What the heck is holt_361_1400sq_aj_op_ca_smfybr_ltef_upres_noisemedian7 ?!
Such cryptic code for such a fine rendering of this Chilean Wine Palm. The string of code is actually my file number of the final state. As I move from one state of the image to the next, as I apply different effects and filters I save various stages (or states) so that I can jump around and compare them. Sorta like a painter being able to stand back and evaluate and repaint.
The photo began as a horizontal at the Huntington Botanical Garden in Southern California; my (holt) file (361), frame number 1400.
I cropped it square (sq) and added a Photoshop adjustment layer (aj) that opened up shadows and added richness to colors.
As you may begin to figure out from the title of the raw image, I got very excited by the leaves connected to the crown as I studied this otherwise ordinary photograph. Unfortunately, the limited photo size of a blog post prevents you from seeing the same texture and motion I sensed in those radiating leaves.
So now the fun part – figuring a way to bring out the story I was seeing. I used Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter (op) then the Content Aware filter (ca) to add some extra leaf texture in the upper right, where there is only sky in the original.
I won’t go through each succeeding stage but will decipher the code. My goal with this image is to make a really large five or six foot square print. To get there I want to simplify the color range, heading toward an illustration style rendering. I used a special plugin filter by Topaz Labs called Simplify and also brightened within that filter (smfybr).
After I brought it back into Photoshop I still needed to lighten the halo around the leaf and crown junction (ltef). I made a huge file by interpolating up the file size (upres) and then needed to get rid of the noise created by enlarging the file (noisemedian7).
So much technical stuff. When I sat down to do this post I was only gonna show the before and after and more photos from the Huntington garden and all the incredible palm trees. Somehow I got caught up in the madness of my file naming process and more than anyone ever needs to know about holt_361_1400sq_aj_op_ca_smfybr_ltef_upres_noisemedian7.
But here is a gallery of palm and cycad photos from the garden including holt_361_1364. No special filters . . .