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Tuscan Hillside

After spending 3 days in Cinque Terre we headed to Tuscany where we were going to explore the Tuscan country side for the next 3 days. I was sad to leave the beauty of Cinque Terre but the wonderful thing about Italy is that beauty can be found in every corner of this country.

We based ourselves just outside of Montepulciano (more on where we stayed in a future post) in the province of Siena in Southern Tuscany. Driving from town to town one is graced with scenes such as this. It’s a good thing my husband was driving as I would have had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road.

Click on the image to view a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Tuscany, Italy, hill, house, cypress trees, rolling hills, travel photography

 

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Manarola Waves

One of my most favourite tools in my camera bag is my 10-stop ND filter and on my second day in Manarola it was overcast, the sea was churning and the waves crashing against the rocks. This was the perfect time to shoot some long exposures.

Click on the image to see a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy, sea, village, coloured houses, long exposure, travel photography

Topaz Impression

Last week Topaz Labs announced the release of their newest plug-in, Topaz Impression. I had the pleasure of taking Impression for a test run this weekend and to say the least…I’m impressed by Impression.

As with all of the Topaz products this new plug-in is intuitive and easy to use. Impression comes loaded with 47 pre-sets that are designed to help you realize your vision by transforming your photos into realistic-looking studio art. You can use the pre-sets as they are (which is excellent) or use them as a jump off point to create your own unique piece.

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 11.37.23 PM

The Preset Panel

Once you’ve selected your preferred pre-set you can click on it to go to the editing panel. There you can adjust the brush strokes, its width and length, opacity, brightness, contrast, texture strength and many more adjustments that allow you total control over your artistic creation. Impression also gives you total control over your colour palette.

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 11.33.57 PM

The Editing Panel

 

Here are a couple of images that I created using Topaz Impression.

Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, garden, fountain, water, summertime, France, travel photography, Topaz Impression

Tuscany, Italy, red chairs, orange wall, Fine Art, travel photography, Topaz Impression

I liken this plug-in to a very cool app but its oh so much more. If you’ve always wanted to create beautiful digital art then Topaz Impression will enable you to do so. As with all of the Topaz Labs products you can download a free trial and try it for yourself. Click here to down load the free trial or to purchase Topaz Impression which is 25% off until September 30 by using this coupon code: SEPIMPRESSION.

Into the Drink

Here’s something a little different from me. I’ve never done any composites in Photoshop but I thought I would try my hand at it. This image was taken in Monterosso just before the rain started. I loved the scene and the composition but the light was flat and grey when I brought it into Lightroom.

I started tweaking it a little bit and then thought this would look good if the clouds were darker and the feel was more ominous. I then brought the image into OnOne Perfect Effects and started working on getting that ominous look. I was happy with the way it was shaping up but it was still missing something. I then jumped over to PS and added my final touch. Can you guess what it is?

Click on the image to view a higher resolution (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

Monterosso, Cinque Terre, Italy, boats, beach, pirate, fine art photography, travel photography

Monterosso

Monterosso or Monterosso al Mare is the last of the 5 villages in Cinque Terre that I had the pleasure to visit.

Unfortunately minutes after we arrived the skies opened up and a downpour ensued. Monterosso is the only village that has a sand beach in Cinque Terre and despite the weather there were plenty of beach goers.  Now I don’t usually wimp out because of the weather but it was late in the afternoon and the rain just wouldn’t let up so we decided to cut our visit short and head back to Manarola and have dinner. I did mange to get a few shots though :)

Click on the images to enlarge (they really do look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Monterosso, Cinque Terre, Italy, beach, coast, sea, travel photography

Monterosso, Cinque Terre, Italy, path, mountains, travel photography, fine art photography

Vernazza

The 4th village we visited in Cinque Terre is Vernazza which is sandwiched on the coast between Corniglia and Monterosso.

While it is possible to get around certain parts of the other 4 villages by car, Vernazza truly is the only village that is car free and remains one of the trues fishing villages.

Click on the image to see a high resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, 5 Villages, Italy, travel photography, fishing village, coloured houses

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