Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Photography and Digital Filters

Welcome to Day 3 of this year's week-long bloggy Internet tour de force.

Our topic prompt today was fun with photos. Given that I took all the photographs for Leather, Lace, Grit & Grace, as well as created all of the book's artwork, I thought I'd share with you my new-found love of Adobe Photoshop filters. While I mostly did nothing more than crop the photographs used in the book, I did play around with the filters feature in Photoshop for the artwork, specifically I applied one of the digital filters in the final step of each pilot's mixed media portrait. 

So, I decided to take a photograph from my ample stock of extra book photos and apply three different Photoshop filters to it. Initially, here's the photo in its original form (of the Nichols Cardigan):

Now, here it is with the first filter applied: the brush strokes ink outline, which you can find under filters > brush strokes > ink outlines:

This filter applies some nice effects to the background as well as the outline of my model (particularly around her hair). You also still get to see a fairly good view of the cardigan, although some of the detail in the motifs is lost.

Next, take a look at the same photo with a different filter: the artistic palette knife which can be found under filters > artistic > palette knife:

I really like how this filter takes the photograph and makes it look almost like a painting, especially the background seaplane and dock. 

Finally, let's apply one more filter - the artistic neon glow, which you can find under filters > artistic > neon glow:

Isn't this just cool? You can adjust the filter's color, so while I chose a light blue gradient, one can call up a full color range and make any color adjustment.

I've also only applied one filter in each instance, but one could play around with applying multiple filters to achieve all manner of different effects. 

Because we are all so focused on showing designs and fiber work in the clearest and most straightforward manner possible (and in many instances, rightly so), I think some of the artistic element has gone by the wayside. However, filters are a great way to potentially bring a whole new dimension to one's fiber arts design presentation, so don't be afraid to test drive some Photoshop filters the next time you're looking for presentation inspiration.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial - I will try that soon.

  2. Great photos! My favourite is the one that looks like an oil painting!

  3. Great idea! Filters can be useful for picking out details that can't be seen well in photos, I need to remember to play with them more especially when photographing darker knits.

  4. Filters are great but can be somewhat heavy-handed. I use them on layers so that I can reduce the opacity and add blend effects to achieve just the look that I want. Masks can be useful too, to allow detail from the original photo to show through where I need them to. I'm away now to look at the book - how wonderful to have produce a book of designs and to photograph them to show the way that you want them to be. I've never got closer than knitting samples but confess that much bowled me over anyway :-)

  5. Great photos! So interesting:)

  6. This third, altered photo really has a kick to the eye.