flowers, photography


Well, the limit of only one shot per week is already too much for me so I shall rename this project, at-least-one-flower-per-week 🙂

A few weeks ago I jumped in and purchased a piece of software called Topaz Texture Effects 2. I already use Lightroom to catalogue and to process RAW shots (I always shoot raw so I have the maximum information recorded), and I occasionally use Photoshop Elements 14. I also regularly use two of the NIK plug-ins: Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro 4. Yep – sounds like a lot, but it depends what it is I want to do with a photo. Silver Efex Pro gives amazing control with the processing of black and white shots, and Color Efex Pro has some very useful presets to extract a little more detail, or for a blur vignette, or for a coloured vignette. However, Topaz Texture Effects 2 give me the gift of speed when working with textures. I can pull up a shot and hover my mouse over textures in a side column to see how they would look on my shot. Previously, I would have had to open both the picture and the texture in PSE, check it out, play with the blend mode etc and then have to delete all of that if it doesn’t quite work the way I thought it would. This software from Topaz is amazing! Although it comes with built in textures, you can also add your own. Very useful. So, here are two shots from my garden this morning so you can see how the new software is going:


I know that the idea of using textured overlays in photography wont be everyone’s cup of tea and indeed, it’s not always mine – but I do like the painterly effect that it gives to flower shots. What’s more, they have now made their base editing software, Topaz Studio, free to all. Check it out. I have downloaded it and will post a review when I get a chance to have a really good mooch round.

Until next week . . .


Week 2 of my flower-a-week blog already. Wow, that flew by!

This week, I have been getting more comfortable with some new software from Topaz called Topaz Texture Effects 2. It allows me to process my flower shots further and get a more painterly effect. I never could get to grips with paint and brushes so this is one way I can create ‘art’. Not that I plan to move away from straight, clear, sharp flower shots but this is a different way to try to convey how the flowers look to me – as delicate, fragile things that have some kind of mysterious or ethereal quality.

This particular shot was taken in a walled garden at an old stately home just a few miles down the road – Elvaston Castle. I grew up in the village just down the road and spent a lot of time there in my childhood. It’s nice to be able to go back as an adult and see it all in a whole new way.

Anyhow – less rambling and more pictures 🙂 For this weekly blog, I am posting both the ‘before’ and the ‘after’ shot. You may prefer one or the other, or like me, you may like both for different reasons. Or perhaps you don’t like either. That’s the thing with art – one man’s delight is another’s disaster.

Until next week . . .


flowers, photography · Uncategorized


In light of all of the political debate flying around, I thought it may be time to start the project I have had in mind for some while now: a weekly flower photo blog. In theory, I will post a photograph for each week of the year – whether or not that will work in practise is yet to be seen!

My aim throughout the year is to build in both my knowledge of photography techniques, and my knowledge of flowers – both the garden variety and the wild flowers we see out on walks locally. I am sure there will be some interaction with software and further learning curves too.

So, here goes with week 1: Moon daisies in the morning light.