Friday, December 1, 2006

Fine-Art Conversion

Recently, my good friend Karen Ippolito e-mailed me a fun self-portrait. Karen is a good photographer and a talented artist who has taken many creative photographs with her Canon EOS 5D. However, for this self-portrait, she used a tiny point-and-shoot digital camera.
By Rick Sammon Published in Quick Fix

44. I like infrared photography, so to simulate that effect, I went to Filter > Distort > Diffused Glow and played around with the sliders until I was pleased with the result. When you use this filter, don't settle for your first choice of settings. Experiment and take control of this filter.

One of the coolest filters is Render Lighting Effects (Filter > Render > Lighting Effects). When you choose it, you get a dialog box that gives you a tremendous amount of control over the lighting in an image. I chose Spotlight as the Light Type and experimented with the Exposure, Intensity and placement of the spotlight until I liked the effect. Now the picture looks like a studio shot, taken with a professional lighting system.

6. To add an artful frame to the image, I used a Camera filter in onOne Software's PhotoFrame Pro 3 ( The frame I created is just one of a million or so custom frames you can create-if you use all the controls in this plug-in.

As a final touch, I added a black border around the edges of the picture. I used the Rectangular Marquee tool and selected an area of about 1?8 inch inside the frame (Select > Inverse).

Look closely, and you'll see one more enhancement. Check out the whites of Karen's eyes. I used the Dodge tool on the Toolbar to lighten them, which draws more attention to her eyes.

As you can probably tell, I had a lot of fun working on Karen's shot! Now it's your turn to transform your own shots into more artful images.

Rick Sammon has published 27 books, including his latest work, Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photography. You can meet Rick at the PCPhoto/Outdoor Photographer Magazine seminars. Visit Sammon's website at for more information.

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