Writing with Light

Posts tagged “OnOne Perfect Effects

Toronto Centre for the Arts

The Toronto Centre for the Arts, located in the north part of Toronto opened it’s doors in 1993 as the North York Performing Arts Centre. It’s name was later changed to the Ford Centre for Performing Arts after a major donation was made and later renamed to its current name…The Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Last week I had the opportunity to photograph the interior of the centre.  Access was arranged by my photography club and I and 15 other inconspicuous, tripod toting individuals descended upon tho slovenly space. The unfortunate part was that the Main Stage was off limits as a show was being set up at the time. We did however have access to one of the smaller theatres and the lovely Art Deco lower and upper lobby.

The challenge in photographing in an interior space such as this, with close to 30 photographers, is that inevitably someone walks through your shot. As respectful and mindful as you try to be it just happens when you have that many photographers. On the flip side the advantage to attending one of these types of outings is that you can share ideas and techniques with like minded individuals.

Here’s one view of the lower lobby processed in both colour and black and white. What I love about this space this the Art Deco look and when I looked at all the converging lines and details I thought this would look great in B&W. Which do you prefer? I can tell you that I asked my son the same question last night and he unequivocally choose the colour. I’m undecided.

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

Toronto Centre for the Arts, lobby, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre

Toronto Centre for the Arts, lobby, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre, Black and White, Monochrome


Play Misty For Me

I captured this image last fall when I was out photographing on Ward Island. It was a fog filled afternoon and evening and I never got the sunset that I was after. This is the path leading to the water with a view of the Toronto skyline.

After processing in LR5 I ran the image through OnOne Perfect Effects and added the Glow preset.

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

Toronto, Ward Island, path, mist, fog, walkers, romantic, city island,

Fifth Avenue Building

Here’s another image of the Flatiron building in Manhattan and as the title suggests it’s located on 5th Avenue. I wanted to give this image a vintage, turn of the century postcard look keeping with the 1902 date of completion of the building. The gold street clock has been there since 1909 and I wanted to go back in time (no pun intended) to what a photograph might have looked like if it was taken back then.

I converted the image to monochrome using OnOne’s Perfect Black and White and then Perfect Effects for the postcard border.

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

Flatiron building, New York, Manhattan, vintage, postcard, building, architecture, monochrome, clock, fifth avenue


While at the workshop at the Rockwood Autoyard this past weekend, I broke off from the group to go do a little exploring on my own and I came upon this scene. Remember in my last post I said that there was a foggy mist that enveloped the area? See what I mean.

After some minor adjustments in Photoshop I ran the image through Topaz Clarity to give it a bit more definition and then Perfect B&W to desaturate and give it a bit of a mysterious feel.

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

forest, mist, fog, Ontario, mysterious, trees, path, nature, landscape

Santa Barbara Harbour Abstraction

Before we hit LA we spent 2 days in Santa Barbara and I absolutely fell in love with the place. The beautiful harbour front, the quaint downtown area and the friendly people made me wish we were staying longer.

I took this image of the harbour from the wharf while we were waiting to be seated for lunch.

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

Santa Barbara, California, harbor, sailboats, abstract, pacific ocean, surreal, wharf

Speaking of lunch, if you’re ever in Santa Barbara you must go to Brophy Bros. After checking in to our hotel we asked at the front desk if they could recommend a good local restaurant. We were sent to Brophy Bros. I have to tell you the baked clams were the best I have ever had. And the oysters. And the shrimps. Ok…I’m making myself hungry and I really want to go back.

Santa Barbara, California, restaurant, Brophy Brothers, Brophy Bros., seafood, wharf, clams, sign

Waiting For A Fare

As I was walking to Faneuil Hall I came across this horse & carriage. As an added bonus the caleche driver was standing there waiting for a fare. His costume and the surrounding buildings threw me into a time warp and I kept thinking that when I get home and process this image it would probably look good as an old vintage photograph.

Below are two versions, the scene as I saw it and a slightly distressed, vintage version.  Let me know which one you prefer.

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

Boston, caleche, horse, Faneuil Hall, street photography, horse and buggy, Topaz Clarity

Boston, caleche, horse, Faneuil Hall, street photography, horse and buggy, Topaz Clarity, vintage, monochrome

Books & Old Prints

Walking along the Freedom Trail in Boston and making my way purposefully towards Boston Common, an awning caught my attention as I walked past a small alley way.  I stopped and decided to check it out and I’m really glad that I did. Not only was this a picture perfect opportunity but I had a great time browsing through the bookstore.  I’m always lamenting the fact that the big box bookstores have taken over the landscape. I miss these little bookstores where every nook & cranny is stuffed with old tomes and it has that slightly musty smell of books.

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

book store, alley, Freedom Trail, Boston, travel photography

Spring in the Public Gardens

One of my favorite activities in Boston was strolling through Boston Common and the Public Gardens. It was beautiful day and people were out strolling with their kids, walking their dogs and taking pictures of the cherry blossoms. I ran this image through OnOne Perfect Effects to give it a bit of an ethereal and vintage feel.

I’ve also had an opportunity to test the bet version of Topaz Labs newest plug in Topaz Clarity and I’m really liking it so far. I used it to process another park image which I posted to my Facebook page yesterday. You can have a look at it here.

Next week is shaping up to be a busy one on the blog. I’ll have a full review of Topaz Clarity as well as a new Craft & Vision ebook release that I’ll be reviewing and I think you’ll really like this one.

Click on the image to enlarge (the detail is really much better) or to Purchase a Print.

Boston Common, public gardens, park, spring, cherry blossoms

French Quarter Vespa

I just loved everything about this little scene… the green shutters, the moulding around the windows, the Vespa with the stuffing coming out of the seat. It was just yelling at me to take a picture 🙂

On a side note have you heard about HDR Tennis on Facebook? HDR Tennis is a friendly game where the administrators of the page (all photographers) work on the same set of brackets that is provided by one of the admins. The different versions are then posted and then the public gets to vote on their favourite version. The brackets are also shared  with the public who can download them, process the image using their own HDR tools and putting their particular spin on the final image. The image is then shared and voted on. Game 31 has just been posted and yours truly supplied the brackets this time around. The Admins provided some fantastic and inspirational final images. Check it out and have fun. 

I usually share HDR Tennis announcements and images that I don’t post on my site to my Edith Levy Photography Facebook page. If you haven’t yet come on over and “Like” my page.

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

New orleans, French Quarter, Vespa, travel, city

Icy Abstracts

A bit of a departure from what I’ve been posting lately but I thought I would mix things up a little. I was walking my dog on Saturday when I noticed some beautiful icicles forming on the tree outside my house. After we got in (and Brady got his treat) I grabbed my camera, put on my Tamron 90mm Macro lens and headed outdoors.

I processed the first image in Photoshop then ran it through Topaz Simplify to give it a bit more of a stylized look. You can download any of the Topaz plugins for a free trial and don’t forget to use the discount code ELPHOTO for a 15% savings.

Click on the images to enlarge (the detail is much better) or to Purchase a Print.

icicle, ice, abstract, macro

icicle, ice, abstract, macro

Grand Dining

One of the nicest things about being on a cruise is the dining experience, especially when you have dinner in the main dining room. The service is excellent, the food is delicious, the wine sublime and our week onboard the Navigator of the Sea was no exception. When we stepped into the dining room I felt as if I was walking into the dinner scene from Hello Dolly. Our waiter, Stefan was exceptional and tended to our every need. Actually I knew I was in trouble when on our first evening I couldn’t decide between two desserts. Stefan looked at me and said…”that’s not a problem…I’ll bring both.” Oy!

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

dining room, cruise, ship, navigator of the sea, interior

Jackson Square

Jackson Square originally began as the Place D’Armes in 1721, a military parade grounds and site for public hangings. The square was renamed in 1856 to honour Andrew Jackson, the hero of the battle of New Orleans in the war of 1812 and later U.S. President. It is located in the centre of the French Quarter and today it’s a hub of activity filled with artists, musicians, tarot card readers and tourists.

If you want to capture the beauty and stillness of this place then a sunrise shoot is a must. Even at 6:30 in the morning artists were already arriving staking their piece of real estate for the day.

I processed this image in Black & White as well (which I quite liked). You can see that on my Facebook Page.

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

New Orleans, NOLA, Jackson Square, benches, sunrise, dawn, travel photography

A Cool Place To Eat

A couple of months ago I headed down to Buffalo with my family and thanks to Guy Fieri (of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives) we tried the Lake Effect Diner. This diner is circa 1952 and was originally located in Wayne, Pennsylvania. It was saved from demolition and moved to Buffalo in 2001 where it was renovated and equipped with a state of the art kitchen. I love old diners and the best part of all of this…(Guy was right) the food was excellent.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better or to Purchase a Print.

Lake Effects Diner, Buffalo, New York, diner, retro, vintage

Which Gerber? Another Close Up View

This is another image that I shot at my Close-Up Photography workshop last weekend. After processing the RAW file in colour I felt that this image would be a good candidate to make into a fine art B&W image. When I posted the first image I took at the workshop (which you can see here) I was asked by some of you which lens  I used and my settings.

Everything was shot with natural light and the use of reflectors.

This image was shot at f/2.8, 1/8s ISO 100

After I processed the RAW file in colour I felt that this image would make a good candidate for a fine art black and white conversion. So know I ask for your opinion, which do you prefer 1) Color 2) Antique B&W (created with OnOne Perfect Effects) or 3) B&W created with Topaz B&W Effects Don’t forget you can save 15% on all Topaz products by using the discount code “ELPhoto” at checkout.

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

macro, flower, gerber

macro, flower, gerber, black and white, antique

Created with OnOne Perfect Effects

macro, flower, gerber, black and white

Created with Topaz B&W Effects

Saying Good-Bye To A Friend

Yesterday was an exceptionally beautiful fall day. It was warm and the sun was shining, the leaves on the trees and the ones that had fallen to the ground were a blanket of glowing reds, yellows and oranges. At that moment I wish I was anywhere but where I was…saying good-bye to a dear and cherished friend.

I know that on Fridays I post my usual iPhone Friday instalment but truth be told the last thing I felt like doing was a blog post or processing images. I then remembered how much my dear friend enjoyed looking at my images and how she always had a word of encouragement for me.

There are people who come into our lives who leave an indelible mark and have a significant impact on the people they touch. My dear friend was such a person.  She was the type of person who you just felt you could confide in and trust. She always made me laugh, always had a kind word to say about others and was always interested, genuinely interested in what was going on in my life and the goings on of my family. If someone was in need; was ill; was going through any kind of strife she was there for them.  She was the epitome of what a wife, mother, daughter and certainly friend is and should be.

Her passing is a profound loss to all that loved and knew her. I know it is for me. There will forever be a hole in my heart.

I miss you Pearl, my dear friend.

Rouge River, Ontario, fall, fall colours, landscape,


Fall in Muskoka

Well the weather turned this weekend in Toronto and it’s now officially fall. I actually had to break out a warmer jacket, which was strange after the glorious summer we’ve had. Although I do admit that fall is my favorite season. This was the perfect weekend to take in all the beautiful fall colours and that’s exactly what I did with a drive to Muskoka.

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

Muskoka, Ontario, fall foliage, fall colours, lake, boat, landscape

Weekly Photo Challenge – Near & Far

I really like the challenge this week but I wanted to challenge myself by not posting a landscape shot with foreground interest and sharp depth of field.

I shot this a couple of weeks ago when visiting vineyards in Niagara on the Lake. A bit of a different perspective.

vineyards, wine country, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, wineglass

Beautiful Burano

We saw Woody Allen’s latest film this weekend, To Rome With Love and that of course made me go back to some of my Italy images. There’s still so many I haven’t shared so I thought I would take you back to Italy today and the beautiful, colourful island of Burano. Burano is located in the Venetian Lagoon. The island is approximately 11km from Venice or a short 45 minute veperatto ride (water bus).

This image is not an HDR. I processed the RAW file through OnOne Perfect Effects and then used Topaz Adjust 5 to create a bit more detail in the buildings finishing it up in Photoshop.

Click on the image to enlarge (it does look better) or to purchase a print.

Burano, island, venetian lagoon, Venice, lace,

Sky Light

I hope that all my American friends had a wonderful 4th of July. Keeping with the festivities of the week I wanted to share another fireworks image although I wanted to try something different. I know fireworks should be enjoyed in full living color but I was curious as to how this would turn out if I converted it to B&W. I used OnOne Perfect Effects to do the conversion this time. I was really pleased with the abstract quality. Let me know what you think.

Click to enlarge (it really looks better) or to purchase a print.

fireworks, Canada Day, Ashbridges Bay, Lake Ontario, Toronto, Black White, monochrome, abstract

Stand Tall

Sorry about the post title…I was trying to come up something a little bit more unique and witty but unfortunately I was having one of those creative-title-creating-uninspired mental blocks.  Fortunately though I was feeling a little bit more inspired when I saw this lily as the sun was setting the other day. The top petals were a bit wilted but the base of the lily was standing straight up and the light from the setting sun was shining right through.

Click to enlarge or to purchase print.

Flower, lily

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

A couple of weeks ago I was in Winnipeg on business. My luck it was pouring rain the 3 days that I was there but on the last evening the weather had cleared slightly and I was able to get out with my camera. These images were taken right outside Shaw Park, home of the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

The image below was tone mapped in Photomatix then a magenta filter was applied in Perfect Effects. I then brought the file into Photoshop and used Topaz Lens Effects to create a zoom effect and then used a layer mask to reveal the player.

Shaw park, Winnipeg, Baseball

Shaw Park, Winnipeg Baseball

Take a Trip to Mars

Project 52 Entry #50

Welcome to Mars Diner.

Sometimes your eyes and you brain “see” very different things. Has that ever happened to you? I have a very romantic idea of what a nostalgic diner should look like and while Mars Diner is a fun place it was missing some oomph.

After processing my brackets through Photomatix & Photoshop I then provided some “oomph” using LucisArt and then a touch of glow in OnOne Perfect Effects. This is what my brain saw! The fact that there was a gentleman sitting on the stool and someone behind the counter was sheer luck.

Click image to enlarge (honestly it looks better) or to purchase a print.

Hidden Away

I was up Haliburton, Ontario about a month ago when we were having that glorious weather in Toronto. In wasn’t quite as warm in cottage country but the snow was on its way out and you could smell spring in the air. We stopped to have lunch at a lovely Inn on Eagle Lake, and of course I had to explore the property. Down by the lake was this little boat house with these row boats lying on their sides just waiting for the lake to thaw.

You can click on the image to view a larger version or to purchase a print.

The Corner Store at Via Della Panetteria

Project 52 Entry #44

I was revisiting some of my Italy shots and came across one that I really liked but realized I hadn’t posted. Actually there’s still a few of those.  This was shot on our last day in Rome just walking around the city. I just loved the look of this scene and wanted to capture it all in the frame. The store front, the terracotta colored wall, the bicycle, the signs. It all just fit together so nicely.

Click on the image for a larger more detailed view or to purchase a print.