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Image Processing and Workflow RAW, DNG , TIFF and JPG. From Capture to Ready for Publish/Display. All software and techniques used within an image workflow, (except extensive retouching and repair or DAM).

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  #1  
Old September 29th, 2017, 03:05 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default Ce n'est pas une photo: Using Filters to Mimic Technique of Drawing & Painting

You are hereby encouraged and implored to critique any use of filters and invited to add your own examples, before and after using a digital filter. But first some background on what we claim is our passion, "photography".




Ce n'est pas une photo


Serious photographers might frown on use of digital filters in their photography, as it is altering the image and frankly a manipulation, a cheat and a lie! Well, to tell the truth, digital photography and even analog photography is always some distorted and incomplete version of the "truth"! Let me elucidate....or else jump to the second post and the subject of "digital filters in our own photography"!

Since the 16th century, at least, the principle of the camera obscure, (essentially a darkened box with a pin hole), could be used to generate an image. Then came a device that allowed portraitists to exploit this phenomenon to draw a person sitting in front of them.




Artist's would put an object or person in front of their device and use a pencil to trace the image on paper.





What photography achieved was having photosensitive chemicals in the paper, make the pencil unnecessary! The light itself created the marks instead of the pencil. So this was "light-drawing" or "photo"-"graph"! The tracing device of portraitists then came to be called a "Camera Lucida". No one thought any new name was needed when film camera companies used the exact same outer forms, with much of the same buttons or dials, to deliver an apparatus that needed no film to record an image. More remarkably, the new "digital" cameras, used all the valuable and beloved lenses of real film cameras. So, no one challenged the concept that "photography" had merely evolved.


I agree with Maris Rusis that a truly genuine photograph has to be analog. The photograph was so termed as a picture was made of what was in front of the camera, by light "drawing" it on the sensitized paper. Just like a pencil lays down marks of the "camera obscura" image on a page. Only analog film and the like can do that. By contrast, silicon wafers used in digital imaging are never "marked" by the photoelectric process, just the "light wells" or "sensels" act as temporary pint point collectors of electric charge. Electrical circuits and software convert the accumulated charge to an analog signal for assembling a facsimile of that image projected on the silica. It's a wonderful process for recording, (albeit indirectly), the arrival of light enenrgy at a surface. However, nothing is written! For the absolute purist, therefore, digital photography is a misnomer as it is really digital recording of portions of the light flux arriving at a surface, not all arriving components, as occuring in classical photography.

Well, too bad, one can say, as the new digital processes are now established and breaking new boundaries, and for some the only kind of photography they have ever known!

A new name did not get coined when technology delivered "digital", photosensitive silica.

But we have moved even further with so-called "digital filters" The patterns of marks made by paint, pencils and crayons have been copied and represented in algorithsms whereby any digital photograph file can be modified to have much of the characteristic marks seen in a genuine drawing or painting!

Lightfield and more: Cameras are now capturing with more than one lens and then allow post processing withing a chosen plane the depth of thecamera's point of view.

So instead of lambasting the increasingly new layers of manipulation as not "kosher", lets simply see how enjoyable the result can be.

If the restyled image evokes richer thoughts and more nuanced emotions or other thoughtful considerations, then the use of filters is justified and can be celebrated.

The danger, of course, is, that the fingerprints of the person taking the picture can get lost and we have an homogenization of individual creativity with so many pictures getting to look alike.

So to use these processes, it is advisable to be very selective and to consider optimizing the controls and the extent of filter use to areas of the image where they make a difference that supports the creative intentions of the artist. As a rule of thumb, I would caution that mostly, we would not likely improve our photographs using such stylized processes.

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; October 2nd, 2017 at 08:42 PM.
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Old September 29th, 2017, 03:29 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Let me start with a photograph made in The city of Overland Kansas Arboretum. I want to share my consideration of creative filters using the Topaz suite of plugins for Photoshop/Lightroom. I start with a jpg files and if I am in love with the result I then process the images from RAW in ACR or Capture One.




Topaz Clarity: Standard processing.

Stitched jpgs corrected for black and white point and given an S curve and some clarity/




Asher Kelman: Lakeside Beyond the Turtles

Autopano Giga Stitch of 2 jpg shots Canon 6D 50m 1.2L
Topaz Clarity




Then I have examined scores of filter options and selected these 3 as offering some new quality that appears to be advantageous in some unique way.


Topaz Impression/Colored Pencils 1




Asher Kelman: Lakeside Beyond the Turtles #2

Autopano Giga Stitch of 2 jpg shots Canon 6D 50m 1.2L
Topaz Impression/Colored Pencils



Topaz Impression/Turner Storms I



Asher Kelman: Lakeside Beyond the Turtles #3

Autopano Giga Stitch of 2 jpg shots Canon 6D 50m 1.2L
Topaz Impression/Turner Storms I




Topaz Impressio/ Da Vinci sketch 1




Asher Kelman: Lakeside Beyond the Turtles #4

Autopano Giga Stitch of 2 jpg shots Canon 6D 50m 1.2L
Topaz Impression/Da Vinci Sketch I



Please comment and also show how you work transform classical workflow to include consideration of digital filters you find adds something special and worthwhile.

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; September 30th, 2017 at 06:23 PM.
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  #3  
Old September 30th, 2017, 07:39 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Asher,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Let me start with a photograph made in The city of Overland Kansas Arboretum. I want to share my consideration of creative filters using the Topaz suite of plugins for Photoshop/Lightroom. I start with a jpg files and if I am in love with the result I then process the images from RAW in ACR or Capture One.
Those works are all lovely, each in its own way.

This type of processing allows those of us who can't paint (I can't even draw a recognizable stick figure) to create very pretty works.

There will be those who will say "that isn't fair" (as was said of exposure metering and autofocus, and of premixed colors for painters) and "that is not a 'photograph' ", or perhaps, "that is not a 'painting' ", which could lead us to a wholly unproductive debate over what those terms mean.

But in fact we have an infinity of tools, and media, and forms, and techniques with which to create art (and let's certainly not get back into an even more nonproductive discussion over what "art" is).

So, Asher, I thank you for these very pleasing art works, in their own right, and for using them to remind us of some of the tools we have.

I close with this picture of Carla from a few years ago, done with a very primitive (and widely reviled) tool:



Douglas A. Kerr: Carla, in fur

Best regards,

Doug
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Old September 30th, 2017, 07:58 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Beautiful and artistic

So Doug, what tool did you use?





Douglas A. Kerr: Carla, in fur



Did you happen to make any personal choices in adjusting or applying the filter or you changed the original to this in one step?

Asher
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Old September 30th, 2017, 08:21 AM
Wolfgang Plattner Wolfgang Plattner is offline
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Huuu, you said "Jehova" ... shame on you, Asher! :-)))

Important is for me to avoid the impression of "doing something like painting", mostly I'm using the painting filters as a base layer to increase the colors, the depth of an image - or to balance the picture on the narrow edge between photography and graphic work.
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Old September 30th, 2017, 01:21 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Hmm Wolfgang, that must have been Siri!

Asher
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Old September 30th, 2017, 03:38 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Asher,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Beautiful and artistic
Thank you. A great subject helped!

Quote:
So Doug, what tool did you use?
That was done with Dynamic Auto Painter.

Quote:
Did you happen to make any personal choices in adjusting or applying the filter or you changed the original to this in one step?
That was actually done in 2009, so I'm not completely sure.

But I think that this one was done using the "Pencil" preset, probably just with the default settings.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old September 30th, 2017, 04:34 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Hi, Asher,



Thank you. A great subject helped!




Douglas A. Kerr: Carla, in fur




Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
That was done with Dynamic Auto Painter.



That was actually done in 2009, so I'm not completely sure.

But I think that this one was done using the "Pencil" preset, probably just with the default settings.

Doug,

This is an effective filter as the think strokes fit well with the essential identity of the fur itself, fine lines. What this algorithm does no nicely here is help isolate the subject from the background in a way that looks like Carla was quickly sketched in the fur shop by the resident artist, as I have observed so many times when I worked for a furrier in London.

This case is a good example of the filter fitting the subject and providing "immediacy".

Asher
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Old October 1st, 2017, 12:12 AM
Wolfgang Plattner Wolfgang Plattner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Hmm Wolfgang, that must have been Siri!

Asher
Hehehe

here are two examples for my approach:

balancing the edge:


increasing depth of colors and (I hope so) the depth of the picture

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Old October 1st, 2017, 08:28 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Effective, Wolfgang!






The first one I never would have thought of myself. Can you share which filter you might have used, if you recall? Did you first adjust white and black points, add and S-curve and acuity perhaps?

Doug was successful using his filter in one step!

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; October 1st, 2017 at 10:47 PM.
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Old October 1st, 2017, 09:59 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I asked Maris about his view of digital filters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maris Rusis
I can't find a reason why digitally filtered pictures, of themselves, are worth looking at. Maybe they are to the eye as bubblegum is to the teeth: engaging but not nourishing. The "of themselves" caveat is crucial though. I look at your digi-graphs, not because they are interesting, but because you are interesting. What you give your imprimatur to, what you select, what you endorse by the act of showing, gives me insights into your polyvalent creativity. That's fascinating!

Best Regards

Maris
I thought you would find Maris' take interesting.

Asher
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Old October 1st, 2017, 10:36 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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So there is a huge wide spectrum of potential reaction to not only whether or not digital imaging can rise to the quality of classical photography. But even when we simply jump over that hurdle, as most do today, we are faced with new challenges. Let's just call a digital image equal in most practical respects in serviceability and esthetics as a classic image.

Then what about the use of creative filters, those that impart a style, as if a skilled artisan worked on it. Is this just unimportant and trivial entertainment? When with one click a filter can impart a kind of facsimile or "caricature" of a famous painter's style, with no schooling or training, what are we doing?

Are we eroding and cheapening both the value of the hard-earned craft of personal drawing and painting styles?

Is this a devaluation akin to providing both contraceptives and antibiotics, and so opening the floodgates that bipass marriage as a necessity for comfort of young men and women?

Today perhaps, there is less value in being a disciplined portrait painter as anyone with a camera and some practice can get to a commendable result without much hard labor!

I like thebideas of creative filters, but am very wary of cloning personal styles and brush strokes of individual famous artists.

I see a need for understanding what we are trying to do with texture, tonalities, opposing, balancing and complementary elements.

Meanwhile, just like a kiss on the cheek and a drink at a Christmas party is a delight, it id frivolous!

I think we want more than that. Much more!

Asher
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Old October 2nd, 2017, 11:58 AM
Wolfgang Plattner Wolfgang Plattner is offline
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Hi

Asher asked for the sources of the Blue Morning:

the basic shot (as far I remember there was no correction but a little sharpness and slight contrast)


and the settings in PS
I used a preset by ON1 Photo RAW from Scott Davenport did some layers work with different blendmodes and masking

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Old October 2nd, 2017, 05:55 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I now understand what you did. You masked the new version to keep the dark figure except for some backlighting in his hair.




I now have to try that filter!


What about the blue, was that part of the action?

Asher
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Old October 2nd, 2017, 08:37 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Lets look again at the first filter with a photograph made in The city of Overland Kansas Arboretum. I will try to justify my use of the filter.




Topaz Clarity: Standard processing.

Stitched jpgs corrected for black and white point and given an S curve and some clarity/




Asher Kelman: Lakeside Beyond the Turtles

Autopano Giga Stitch of 2 jpg shots Canon 6D 50m 1.2L
Topaz Clarity




Then I have examined scores of filter options and selected these 3 as offering some new quality that appears to be advantageous in some unique way.


Topaz Impression/Colored Pencils 1




Asher Kelman: Lakeside Beyond the Turtles #2

Autopano Giga Stitch of 2 jpg shots Canon 6D 50m 1.2L
Topaz Impression/Colored Pencils


Let me explain what I thought I gained from this manipulation. The individual strokes of the pencil "drawing-style" breaks up the continuous "surface" that a photograph appears to create out of individual plants and leaves. The detail provided, however is nothing like reality, but it does seem to effectively trick the brain. To me theboicture appears less "heavy" and made up now of a multitude of plant elements as opposed to a fabrics of almost contours camouflage greens!

Do you agree? I could be delusional in this too!

Asher
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Old October 3rd, 2017, 05:21 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Couple Strolling at Sunset


Here I have merely adjusted the lighting of the single picture in Adobe Camera RAW in two versions. One fro the couple and the other for the background.






Asher Kelman: Couple Strolling at Sunset #1
Overland Arboretum, Spetember 2017
Canon 5DII 50mm 1.2L






But how to strengthen the essence of the image? I have already made sure theleaves above and to the left were well illuminated to show the direction of the failing light. I have darkened the left and lower edges. But still the couple lacked the romance I would imagine from all the French pleine air pictures I have appreciated. I tried a lot of filters, but just this by Edward Hopper added a defining bright layer to the right of the couopple and gave texture to build the persons out of an otherwise unemotional media.






Asher Kelman: Couple Strolling at Sunset #2
Overland Arboretum, Spetember 2017
Canon 5DII 50mm 1.2L
Topaz Impression - Edward Hopper II





I think that the result is much stronger emphasis on the couple andthere appears to be more empathy for them as people. Am I correct?



Asher
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Old October 3rd, 2017, 05:47 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Did I need to use the Topaz Impression filter?


So I went back to my image developed from RAW and went through increasing the exposure and masking out what I thought didnt need extra light. I just did this from memory without having the Topaz Impression filter derivative to reference at the time. So here again is the result with the Topaz filter:





Asher Kelman: Couple Strolling at Sunset #2
Overland Arboretum, September 2017
Canon 5DII 50mm 1.2L
Topaz Impression - Edward Hopper II




...and this is the result with taking pains to illuminate what I needed brighter, more carefully.






Asher Kelman: Couple Strolling at Sunset #3
Overland Arboretum, September 2017
Canon 5DII 50mm 1.2L
No Topaz Impression, Just masked layers
of increased exposure around the couple!



So did the extra effort with standard Photoshop exposure adjustment add up to the value delivered by the Topaz filter? You tell me?

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; October 4th, 2017 at 12:09 AM.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 02:29 AM
Wolfgang Plattner Wolfgang Plattner is offline
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Hi Asher

I don't see any benefit using TopazLab's Impression on that picture, except you want a "paint-like" ambience.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 06:32 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang Plattner View Post
Hi Asher

I don't see any benefit using TopazLab's Impression on that picture, except you want a "paint-like" ambience.
Wolfgang,

That exercise made me put far more effort in selectively lighting the photograph as that really is what that Topaz impression filter was doing the most. Amazing that all those personal decisions I was energized to now make, are automatically done by the filter. Having said that, perhaps one use for such a filter is to demonstrate how a robust file can be pushed and pulled to something stronger without posterization.

So I am learning a lot by trying to find out what it is about the some favorite filter that I really value, so I can process images more intelligently, pushing boundaries that have limited my creativity.

Asher
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Old October 7th, 2017, 02:15 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Ho là là !

How one can say «*truly genuine photograph has to be analog.*» ?

«a picture was made of what was in front of the camera, by light "drawing" it on the sensitized paper*»

What’s the difference between paper, film or sensor ?

To make a photo graph the light has to be captured and fixed onto a material. paper, wood, metal, film, sensel, whatever works.

I have made my own choice for long now, and I leave the choice to others.
The important fact is that one is glad with the result one wanted to achieve.
Dot.

This debate IMHO should no longer exists has it has no objective reason but is doctrinal only.

Now about filters, I don’t think they are helping those who wish to be creative…
Pre-built filters are like in camera algorithms making jpeg from the raw capture.
One leave to others, engineers, technicians of camera makers the choice on how to process the file. Just like in the film times one had to choose between different film brands and category (fuji, Kodak, Agfa etc.) with pre built sensitivity, chroma capacities, contrasts etc (Ektachrome/Kodakrome, Tri X etc.)

Now with the age of digital, photographers have all these choices and much more to develop their file.

Pre-built filters are made to make processes easy, even if some are more less (more less than more!) adjustable…
Learning photo editors such as Photoshop, Gimp and so on will let the photographer become even an illustrator with thousands of possibilities! See charlotte thompson’s works!

In short, digital brings more power for processing, good photo editors give completely free and endless ease of editing.
In short 2, feel free to use any medium that fit your aim and make you glad with the results!
In both case: provided that you have your own vision!

Last edited by Nicolas Claris; October 8th, 2017 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old October 7th, 2017, 06:29 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Claris View Post
Ho là là !





In short, digital brings more power for processing, good photo editors give completely free and endless ease of editing.
In short 2, feel free to use any medium that fit your aim and make you glad with the results!
In both case: provided that you have your own vision!

Nicolas,

At last, you have arrived! Wisdom indeed!

I call it "fingerprints", as they represents that you leave your own mark, whereas you talk of "vision" which is an intent to express one's own imagination. Hopefully "vision" predicts and informs what we do!

Asher
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  #22  
Old October 8th, 2017, 12:15 AM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Nicolas,

At last, you have arrived! Wisdom indeed!
LoL! I'm getting old ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
I call it "fingerprints", as they represents that you leave your own mark, whereas you talk of "vision" which is an intent to express one's own imagination. Hopefully "vision" predicts and informs what we do!

Asher
Right!
Allow me to borrow the term fingerprints (empreinte en français), and I'll change my conclusion ;) :

In short, digital brings more power for processing, good photo editors give completely free and endless ease of editing.
In short 2, feel free to use any medium that fit your aim and make you glad with the results!
In both case: provided that you have your own vision!
Then, you might have a chance to leave your fingerprints… That's what I call "talent"
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Old October 8th, 2017, 01:03 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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You may want to try ostagram, a Russian web site. It allows to combine two images via a neural network. You can combine a photograph with a painting, like this:

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Old October 8th, 2017, 12:28 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
You may want to try ostagram, a Russian web site. It allows to combine two images via a neural network. You can combine a photograph with a painting, like this:

Thanks so much, Jerome!

So what is the wonder that is added to make it so wonderful?

It seems that the algorithm conserves the outline of the main subject from the photo and then fills it with the amaller detail of the "painting". This idea is used by advertising illustrators who might, for example, use a giant photograph of a famous music conductor, and then add to his black long-tailed jacket, night photoscapes of that very city holding the symphony performance. Very dramatic!

This Russian link you provide does that and more. I find this concept for turning a regular photograph or snap into something blazingly attractive, a positive general concept. It goes further than the digital filters I am used to. These do a great job of adding emphasis, flourish and rank to features of a photograph, while unifying all the components in some related texture or other effect.

Well, Jerome, what you have shown is is far, far richer!

It has the potential to add a motif that is both impressive and strengthens what was simply a good picture of a something or a person, to have extra connection to some other cause, purpose or identity.

Thanks so much!

Asher
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