The teaser for a series of posts on photographing flowers and plants and post-processing in Photoshop and Illustrator as design elements and illustrations.
Photography to Post-Processing Teaser
These days I’ve been obsessed with photographing (mostly) my dahlias before the Fall freezes start. While I’ve always photographed plants in a botanical fashion and used them in designs, lately I’ve been experimenting with pushing them much further into the realm of illustrations using Photoshop filters and Illustrator. I’ve often had requests for tutorials that show my floral photography process from start to finish, so this is a teaser of posts to follow.
I’ll show my entire photography to post-processing process:
- Picking and preparing flowers and plants.
- Equipment for photographing.
- Photo set-up and lighting.
- General post-processing to prepare the master image.
- Using Photoshop’s native filters.
- Using 3rd Party filters — mostly *Topaz Labs and Alien Skin.
- Using Illustrator’s Live Trace feature.
Basic Post-Processing For Clarity And Detail
As mentioned above, I’ve always used flowers in designs, but usually, the processing is clearly a photograph. This design with a Sir Alf Ramsey dahlia uses an image with my basic flower post-processing for clarity and detail. It used *Topaz Labs Adjust, Clean, and Detail. (These days, I usually go to *Topaz Labs Clarity first.)
- The Overlay and Textures from the Les Textures II collection.
- More information on the processing in This Post
Processing For Design
Right now, I’m playing with pushing photographs further towards illustrations and design elements.
Above are the photographs straight from Lightroom before editing.
Above are the photographs with my basic post-processing which includes:
- Retouching. Any dust, bugs, eaten petals.
- Masking to knock out the background (I only do this when the flower is a design element — I don’t do a full mask for more natural flower images with textures.)
- Burn / Dodge. I’ll do a post on how I create a burn/dodge overlay layer.
- Clarity and Detail filters. My “Go To” filter is the *Topaz Labs Clarity filter, although I do sometimes use the Nik or Alien Skin filters.
Above is a design study. I used various presets from Alien Skin’s Snap Art filter. (Posts to come!)
Other design elements:
- Script Overlay: Vintage French Script No. 2
- Free Grunge Brush Essentials for the crackle.
- Texture — not yet released.
Let me know in the comments if you have any specific questions you would like me to answer in up-coming posts.
* *Topaz Labs Filters is an affiliate link. I get a small commission from any sales resulting from a click from this site (at no extra cost to you.) I really do love these filters. Nearly all of my own images use one of these filters. Thank you for supporting the site!
Alien Skin creates a number of great filters. I use the Exposure and Snap Art. (I’ve got my eye on others!)
Shop for Textures and Overlays