure to look around the menus. There are many hot keys listed next to the operation in the menu. (The menus being “File”, “Edit” and so on.)

Capabilities: Layers, Brush Styles, Quick Tool Selection, Paper Texture, Single Key Hot-Keys and Quick Working Surface Positioning.

Strengths: The software is very attentive to each detail, including mouse cursor position, touch-pad scrolling and touch-pad selection. These three touch-pad specific things will affect your work by rotating your work surface, zoom in or out or move your work surface in the opposite direction of your mouse cursor’s position. Quite a surprise if you are not expecting the help.

MyPaint is a “light” program meaning that it is quick to respond and resourceful in its operations so as not to require large amounts of CPU time and Swap space. (Those are technical terms for “thinking power” = CPU time and “temporary memory” = Swap space.)

Weaknesses: While I have a hard time saying this, it is true. MyPaint devotes 75% of its power and ability to graphics pads like the Wacom tablets. It is still possible to use the program (MyPaint) without a graphics tablet, but it is not as fluid or convenient. This is not to make a case against the program. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to make a program as effective with both graphics tablet and touch-pad.

This is a strong program also young in the market as Darktable. MyPaint is currently on version 1.0. While I have not found bugs in MyPaint, I must confess I do not have the time or experience in the program that I would like.

Each program has its own capabilities, strengths and weaknesses just as we will choose them based on our use for the program’s applicable service.

Location, Location, Location! Part 2

Do you ever get surprised by something unintended in a photo but brings it up a step from good to superb? This post is something along those lines.

I have been working on textures for sometime, and while on a shoot I captured some textures that made the photo complete. I did not even notice what I had done until I was editing the photos!

This illustration is a half step behind by the fact that the added texture was unintentional, but for what it lacks, it fills in by demonstrating how texture can fit so well into a photo.

As I took the photo, I wanted to be sure to capture the free-standing display board and materials on the table. The tiled entry way and support column provide an unassuming background that brings an inviting warmth to the photo. The texture of the tile, is not over powering or out-of-place, but just enough that it almost makes the viewer feel secure and sure-footed.

I say that this was unintentional, when the whole truth is; I wanted this idea which we have discussed, communicated in the photo but did not fully see the environment which was to be captured.

My focus is texture. Using this post and its previous counter-part as an example you can use the very same principles to bring other elements into your photos! Have fun with it and the learning process. Remember: mistakes are a sign of improvement! Learning to walk means a possibility of falling, but getting up again to carry on is the vital attitude for success!

Location, Location, Location!

We photographers are able to express ourselves in ways that not many people do. This is not a bad thing, but rather means that we complete a part of communication by still images which otherwise would be non-existent or at the very least different.

Since we find pleasure in communicating through imagery, we desire to learn, grow and become better communicators through our images. Here is something to consider as we learn and grow.

Texture:

I chose my locations mostly by the textures they contain. Personally, I find that too many textures or a texture out of place can throw off the focus of a picture. Thus, when I choose a location (let’s say a train station, since it has a great many textures) I want the person looking at the photo to feel the refreshing cool breeze as they wait on the platform and the rumble of the train as it comes and goes.

Now that I know what I can work on (texture) and how to capture it’s story in a still image, I can begin bring texture into my work as an added element on other photo shoots!

Stay tuned for Friday’s post on using texture as an added photo element.

Rough Start…Smooth Finish

It take a lot of things in co-ordination to bring anything from “good” to “wonderful”.

Images that speak a thousand words, take quite an eye to create or a lot of study, research, patience, experience and knowledge. An artist makes each piece of art with a specific purpose, for an intended group of people, to make a specific statement.

For instance; a writer puts in order┬áhis thoughts so as to make a concise point, adding attention grabbing action, descriptive words (to cultivate the reader’s imagination) and a strong story line that answers the questions it creates as well as the anticipated questions of the reader.

A photographer is required to frame the subject of the work so as to draw it out and give it interest. Take a look at how other great artists use the extra space in their works by adding interest with supporting visual aid.

I love texture! I will use a macro lens so often that when I raise my camera to shoot a bird flying over head only to find that I have forgotten what type of lens I am using. Then I catch myself, “What am I thinking? I cannot shoot a bird flying high overhead with a 35mm!” The problem is, I was not thinking!

Notice the use of the rough brick texture to emphasize the soft flowers.

Texture is something that requires the sensory use of touch, a close-up view, hearing or all of the above to notice the differences in the surface. Macro lenses, in a word, are designed to focus at a closer range than wide-angle, tele-photo and tilt-shift lenses. Therefore the macro lens is the champion of lenses when you desire to explore the microscopic worlds within flowers and underneath rocks!

Photography is the artistic expression of how one person (the photographer) sees the world around them. Therefore my body of work displays my interests, unique/creative perspectives, capabilities and even what I believe. Perhaps “just getting by” is not enough to get me out of the “creative slump”, but learning something in the process will add to me as a person and artist.

Take a look at your work and consider “What element would you bring into an image that will raise its value?”