Doilies – Would Grandma Approve?

A Collage of Doilies. What would Grandma think if she saw some of her handiwork hanging on the wall!?

red wall, starched

Doilies with the FotoSketcher Emergence filter
Doilies with the FotoSketcher Dots filter
Doilies with the GIMP Stained Glass filter

Do you have any of your Grandma’s  or Grandpa’s treasures displayed in your house?

This week’s Photo Challenge is Collage.

Arizona, Washington, and Germany – An Artistic Look at Bridges

‘Post processing’ or photo editing can not only slightly improve a photo, it can extensively alter it! Here are a few ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples I applied to photos of Bridges.

Bamberg is an beautiful example of an early medieval town in central Europe. It has a large number of surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings. It is crisscrossed by many rivers, winding canals, and bridges. Some of the bridges are old and famous and some, like this one, are more modern, but don’t detract from the architecture of the surrounding buildings.

After: FotoSketcher Watercolor filter

In keeping with the feel of an ancient European City, I used a Watercolor filter.


Before: Deception Pass Bridge, Washington

Deception Pass Bridge is the common name for two, two-lane bridges that connect Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island in the U.S. state of Washington. Pass Island lies between the two bridges.

After: FotoSketcher Emergence Filter

I used a filter called Emergence, which is really a series of triangles. I like the way they highlighted the red rose hips.


Navajo Bridge – The original Navajo Bridge was completed and opened to traffic in January 1929. Prior to the building of the bridge, the only way to cross the Colorado River and its formidable gorge was at Lee’s Ferry a short distance upstream. Construction on a new, wider bridge began in May of 1993. The old bridge became a walking bridge.

After: Pencil Sketch filter

I used a Pencil Sketch Filter – just because…


Have you experimented with using filters on your photos? Which program do you use?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Bridge.

Sunflowers – Life Imitates Art

I love big, bold Sunflowers. Here I’ve asked one of them to Imitate works of Art.

“Like when the Orchids in the ditch pretended to be the “Old Masters“, my sunflower asked?

“Yes”, I replied. “Much like The Mona Orchid by Margio da Antelope Street and Someone’s Mother by Margy (a Whistling Bird is nearby). Pose for me, sunflower, and I will use some digital magic!

The Sunflower if painted by a pointillist artist working in cube shapes.

The Sunflower if painted in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Sunflower New Mexico

The Sunflower as photographed against dark clouds.

So, do you think my Sunflower looks like a piece of art?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Life Imitates Art

Hibiscus Flower – Photo Effects

Thanks go to Mike at Mike Hardisty Photography for the suggestion of a program that quickly and easily applies interesting effects to photographs. The program is called FotoSketcher. I downloaded it, fed it the Hibiscus photo from my previous post (How to Turn a Photo into a Sketch), and let it work some magic.

The magic is produced by something called algorithms. You might remember these tricky little math wizards from when you were in school. In the computer world, an algorithm is a set of instructions that takes your data and switches it around. In the case of a photo, the algorithm will transform your photo in some manner. I tried out three of the many effects available in the program’s menu.


For this photo, I used the effect called Cartoon1.


In this photo I used the effect called Emergence.


In the last photo, I used the effect called Pixelation.

The program has many more effects. It is an easy program to use, though you do need a bit of patience as you wait for it to create the drawing. Good art takes time, though, doesn’t it!

While I am on algorithms, I thought you might be interested in a TED Talk by Kevin Slavin. He explains some of the ways algorithms are used in the world we live in – espionage, stock prices, movie scripts and architecture are just a few topics he discusses. He also explains the dangers he sees in the development of this artificial intelligence.
How else are algorithms used? Here is a slightly different take on our future.
Your Life is an Algorithm, Your Brain is an Operating System

FotoSketcher is a 100% free program for Windows which converts your digital photos into art automatically and in just a few mouse clicks. Over 20 different styles are available from pencil sketches to watercolor or oil paintings, pen & ink drawings and cartoons.
You can also improve your original photos with simple tools (enhance contrast, sharpen, simplify image, increase luminosity, color saturation etc…) and add simple or realistic frames and text.
– David – author of FotoSketcher –