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Writing with Light

Tuscany

San Quirico D’Orcia

I was going through my archives and came a cross an image I took in San Quirico D’Orcia in Tuscany. I love the way the winding street leads the eye through the image. I used Topaz Impression to create a digital painting.

I know I’ve been somewhat absent this week. Work has gotten extremely busy in the last couple of months and I’ve been doing more business travel in the last couple of months then I’ve done in the past 2 years (unfortunately without my camera). This has left me with less time to focus on my photography and blog but I’m hoping that life will get back to normal soon.  Thanks for sticking around while get through this busy period.

San Quirico D'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy, village, winding lane, buildings, digital painting, travel photography

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Italian Shoes

I thought I would post something a bit more whimsical and light today. Walking through the narrow streets of Montepulciano there were many wine & cheese stores, jewellery stores and of course leather goods.  This little shoe store had, what I think was an absolutely delightful display. Oh and the shoes inside were much more upscale 🙂

Italy, Tuscany, Montepulciano, shoes, shoe store, display, travel photography


Topaz Glow

To say that I’m excited by the release of Topaz Labs newest plug-in would be a huge understatement. This week Topaz Glow was released and what a great addition to Topaz’s arsenal of great tools.

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Topaz Glow can be used as a stand-alone or a plugin (for PC & MAC) to transform your photos from dull to dazzling. Containing more than 70 unconventional and quirky filters, you can infuse your images with neon, graphic, liquid and other electrifying effects. Glow reveals hidden textures in your photos that aren’t visible to the naked eye. While you may not want to apply Glow on every image, you can take your creativity to the next level with this awesome plug-in.

Glow comes packed with 70 filters which you can use as is or you have complete artistic control to customize, combine and tweak to make your vision come to life.

Topaz Glow is regularly priced at $69.99 but until December 31, 2014 you can pick up Glow for $49.99 using the coupon code INTROGLOW.

Here are a few of my images processed with Topaz Glow. Click on each image to see a larger version.

Topaz Glow, Topaz Labs, sunflower, flower

Topaz Glow, Topaz Labs, Italy, Tuscany, door, blue, travel photography

Topaz Glow, Topaz Labs, Paris, Louvre, night photography, long exposure, travel photography


Beware of the Dog

Every so often I get this boost of creativity and feel inspired to do something different, even a little outrageous with one of my images. This was the case with this image that I captured when we arrived at San Quirico D’Orcia in Tuscany

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RAW file

This is the image straight out of the camera. I haven’t done a thing to it. What I love about this scene is the layer upon layer of the buildings and how the converge. As I stared at it on my computer screen I wondered what it would look like if the buildings were slanted and those stone walls started to squeeze together. I used the “pinch” artistic filter in Photoshop, at about 55%, to bring the stone walls in and the back buildings forward forcing the centre door to inch closer. That looked pretty cool but I still wanted to make it a bit more ominous looking. I had a black and white image of a dark and cloudy sky and used that as a texture overlay using the blending mode “multiply” at 100% opacity. I then used a layer mask to bring back some of the detail in the walls and selectively lighten certain areas.

As you can see from the original image Fido was nowhere to be seen. He is from that village. I captured him only moments earlier standing on one of those high walls. I used the Quick Selection tool to select only him from the image he was in, created a new layer from the selection and then dropped him into this image.  And there you have it…Beware of the Dog!

I don’t do these often but its fun experimenting. I would love to know what you think.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Italy, village, San Quirico D'Orcia, Tuscany, composite, fine art, dog, travel photography

 


Rolling Hills of Tuscany

The beauty of Tuscany never ceases to amaze me. As you drive through Tuscany these scenes are all around you forcing you to pull over and just marvel at its beauty.

I entered this image in my clubs Print Competition and I found out last week that it came in second. I’m very proud that it was recognized but I have to say it was one point less then the winning image so I was a little disappointed.

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

Tuscany, hills, countryside, Montepulciano, travel photography


Ristorante

San Quirico D’Orcia is a small medieval town located between Pienze and Montalcino. The town is encircled by fortified walls and walking through the tiny streets throws you back to a time long forgotten. The historic city centre is home to about 2,500 inhabitants and there are 4 entrances into the city along the wall. All roads lead to the Piazza della LibertĂ  which is the heart of the town.

As with all small, Tuscan town today one can find stores selling cheeses and pasta, leather goods and of course small restaurants offering homemade delicacies that one can only dream of at home.

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

 

San Quirico D'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy, restaurant, travel photography, village