the impressionist garden

I found a new way of appreciating the beauty of the varied wildflowers in the backyard garden in a different way — using a “drag” technique to blur the image and create impressionist-like blotches and streaks of color.

wildflower garden

The original:  purple coneflowers, gray-headed (yellow coneflowers), obedient plant, scarlet beebalm, red cardinal flower, oxeye and cup plant flowers highlight a scene in the garden. (I need a wall-size poster of this to look at this winter.)

drag technique on wildflowers

Using a slow shutter speed (<1/10 sec) and panning the camera in an up-down motion while the shutter is open creates an impressionist blur of color.

drag technique on a wildflower garden

I edited (cloned out) the offending pole in the background and softened the edges of the streaks of color (using Blur) in Photoshop.

And then I discovered some artistic tools I had never used or known about in Photoshop and tried them as well.  From biology to art — it’s so easy!  You can mimic the dry brush, spatter, sponge, daub and many other artistic techniques, or you can create abstract whorls of color for a more surrealist look.

wildflower garden by applying "ocean ripple" in Photoshop

This is the “ocean ripple” effect from the selection of Artistic tools in Photoshop.

Photoshop distort-warp technique

This is too extreme for my taste, but it’s fun to play around with the tools in Photoshop, and realize what you can do with it.

You can read more about how to set up the camera for a “drag” shot here.  And see other examples of bloggers who have used this technique here.

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