Black and White

The Greenhouse at Walmer Castle

The Greenhouse at Walmer Castle

Walmer Castle Greenhouse

A photograph of the greenhouse at Walmer Castle – Powder Paint Effect

As you stroll around the gardens of Walmer Castle in Kent… you come across this greenhouse where they grow their seedlings… and I had to take its photograph.  I processed the above primarily in Photoshop and Lightroom using the Powder Paint Effect.  To add a difference to the image.. on my second rework I added a pink tint to the background. Continue reading →

Posted by Bren in Floral, Landscape, Photography, 0 comments
Ashenbank Woods – Powder Paint Effect

Ashenbank Woods – Powder Paint Effect

I have always liked the photograph I did of Ashenbank woods where I created a water reflection to a landscape to add a different aspect to the photograph.

Anyway today I decided I would try creating a Powder Paint Effect to this photograph.

A photograph of Ashenbank Woods created in Photoshop to create water reflection and given Powder Paint Effect.

Continue reading →

Posted by Bren in Digital Art, Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, 8 comments
Dark and Moody – Canary Wharf

Dark and Moody – Canary Wharf

A photograph of Canary Wharf taken from North Greenwich… London.

Playing around again this morning… and I wanted to create a dark and moody photograph.. I did do an earlier version of this photograph primarily in Photoshop and posted it to Social Media… but I didn’t like it so I decided to see if I could replicate the photograph just by using Lightroom.  And this is where Lightroom’s new feature of Reference View came into play.  As I normally use Lightroom initially to process my photographs.. my Photoshop Edit was automatically imported back into Lightroom and that is what I used as my reference image..  And I have to say I do prefer the Lightroom edit..

A monochrome photograph of Canary Wharf taken from North Greenwich… London.


I do have a tendency to go for this style of image editing… I like the Dark and Moody look in my photographs…  I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea.. but for me no matter what other style I try to use.. I get drawn back to this Dark and Moody look… and to be honest I feel more in my comfort zone creating this type of imagery.

Posted by Bren in Architecture, Cityscape, Monochrome, Photography, 0 comments
The Eiffel at Las Vegas..

The Eiffel at Las Vegas..

A photograph of the Eiffel Tower Replica on the Strip at Las Vegas.


I have been playing around with this photo for a while… but the night that was taken the sky was dark and overcast and there wasn’t a star in sight… so with the powers of Photoshop I recreated a moon and clouds.. by adding an overlay and masking out the parts where I didn’t want the clouds to appear.

Posted by Bren in Photography, 2 comments
Memories of San Francisco

Memories of San Francisco

Do you know what I can’t believe it has been over 18 months since we went to America… and on our very first stop on our tour was the lovely city of San Francisco… and the most beautiful, tranquil and inspiring place I visited there has to be the Palace of Fine Arts…  I would go to San Francisco again tomorrow if I had the chance and visit this beautiful architecture.

On our first full day in San Francisco the morning was occupied by a guided tour of the city… My heart skipped a beat when I saw the cable cars and Crooked Street.. the scenery, was beautiful and the above photograph was taken whilst on that guided tour.

From the Palace of Fine Arts out coach tour took us across the Golden Gate Bridge, to a viewpoint… overlooking the bridge and the bay… the mist was rolling in thick and fast… and we were told this was quite normal during the day… especially in the summer months..

A photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge, shrouded in the mid-morning mist.


In the afternoon our guided tour took us to Alcatraz…  I was glad I went to Alacatraz even though the boat ridge was a bit rough… but Alcatraz left me with a cold feeling.. especially when you saw how cramped the cells were and how they were stacked high upon each other…  it was dark and dismal and cold.  Our guide told us that the smells of the city, especially food smells would waft across the bay… as memory to the prisoners of what they were missing.

A photograph of Alcatraz in San Francisco.


The following day… was a free day and I had to return to the Palace of Fine Arts… it was a place I just wanted to explore.. even though we saw a lot of tourist places yesterday in San Francisco .. it was rather a whistle-stop tour and there wasn’t a lot of time to explore the sights. And the Palace of Fine Arts was on my revisit list as well as a ride on a cable car.

A photograph of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco

The Palace of Fine Arts holds special memories for me… and I would jump at the chance to revisit San Francisco.. and to revisit this marvellous architecture.

A monochrome Photograph of the columns at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.


Now if my lottery numbers came up I would definitely buy one of those houses because I could spend forever and a day looking at this beautiful place… a place that is held dear to my heart.  I think the song is quite true you know… when they sing ‘I left my heart in San Francisco’  because I believe a little bit of my heart is there just longing for me to return.

Posted by Bren in Architecture, Photography, Seascape, 0 comments
Mixing Filters and Styles on your image

Mixing Filters and Styles on your image

For me Lightroom is my first port of call when processing an image.  I like its simplicity, its versatility and for me the easiest post processing software to use. My main aim of using Photoshop is to remove elements that you can’t remove in Lightroom.


The above photograph was created by using Lightroom’s HDR feature.  Once the HDR image was created I immediately sent the image to Photoshop to remove some of the distractions, mainly the people standing just above the water cascade.

This was done easily in Photoshop using the Spot Healing Tool.. I could have sent the photograph back into Lightroom but I wanted to use some filters I have the first Filter I used was Nik Collection Color Efex Pro.


I wanted to warm the photograph up so in the Nik Software I used two filters one a Warmth Filter and the second a Soft Focus Filter.  I then saved my image in Nik and it was Imported back into Photoshop.  Using a mask I faintly removed this filter from the steps of the water cascade.  I didn’t like the sky so it was off to Topaz Texture Effects 2 to add a Preset I downloaded.


Again this gave my photograph a warm look and once again I removed the Filter effect slightly from the steps of the water cascade.  I did no more in Photoshop so I saved my image in Photoshop and it was automatically sent back into Lightroom.  And this was the image I was going to use for all of my compositions.

I have a few presets in Lightroom which I use on a regular basis… some I have altered to suit my style of editing… others I just use as a starting point.

My first composition was to create a warm looking photograph

Water Cascade

I liked the golden tones and the green and how soft those weeping willows were.  In Lightroom I then created a virtual copy of this photograph, reset the image back to the original import and then added a warmer looking Preset which added a reddish tint to the image which created my second composition.

For my third composition, I then did the same as before… made a virtual copy.. reset the image in the Develop Module and then added a Preset I modified from an original Preset from Serge Ramelli where it involved using lots of radial filters to add lights to the photograph.

This gave the image a dreamy like effect to the image.  For my fourth and last composition I then decided to use a Preset which I use primarily as a starting point for Black and White Photos.

Throughout my processing of this photograph I wanted to keep a soft looking feel to the trees whilst keeping clarity to the water cascade and the elements that were in the water.

You don’t have to stick to one filter… you can mix and match.. and I love the versatility of all these Filters/Plugins.  If it wasn’t for having to use Photoshop to remove certain elements, I could have processed this photo by only using Lightroom and Topaz Labs Software and Nik Collection Software work both in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Mix and match is the order of the day for me today… I have loved using these software programmes with each other.  And if you don’t like what one programme has done.. and you are using Photoshop just duplicate your final image layer and try another combination of the various presets within each plugin/filter.

Just one little tip.. normally in Photoshop once I have finished my spot removal which I do on a duplicate of the original image.. I then press Control + Alt + Shit +E which merges all my previous layers together.  It is this new layer, that I have just created, that I duplicate before applying a Preset/Filter and once I have created my new duplicate layer for that particular plugin I name the layer to tell me which Plugin/Filter I used.  I didn’t do it for this image simply because I knew that I was definitely using the soft focus from the Nik Collection to create the soft dreamy look to the image.

Posted by Bren in Before and After, Landscape, Photography, 3 comments
The Pavilion

The Pavilion

A photograph of the wooden pavilion at Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent

A photograph of the wooden pavilion at Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent


Within the spectacular grounds of Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent… is this Pavilion.. which sits on an incline… at the bottom of the green at this pavilion is a stream… Luckily when I photographed this pavilion on this particular day most of the people were sitting on the grass so they were easily removed using Photoshop.

Posted by Bren in Landscape, Monochrome, Photography, 0 comments
It’s Monday again… and Instagram

It’s Monday again… and Instagram

It is Monday morning yet again… and I don’t know where the weekend went.. but one thing I do know.. we didn’t get far this weekend.  Firstly because it was raining on Saturday… all day… and secondly because my hip is getting no better .. in fact it is getting worse and it is becoming a true effort now… to get out and about.

However, on Sunday, the weather was brighter and I did get wheeled along the walk at Medway Valley which is next to the River Medway.

A photograph of the River Medway taken at Medway Valley in Kent.

A photograph of the River Medway taken at Medway Valley in Kent.


It was cold but it was so nice to get a breath of fresh air into my body… and to try the camera out on my new phone… Taking photographs with a phone is totally different to using a proper camera…  and I think I need a lot of practice.. but it was nice just to get out and not have to take bags of cameras and lenses.

Anyway that is enough of the ‘Poor Me’ part of this post and here are two photographs I played around with using Toolwiz Photo App.

The first image is a photograph taken at Hole Park near Rolvenden in Kent by the lake

A tree stump by the lake at Hole Park in Kent

A tree stump by the lake at Hole Park in Kent


The photograph above seems a little busy to me… but somehow there is something appealing to that image.. I don’t know what it is.. perhaps it is the busyness that is attracting me to it. I simply don’t know… but I like it in some weird sort of way.

And my second image is from Merriment Gardens in East Sussex… which shows a memory bench…

A photograph of a bench at Merriments Gardens dedicated to Mandy and Mark

A photograph of a bench at Merriments Gardens dedicated to Mandy and Mark


And I wanted to create a dreamy looking feeling to this Photograph and that app allowed me to do exactly that.

Out of all the three images posted.. I think the Memory Bench photograph is the image that really captures my eye.  I love the splashes of red from the tulips… I think they really compliment the golden tones of the photograph.

Posted by Bren in Photography, 0 comments
Monday morning… and Instagram

Monday morning… and Instagram


Well it is Monday morning again.. and due to hip problems.. I still haven’t been able to get out and about… so for me this weekend.. was a weekend of sitting in, and playing with Apps on my tablet, Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop, Monochrome Photography and not forgetting Textures in Topaz Texture Effects 2.

I am now using my tablet more and more, due to it being able to run Photoshop Mix.. but for the Oil paint effect photographs.. I did resort to Photoshop for the Oil Paint Filter.

My two oil paint photographs, were of a lioness taken at Whipsnade Zoo and daffodils which were just about to bloom at Ightham Mote.


My textured photos were created using Photoshop Mix for the woodland photos


and Topaz Texture Effects 2 for the floral photography


My final two photographs were monochrome photos…



I really liked the Lioness photograph so I added a frame to that using the Print Module in Lightroom, well that is what I did all weekend… hope you all had a good weekend and I look forward to seeing all your photographs, on your blogs.

Posted by Bren in Animals, Floral, Monochrome, Night Photography, Photography, 2 comments
52 Weeks Photo Challenge: Week 12 – Face

52 Weeks Photo Challenge: Week 12 – Face


Stewie – head on pillow.

This is my first entry into this particular photo challenge.. hosted by ‘The Girl That Dreams Awake’.. and the theme for this week is ‘Face’.  As I am very wary of putting children’s faces on the internet… and I would have loved to share photos of my grand children… but for safety’s sake I have opted for the next safest bet.. my dogs..


Dumpling – take my photo mum… please


And my last picture is of Stewie looking at what his little sis is getting up to.


Stewie – what is she up to?

Posted by Bren in Animals, Monochrome, Photography Challenge, 2 comments