Happy Birthday, America

In my effort to better understand photography, film, and color, I wanted to dissect Paint Shop Pro X5’s filters used to create these photos.  This seems as good a day as any to go exploring.

The effect shown above was easier to do than I’d remembered.  I used the Instant Effects palette (new in PSP X5, and rather cool).  From the palette, I selected “Film Styles” from the drop-down menu, and then “Instant film.”  Interestingly, “Film Styles” has several options that aren’t available from the “Effects > Photo Effects” menu.

I attempted to replicate the effect through various Film Look, Creative Filter, and Retro Lab options; increasing saturation and making depth of field adjustments; and adding a picture frame—all to no avail.  Turns out you can get the Instant Film effect by choosing Effects > Photo Effects > Time Machine > Cross Process.  Even the frame is added.

The next question is, what is Cross Process?  From Corel/PSP:

Cross-processing is a modern photography technique that creates unique color effects by mismatching the film and the chemicals used to develop the film. For example, you can achieve this effect by processing slide film in chemicals designed for color negative film. Cross-processed photos are often characterized by skewed colors, high saturation, and extreme highlights.

Since I’m drawn to photos with high saturation, it’s no wonder I like this effect.  Still, I’m not sure how instant film equates to mismatched film and chemicals, but there you have it.  The instant film I remember was created by the old Polaroid cameras.  I don’t recall the pictures being overly saturated, although the colors were often skewed.  Somehow, I doubt color skewing was a purposeful effect.

A beach umbrella, pink inner tube, and beach towel are set near the water.

Running on Empty

The day is drawing nigh and I still haven’t fulfilled my NaBloPoMo duty yet. I started to write about today’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage,* but quickly realized that to do the topic justice would take more brain power than I currently have.

So, how about a photo?  I searched through my pictures and found that Paint Shop Pro has provided me with several.  The one chosen totally at random seems to fit the month and mood perfectly.

*If the Washington Post link works, be sure to play the video if you haven’t seen it.  It’s a fascinating look at how news of Supreme Court rulings reaches the masses.

Sunday Seven: Fun with Photos

(and Photo Editing Software)

It’s a lazy, rainy Sunday.  Emphasis on lazy.  I’m not motivated to write a Sunday Seven, so how about some pictures?

I’ve been playing with Paint Shop Pro X5’s photo filters (plus one Photoshop filter—#7).  Nothing fancy; just experimenting.  All the effects are basically 1-step filters (with possibly minor adjustments).  I was planning to go into more detail about the effects, but that’s too much writing for today, which, as I said before I’m trying to avoid.  We’ll discuss them another day.

Can you tell I love bare tree branches?