Amersham Beyond Group - 1st April 2021

Meeting Notes on Creative Photography and Photo-Art
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Amersham Beyond Group - 1st April 2021

Post by spb » Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:40 am

The meeting was held on Zoom and a recording can be viewed (by APS Members only) here.

All our Challenge images can be seen at Amersham Beyond Group on Flickr.

For APS Members only this month's images are also available for viewing and commenting at the APS Members Only Facebook Site
Please spend time viewing and commenting on the images - this is our primary source of feedback at the moment. Authors are also encouraged to provide commentary on their creations.

It’s getting to be a bit of a struggle to maintain enthusiasm without a fresh influx of new images. Hopefully a more free summer is not far ahead now.

We viewed the current Challenges which are;



and the latest;


It was clear that members had enjoyed a furtle in the loft this month and produced some wonderful images to accompany heartfelt stories. I encourage members to view the video if they didn’t attend the meeting. I received several enthusiastic messages after the meeting and we all look forward to more next month. I dropped a few hints that the meeting would be on All Fools Day but I was the only one to take up that particular theme.

The next Challenge is;


This can be interpreted in a couple of ways;
- an image in which the texture is the subject. In this case there should be some element of composition and/or colour. Imagine it framed on the wall. A regular, featureless texture would not be interesting.
- an image I which a texture is combined with another subject. Flowers are very often treated this way but there are many other subjects which can benefit. Often the result is best when the subject is very simple – even perhaps a silhouette. For tips on achieving this effect see below.


The next meeting will be held on 6th May 2021 by Zoom. This will be the last meeting of the 2020/21 season.


Adding Textures to Images in Photoshop. Having opened the texture and the image in Photoshop, the first job is to bring them both into the same file. This can be done in many ways. The two common ways are;
- choose the Move Tool then drag the texture image over the subject image and release it. If both images are not visible on screen drag the texture over the header for the subject image and then down into the image when it appears (in a single movement without releasing the mouse). Holding the Shift key when releasing the mouse will centre the texture. Or,
- with the texture image active choose Select>All and then Edit>Copy. Make the subject image active then choose Edit>Paste.

With the texture layer above the subject layer click on it in the Layers Palette and then click on the Blending Mode. This is marked Normal by default. There should now be a blue box around the word Normal. Use the down arrow key on your keyboard to try each blending mode in turn. Having found an interesting one, adjust the opacity for the best result. You may want to remove the texture from parts of the subject image. This can be done by erasing it or better, using a layer mask.

Textures in Topaz Studio 2.
This is a comprehensive creative image editing tool (Windows/Mac $99) and amongst a broad set of other features includes many textures, together with everything you need to apply them; blending modes, masks, layers etc. It can be used on it’s own or in conjuction with an image editor.

Dave Kelly has produced many imaging tutorial videos including more than 30 on every feature in Topaz Studio. Here is the one on everything you need to know about Textures in Topaz Studio 2.

Smartphone Apps to Add Textures. There are many smartphone apps that can add textures. Here are a few that have been recommended for iPhones; Afterlight, Distressed FX, Formulas, Snapseed and TinType.

Other Sources of Textures. You can, of course. photograph your own but thousands of copyright-free textures are also widely available on the internet from sources such as Pexels or Unsplash.

Imaging YouTube Channels Recommended by Member Chris Smith.
Says Chris; I use a number of YouTube channels for inspiration, ideas, how-to's and basic skills with the following being ones that I enjoy. There are many others but I find some of them a bit twee or overly technical. Note: even though I have a reasonably up-to-date copy of Elements and a old copy of PS5 I exclusively use Affinity Photo and only watch related content.
Below is the list in no particular order:
- Michael Wilson: an Australian who does very creative work, generally composites. His strength is clear instructions that are capable of being followed
- Affinity Revolution: a slightly strange couple where the original male presenter has had to take a back seat because of a voice problem. Again their videos are extremely clear and easy to follow. They have some great ideas. Have been aligned with Affinity from the outset
- I am Rensi: a young graphic artist from the Netherlands who is super creative and does a lot of composite work.
- Olivia Sarikas: a prolific digital artist from Vienna - he runs live streams, issues videos on a weekly basis, gives stuff away....and is a bit weird. He pushes the envelope
- Robin Whalley: a Brit who is also a big fan of Nik. Lots of great content that is slightly more normal
- Digitally Fearless aka Rich Spezzano: low key American with lots of good content. Makes it easy. Composites and creative ideas
- James Ritzen: the in-house "product expert" for Serif who puts out a lots of company-based training. He is very good and English!

Cheers, Steve

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