Feb One Four Challenge – Wk 1

Tiger at Australia Zoo – Feb 2011 – click to embiggen

How did it get to be Feb already?  Well the good news is that means a new round of the One Four Challenge for Feb – click the link for details if you are new to the challenge.

I really wanted to do the Oilpaint filter on this image, but when I tried to in PS it told me my graphics card driver needed to be updated!  With some mucking around I found it, asked it to find a new version, and then waited for ages to upload and then had to restart my computer.  I suffer for my art, I tell you 🙂

This handsome tiger was shot at Australia Zoo, north of Brisbane in Australia Feb 2011. They had a big viewing area with floor to ceiling glass and I shot this image through the glass, it must have been quite clean as you can’t tell at all.

There were several tigers and the handlers had been playing with them, and there was much leaping about, this tiger was having a rest in the shade but still very intent on the action going on not far away.

Post Processing steps:

1.  Import base image from LR – the original one I process years ago

2.  Fiddle with Oil Paint filter til I had an effect I liked.

(at this point I saved the image and went for a bike ride)

3.  Open up PS and twiddle with the Filter Gallery, discover they have a Canvas texture and apply that to add extra emphasis to the concept of the image being painted in oils.

Here is the Base Image for comparison:

Base image as processed in LR

I chose this image because I love tigers, I’m really pleased with the detail captured in this shot, the background isn’t too distracting, the tones are nice and even and finally I adore how his paws are all curved and relaxed

Like it? Dislike it? 

I’m asking people to give honest feedback – please tell me what you think, and also WHY  – this will really help me improve.

As ever all tips, tricks, ideas and comments welcome!


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
This entry was posted in LR & Photoshop, Photo Challenges, Waffle and Burbling and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Feb One Four Challenge – Wk 1

  1. loisajay says:

    Wow. He is handsome and strong in every sense of the word, Your photo is beautiful. I am not a fan of the oil paint for this one because (to me), it softens him. In the photo, his animalism is huge; in the painting, he comes across a little soft and flat. The photo–I keep going back to look at it ’cause I love it that much.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Lois, yes the painting effect does soften and flatten it a lot, I need to come up with a 3D way of doing it 🙂

      When I look at it now on my laptop screen at work, its a bit dark and dull – what a difference monitors make! And the pale grassy stuff on the ground is too tonally similar to the tiger with this process so is a bit overwhelming from a visual weight perspective.

      I still like the effect on the tiger but the background needs to be less intrusive next time round I think!

      Thanks for the great feedback 🙂

      • Robyn G says:

        Monitors make a huge difference don’t they Stacey?
        I’m viewing on a monitor now (iPad before) and I do see what you mean about flattening out the image. Wonder if you could mask the background and try the effect only on him, and perhaps a bit more contrast just on him?? Thinking out loud. Anyway, I still think he is a handsome boy and will look forward to seeing what you do next 😀

      • lensaddiction says:

        Yes I was thinking about some creative masking too….

  2. The original photo is awesome. I love your concept, just not sure if it is the right filter to use for such a strong image to start with. I am keen to see what you will do next week. I love the canvas texture myself and have used it a lot in GIMP. It does soften an image as well but am not sure about combining it with the oil filter. Hope you don’t mind this critique.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Hi Raewyn Im loving all the great critique, its excellent. My process this week seems to be polarising people one way or the other, which I guess is a good thing ie if it was so bland that no one objected to it that must pretty awful 🙂

      It seems clear that the flatness of this process has not been the best of choices, perhaps better for landscapes? Will def be doing something different next week 🙂

  3. Robyn G says:

    I like it! 😃 As an artistic approach I enjoy the softness of the image. Gives him a real gentleness. He is such a handsome boy!
    Your original LR version is stunning too and Im leaning that way, but this 1st edition caught my eye!
    We do suffer for our art – ha ha.. The things we hafta do 😜

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Robyn this is more traditionally artistic than I generally go for so was a real experiment for me. I really like the textures on the tiger himself, but I might need to find a way to tone down the background a bit if I have another go with this combination. I certainly learned stuff tho 🙂

  4. sariscorner says:

    I really love your original image and I like the asian touch that you gave it with your processing but somehow you also lose some of the power in it. I am looking forward to what you will do with this over the month!

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Sari, yes the flattening effect of the process was perhaps less desirable, but I still really like the textures of the painting effect on the tiger. I only worked on this last night for the first time so have no idea where its going from there, will be a surprise to me too!

  5. leecleland says:

    Love what you did with this image Stacey! The original is a stunning image too but the oilpaint and canvas add an artistic look to it. Love how his whiskers are still straight and I love your comment about going for a bike ride – it does get to the point where you just have to leave it alone for a while doesn’t it.
    I think you have used just the right amount of oil paint curve and not overdone it, this makes it still look real. Great work and worth all the time and effort put into it.
    You may like to look at http://worldphotoadventures.com.au/darran-leal-photo-art/ he uses oil paint on a lot of his images which he then prints onto canvas. It takes a while to load but I’ve found by clicking on one image (that you can faintly see) I can then scroll through them.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks for the link Lee, had a quick look, he is obviously using software that gives him much more control – the much finer look was what I was after but couldnt make PS do it so went the other way for swirls instead 🙂

      I hadn’t noticed about his whiskers, how odd is that!

      Thanks for the feedback, it certainly seems to be an image that people either like or don’t like, its been an excellent learning experience for me too 🙂

      • leecleland says:

        Now that you mention it, Darran did say that he kept an earlier version of Photoshop purely to use that version of oilpaint as he didn’t like the newer version, interesting.

      • lensaddiction says:

        What I really want is the fractal flame effect but it’s $50 us and expensive for occasional one off use

      • leecleland says:

        Indeed, but we still lust after what we can’t afford don’t we:)

  6. Robyn G says:

    I lik the bike ride comment too 😜

  7. I do rather like the effect but miss the gleam in his eye in the original.

  8. svtakeiteasy says:

    Hi Stacey, you certainly like a challenge when your starting point is such a stunning original image! That tiger is such a handsome fellow. I like the gentleness of the swirls on the tiger’s fur but in my view it softens him a little too much and he lacks a bit of spark… May be you could limit the effect of the swirls to him, and blur the surrounding straw so he stands out more?

  9. Jen says:

    Oh, VERY cool! I love this!

    You do lose the front paw a bit — perhaps you could use the burn tool to darken behind his paw a bit and bring some extra definition? And I agree that his eye needs that sparkle again — but perhaps it could be repainted?

    Still, to me, it has a certain magic and it’s STRIKING — so — I think it’s a great edit!

  10. I don’t know how on earth could you improve such a stunning original! 🙂 What a lovely, lovely shot, I keep coming back to it. I love the canvas and it really looks like a painting, now off to see your other version.

  11. suej says:

    Love your original image, and much as I think you have made an interesting version here, I agree with others that it softens this magnificent animal too much. Think it’s the canvas I don’t like so much

  12. Pingback: One Four Challenge: February Week One | decocraftsdigicrafts

  13. afairymind says:

    The original image is brilliant! It’s such a magnificent animal. I like the edit, though I can see what people mean about the flatness – its still an interesting version of the picture. I particularly like the fur on his chest. Can’t wait to see next week’s edit. 🙂

  14. Nic says:

    Kitty! So normally I’m not a fan of the oil paint preset. But I’m going to have to make your image the exception to the rule… I think because the kitty… um tiger… has all that detailed hair that the paint strokes work well. I also think that your choice of adding the canvas texture really helps ‘sell’ the idea of the oil paint.

    Ok… now here’s the stuff I would normally hold back on… I want so bad for that block behind is head to not exist. And the tree trunks are in line with his ears so they could be a bit distracting too. Possible fixes… More blur? Darkening the other sides of the block? A vignette? I don’t know… a crop just won’t work because you don’t want to cut of his cute little paws. Just suggestions, just ideas. Obviously, just my opinion. 😀

    • lensaddiction says:

      Yes the block is a pain, I’m going to see what I can do about it but my ability to select the fine details of the fur and whiskers and keep them intact is very limited at this stage

      • Nic says:

        I can see that might be a problem…. so maybe the idea of making the other sides of the block the same dark color as the color next to his face? There are a few hairs in there, but hopefully not too many. Also a light vignette perhaps that will make that area a bit darker as well as hide the tree trunks a bit? Like I said, just my opinion… and I was really looking at your original shot when I wanted those changes. He is so fierce and strong and I want him to stand out from his surroundings. 😀

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