Photographs & Paintings

Summary – Off to the mountains for a day-trip tomorrow. Forecast is rain. Hoping to see some photo-ops like those that led to today’s image – more painting-like than photo-like.


Odd ball filters, gauze, Vaseline, almost anything

placed in front of your lens can produce

interesting results


Sometimes almost painterly, in fact

(Used a wet windshield in this case)

Monet Made Me Do It

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park

North entrance to Skyland looking south down the drive

Click to enlarge & see the “brush strokes”


Technical – Nikon D300, Tokina 16-50 @50mm, 1/10 sec, f/5.6, EV=-2/3, ISO400, WB=Cloudy, center weighted metering, aperture priority, RAW capture, circular polarizer, hand-held, LiveView with manual focus

  • Taken through the windshield in a downpour (parked)
  • Hand held and braced on top of the steering wheel
  • I wanted the effect of the flowing water on the windshield visible, and the background soft and painterly – a relatively shallow DOF
  • f/5.6 at 50mm gives a DOF of only a few feet (4′ at a focus distance of 12′ which is about the distance to the tree framing the left side)
  • I used LiveView to see the image more clearly & used manual focus to get what I wanted


  • Trees trunks to frame left/right
  • Colorful leaves/branch to frame top
  • After zooming my 16-50 to 50, the final “Zoom” was moving the car forward/backward until  the tree framing was right
  • Give the eye a destination – the light area at the bend of the drive
  • Place the “destination” off-center; bulls eyes usually don’t work
  • The car was off the drive at a spot where I could move it safely – but anyone watching would surely have wondered ??


1. Photoshop Elements/Adobe Camera RAW for RAW conversion

2. Tonal & color contrast adjustments in Color Efex Pro 4 using my custom designed recipe for basic image post processing

  Step-by-step detailed illustration in this post

3. Added a border using my saved CEP4 custom border recipe


Combine techniques like this with camera motion and/or multiple exposures for some really painterly results

Or, if not painterly, then definitely non-photographic


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4 thoughts on “Photographs & Paintings

    • Thanks for the tip.

      Never tried DAP. Over the years I tried a few “painting” programs – very rarely & very briefly – and none stuck.

      Since I’m less pure than I once was 😉 I’ll download the DAP free trial & take it for a spin. Food for a future blog post at any rate even if I decide it’s not my cup of tea.

      • My tip for using the trial version which puts a big red watermark across the bottom of the image. Put a THICK black border around your pic before you bring it into DAP ,then the watermark will be on the black border and you can crop it away.
        Here’s my latest DAP
        Merci Monet 2 DAP
        and here are lots more

        Carsington water_DAP_Starry Gogh

        Some are more successful than others!
        Have fun! 🙂

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