Canal – Colmar, France

One of the places I visited while I was in Europe was Colmar,Β  a pretty medieval town in Alsace, eastern France. I still haven’t processed all my images from the trip, this image is just a taste of more to come in the near future.

Click on image for larger view.View along canal in Colmar, France

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25 thoughts on “Canal – Colmar, France

  1. Ah! an image of my natal country! Colmar is a picturesque place indeed. The way you have worked the picture gives a nearly naive painting result. Can I ask you how you get the effect and what photo editing package you use? Chris

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    • Oh, so how long have you been living on the other side of the planet? πŸ™‚
      For this image I used Lightroom and a combination of various NIK filters. I gently sharpened the single image in HDR Efex and then juggled the contrast in several different filters in Color Efex, intentionally losing edges as I went along. When I was finished in NIK I fine-tuned the image in Lightroom.

      For these painty effects, I have to start off with the sharpened image or I don’t get the effect I like. I’m not saying it can’t be done without the sharpening, but this is how I do it. I treat every image individually because I actually don’t want them all looking the same unless I specifically have a reason to want them that way, which is seldom. I don’t want a paint by numbers thing, which would take the fun out of it… After sharpening (not necessarily in HDR Efex) I start with one of the presets that come with each filter but seldom use them as is, I usually tweak them for my purposes. Some of the filters I use globally on the image, most of them I use selectively. I may use the same filter more than once on the same image, but tweak it differently for different areas of the image. And then there is the layering of the filters themselves, producing different effects depending on which filters are included in the mix and how their presets have been customized by me. It is time-consuming and I know there are those who will suggest I should keep track of what I’ve done on every image, which I don’t do. I prefer each image to guide me in what I do with it, there is a lot of experimenting with different combinations, and sometimes they don’t work at all and I have to rethink where I want the image to take me, but in the process I am constantly discovering new nuances on the tweaks I perform on the presets. I may not use paints and a brush, and I don’t have Photoshop’s fabulous paint brushes (I wish!) but what I’m doing really is painting. Less so in this image, but very much so with my flower and animal images, tho with those I tend to include PS Elements in my workflow. πŸ™‚

      I hope I haven’t skirted around the question, Chris. I play around with the NIK filters a lot. (There are 50+ filters in Color Efex alone, I believe.) Frequently I forget exactly how I got an image to where it ends up, tho I usually know more or less how I got there. In trying to capture the essence of it in another image, I often come up with something I like even better. It does occupy more time that way, but learning feeds my creativity. When that approach stops working for me, I’ll start writing it all down. When hell freezes over, maybe, LOL?? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  2. Lovely! I love Colmar’s ‘Little Venice” – very picturesque, and you’ve captured the atmosphere here with your composition and processing (I, too, am interested to know what you used to get the effect!)

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    • Thank you, Sue! πŸ™‚ Yes, that particular little corner of Colmar is especially lovely. See my reply to Chris (svtakeiteasy) re the processing. Difficult to give anyone a precise description of what I did as I customize the NIK presets as I go along, and even if I remembered exactly, what worked on this image might not work on the next, something I am reminded of daily…! πŸ™‚ I could probably sit next to someone and walk them through the steps I would pursue to get a similar result with a different image, but the details of what those steps entailed would vary with the image. A bit like creating with paint and brushes. πŸ™‚ Last year I took a short online course with a fine art photographer on how to make and use textures and I thought I already knew how to do that, sort of. But the course included so much more than that, lots of details on how to make images stand out! All in all it was an eye-opener! It didn’t include use of NIK software but I found it took my digital creativity to a new level that caused me to see potential images differently and got me pushing my software (LR5, PSE10 and NIK) to do more than I ever had before.

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  3. Absolutely gorgeous. Since I shoot with the T2i, my first question was going to be whether or not you added a texture layer to the image. Then, how did you make it look like a painting? But it certainly is true, you have to start with a good image. And this one is perfect!

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    • Hi Emilio,
      Firstly, no, no texture on this one. I felt it would have been too much on this image. The image came out much better than anticipated. At the time of capture I was feeling a little rushed and distracted, and would have preferred a little more time to compose and set up the shot. There are a couple of things I might have done differently, but overall I’m delighted with it. Thanks for your comment…yes it certainly does help to start with a decent image. Re the processing, please read my replies to Chris (svtakeiteasy) and suej elsewhere in this comment section.

      About 15 years ago I was in a store where a photographer had some gorgeous landscape images for sale. They had been digitally altered so that when you looked at them the question that came to mind was “Is that a painting or a photograph??” I LOVED them! I had no idea how she did it, nor could I afford either a decent camera or one of her images, but I knew one day I wanted to play with similar techniques. On some level she certainly influenced my landscape style (not so much the animal and flower images). I can’t remember now what her images looked like, I only remember the feel of them, and that feel is certainly in my Colmar image. Thanks for the compliment!

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