No Play Today

While out driving a few days ago my eyes were drawn skyward as the sun descended toward the horizon. It's difficult to ignore a colorful sky, particularly when the colors become very intense. It's one of the reasons that I rarely travel about without a camera. I've lived to regret that on enough occasions and it's a horrible feeling. Anyhow, with the sun this low in the sky, I had to find somewhere to set up quickly.

I was near an elementary school so I parked and made a bee line toward the open space and snow-covered fields around back. The sun was already below the tree tops so there was only a few minutes to compose a shot that included the sky's pattern and the actual sun itself.

- Click Any Image to Enlarge -

So an unplanned trip and a chance encounter becomes a photo opportunity. You just never know when something will present itself so it's best to be prepared.

This playground equipment has likely stood idle for at least a couple of months now as it's been far too cold for any kids to enjoy the outdoors. There was just another snowfall (8-inches) last night, further pushing out the time that activities will come to life here.

Below are a couple of conversions using Topaz's Impression, which creates art from your photographs. The software can be used to render beautiful watercolors, sketches and painting effects.

I'm a big fan of Topaz Labs but find myself using filters sparingly. I do have my favorites from their many packages and have been discovering even more within Impression, which released back in September 2014. Above I applied the Cave Dweller filter for it's textured look. This filter has a nice irregular pattern, important for any textured work.

In this final photograph the Impression Charcoal II filter was applied. Again we have a subtle pattern and an artistic look. There was a tradeoff here in that, I gained a nice sky pattern but pretty much lost my starburst and the sun. Nonetheless, I like the result of this.

In a future post I will cover some of my favorites from Topaz Labs, covering several of their products and the way I use them.

Until next time, stay creative!