My wife wonders why I keep take photos when we revisit places we have been to many times. I do have a certain number of photos that an insensitive person might claim are essentially the same.. However, many things change: the lighting, the clouds, the wind and fog, the seasons, the tides and the surf, the people, and human constructions. As you get old, you even start to notice the trees have grown and some have died and gone away, and the dunes shift and cliffs erode. And there are changing animals, birds, and plants. A case in point, recently, was a display of seaweed at Point Lobos.
Spring means spring flowers, and this week we have progressed from daffodils to wisteria. Our subject wisteria is at Filoli Center in Woodside, California.
Woodside is now home to many of Silicon Valley’s uberrich, continuing a tradition of habitats for the wealthy. Filoli was once the estate of the Roth family, who ran the Matson shipping line. In 1975 Mrs. Roth donated the estate, including 43 room mansion and sixteen acres of formal gardens, to the National Historic Trust. It is open to the public, staffed mainly by volunteers. For photographers, the combination of old stone buildings and gardens has a special attraction.
Sometimes the world does not give you much to work with. It’s a good principle in travel sequences to include photos that show what it was like to be at the location. However, while large waves out in the ocean may be integral to the site, photos of distant waves lack drama … and just about every other aspect of photo appeal. One trick is to show tourists reacting to the attraction, rather than just the attraction itself.
Photoshop™ has a number of built-in filters that attempt to convert photo images into artistic renditions. Previously I discussed posterization, sometimes followed by the palette knife filter, to punch up weak scenes. Recently I obtained some Photoshop filters from Topaz Labs, including the Topaz Simplify 2 filter set that includes a Painting option. My test cases were some photos of flowers that seemed to me to have potential, but needed punching up. I have come away a fan of the Topaz paint options.
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