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Mid-summer Mad Photoshop Skillz

Mid-summer Mad Photoshop Skillz

July 27, 2018 ~ These triple-digit days are too much for getting out and chasing birds. We ventured out twice around the 4th of July with the rain and clouds and then one barely productive afternoon at Surfside. Too hot for even architecture. So... I have been spending a lot of time watching TV (OMG have you seen The Americans?) and playing with my new tablet. 

The pink madness above is a composite using a flower I found at Quintana and some Roseate Spoonbills from High Island. Plus a field of pink wildflowers I found in my archives. And then a bit of Fractalius to make it all dreamy and wispy. 

Composite Green Heron imported to Sugar Land

The Wacom tablet (and the adjustable inclined surface) is super for making selections with a pen instead of the mouse. We each got the 27HDQ model but it has been replaced with a slightly smaller version called the 24 Creative Pro. If you are interested in one, this new size is still YUGE. I love the programable remote - set it up for changing brush sizes, zooming and a lot of commands. You won't really need your keyboard for editing. 

On this one, I selected the Green Heron and his perch from a Brazos Bend image and placed him on a new background shot from Bill Maroldo's flower garden. Much nicer than the messy dead branches in his original habitat.

Hope he is happy in his new digs. 

Composite BCNH on building with a dash of Topaz Glow

And here is a another bird from Brazos Bend. Remember the Black-crowned Night Heron we found fishing at Elm Lake? Here he is as a mural on that fancy soccer stadium we have on the east side of downtown Houston. The BBVA Compass Stadium is in that trendy redone area which feels so alien to me. Instead of light industry and bungalows, it has many expensive townhouses and even a train to the corporate skyline.

Did you know that area even has a name? EaDo. 

Experiments in mirroring

One of the other shows I binged was Bosch. Really good cop show and I was hugely influenced by the opening titles. I think they even won some art awards for them. Even though it was video, I loved the mirrored-upside down look. This is an old shot of the lake at Herman Park taken one winter long ago. I copied the image, flipped it horizontally and vertically and matched up the fountain. 

It is fun going through old images and doing something new with them. 

More mirrored fantasies

One trip last Spring to Lafitte's Cove for warblers, we stopped and took a few shots of the fancy houses. The water was totally calm and I had always wanted to do something with the images.

Go ahead and click the link if you want to see some drool-worthy real estate porn. 

Stairway to ....

And then Bill discovered the Flame tool in Photoshop CC. You have to draw a path and tweak the flame settings a bit, but it is great fun if you video card has enough RAM. This was from Green Street downtown a few years ago.

Bill's comment on our summer weather...

Ummm... highly appropriate for this time of year, right? You know the circular walkway downtown Houston at the old Enron building? We have photographed it dozens of times, and plan to do a night shot there one of these days. 

Even the Skimmers are HOT!

This is another of Bill's creations. He has mostly been doing flowers and bugs in his backyard all summer. And collecting wood for future projects. We helped cut down some giant bamboo in the neighborhood, and he got some pieces of oak from the leaning tree I had removed from my back yard. I have been archiving photos and putting off some DIY house projects. 

We were talking the other afternoon... just a bit more July, then suffer through August. Fall migration will start soon, we saw four Wood Storks at Anahuac in July and saw some Marbled Godwits last week. Soon we will see more Ospreys and hawks and ... before you know it the Sandhill Cranes will be back! 

Are you beating the heat? What about inside projects or expanding your editing skills? Or do you just vege out on the couch with Netflix? Let me know how your summer is shaping up in the comments below.

One Reddish Egret from Different Points of View

One Reddish Egret from Different Points of View

Rockin' the Reddish Egrets

Rockin' the Reddish Egrets