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Post-Processing Filters can turn you into a Pissaro, Monet, or Van Gogh!

January 24th, 2013 No Comments

The very word ‘filter’ has come to connote something totally different from what it used to – pieces of tinted gelatin or glass from Hoya, Tiffen, and such.  How ‘totally different’ is brought to the fore in An Artistic Approach to Post-Production in Photography Using Filter Effects by Celso Bressan who turns his photographs into impressionistic paintings by applying post-processing filters!

Granted, it is perhaps a misnomer to use the word ‘filter’ for some of the effects available through the likes of Nik Software and Filter Forge, which Bressan mentions, but that’s progress (or redefining terminology, take your pick).

Bressan does not provide a mechanical how-to; rather, he explains his approach and outlook starting with “selecting photographs for work.”  “some pictures were just ‘made’ for the job” i.e. filter-based post-processing into “something that resembles a piece of art.”

That said, he offers two unequivocal technical pointers to get you off the ground: use low-res images and don’t discount noise.  Another one is to split photographs into two to four parts when applying processor-intensive filters because “some effects take hours [to process].”

That Bressan is very adept at his very unusual field of photography-art is obvious from his mini-gallery.  If you had not known about Bressan’s niche, wouldn’t this image have left you asking “Is that a painting or it is a photograph?”  And talk of paintings . . .

Here is something distinctly Monet’ish.  

Consider the subject, composition, and (very importantly) palette here.  Anyone else reminded of Vincent?

Isn’t something besides the name and the subject of this ‘photograph’ and this painting by Pissaro very similar?  How about the impressionistic style?

I hear you: “Just how did he make them?”  Well, even Bressan doesn’t know: “Some effects are so complex and random that, if needed to go back and do it again, more often than not it would be quite difficult or even impossible to obtain the same result again unless careful notes are being taken about every single step used.”

No problem – the photo-artist has given you a clue or two.  It’s up to you, shutterbug, to make a Picasso now.

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