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Posts Tagged ‘Affinity Photo’

One of my favorite reads is the terrific* Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.  

Here’s the first book:

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews

This husband and wife team also have a number of other great books, all starring kick-ass women willing to go to any lengths to save what needs saving.

The writing is excellent, the plots fresh and unpredictable in the best ways, and the characters, even the bad ones, are complex and well-drawn. (The authors are particularly adept at helping readers understand, and at times forgive, even the darkest characters.)

What’s not to love?

* * *

So when I decided it was time to learn how to make a vintage-style travel postcard, I thought of Atlanta. Not the vibrant city it is now, but as Kate sees it after magic returns to the world, complete with mysterious denizens, vampire Casinos, witch jungles, shapeshifter Keeps, ruins and one lone high rise. 

Welcome to Atlanta.

* * *

Original photos by Shashidhar SMorica PhamHidayat AbisenaMichael DenningCory GazailleToa HeftibaAustrian National Library & Christopher Alvarenga on Unsplash

* * *

* Feel free to disagree with me, I don’t mind. Just know that I am right;)

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Editor’s Note: That isn’t a typo in the title. Well, it was a typo when I named the original file, but it was funny and my brain is mostly off at this point so I kept it.

I tried a new photo-to-oil-paint method today. The technique is straightforward, if time-consuming, but I can tell I’m not an actual painter. The arm and face are a little weird but my eyes have gone wonky and I’ve started thinking seriously about adult beverages, so this is what we’re going with today!

With apologies to whoever made the fine costume I blurred out, I give you “Portrait of a Mandalorian Primcess.”

She looks anything but prim.
Original Photo by Alexander Jawfox on Unsplash

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I’m feeling a lot better today, less exhausted ouchies and more “It’s cool, I’m good.” No naps today, no wishing I had a sling for my mostly incapacitated arm, just chilling and learning things.

Like using words to generate color palettes. Let’s see what we can do with that, shall we?

PhotoChrome

Using the Unsplash photo database, this site retrieves images related to your search term, combines them into a single image, then extracts a color palette. One nice thing is that you can deselect some of the component images, darken or brighten the palette, or zoom in to highlight just some of the colors in an image. I do find that the results tend to be a little muddy (“summer” is a lot duller grey and brown than I expected) but the tweaking helps.

* * *

Then what? I decided to learn how to color grade an image. Essentially, grading is a technique that lets you take the palette from one visual and apply it to another, often changing the tone and emotion of the image. A photo can go from warm summer afternoon to dark and stormy without a lot of fuss.

There are a lot of ways to do this but here’s a handy tutorial explaining the process in Affinity:

Steal the Color Grading from Any Image with Affinity Photo!

PhotoChrome has a link to download the composite image but it didn’t work for me. Instead, I used the “copy HEX” option for the color palette, then copied the darkest, lightest and middle colors into the Affinity photo Gradient Map / RGB Hex Sliders window.

What’s the color of cool? In my version of this exercise, this:

#4b5c74, #656778, #767482, #718694, #80949d

Here’s what that looks like when transferred onto an image.

Original Photo by Jenny Marvin on Unsplash
Cool

Then I had to try a couple of others for fun.

Ireland
Mars

It’s probably no surprise that I’m liking Mars best.

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It’s a holiday weekend, bookended by Canada Day and the Fourth of July. As a dual citizen, I feel obligated to celebrate as much as possible, which means I am trying to work as little as possible. Today, that means learning something fun. Like perspective bending, with sheep.

* * *

Original photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

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I’m not quite done with my grandmother’s portrait, apparently. One of the things I did over the weekend was to start learning colorization, and now Grandma has a pretty pink dress:)

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Mr. Man had to get up early so we started the day with an extra hour. I decided to use it to learn something.

Suddenly, that extra time has disappeared and taken its friends with it.

On the plus side, I found an angel.

* * *

Original Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

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More history, today. And photography. This is my grandmother on the Swedish-ish side. She was ten or twelve* at the time, and much more agile than when I knew her.

This is also me experimenting with photo restoration techniques.

My Twelve-Year Old Grandma

Grandma Dorothea was sweet, literally and figuratively. She did many things well (gardening, bridge, surviving the Great Depression with her sense of humor intact, making grandchildren happy), but above all, she baked. I can still recall the flash of joy on seeing pound cake in her kitchen. Her chocolate mint squares are decadent, melt-in-your-mouth bites of chocolate cake, creamy mint, and dark chocolate glaze.

She wasn’t much of a cook, but (despite the very cryptic notes left on her 3″x5″ recipe cards) she was one hell of a baker.

* * *

Grandma’s Chocolate Mint Squares

Cake Layer

  • 1 cup sugar                  
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 can chocolate syrup (16 oz)
  • 4 eggs beaten              
  • 1 cup flour                  
  • ½ tsp. salt

1.     Mix and bake in 9”x13” greased and floured pan for 30-35 minutes at 350°F.

Mint Layer

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbs. Crème de Menthe
  • ½ cup melted butter

2.     Mix and spread on the cool cake. Chill briefly to set.

Glaze

  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbs. butter

3.     Melt over low heat. Cool a bit and spread over mint layer.

4.     Chill until chocolate sets and cut into small(ish) squares.

* * *

* Inquiring minds want to know: at what age does one stop being a whippersnapper?

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I drafted four possibilities for today’s post and wasn’t quite happy with any of them. I made bread and was distracted by the cat trying to eat said bread (claws were involved), which lead to me doubling the amount of butter. (Still delicious.) We picked up herbs and other plants from a local farm. Then Mr Man asked for a haircut. I do a decent job but it takes me forever. And now it’s time to start thinking about making pizza for dinner and I’m wondering where the day went.

So today, a not terribly original thought about whales. It’s really just an excuse to use the image I spent some time playing with yesterday.

What do whales think of the ridiculousness of humans naming this planet Earth?

* * *

Photo by Gabriel Dizzi on Unsplash

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What would you do if you could go back in time for, say, one day? When would you go, and perhaps just as importantly, where?

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For today’s educational adventure I learned how to make a portal. Next time I’ll choose an image with a puddle for the reflection, but the effect is still pretty magic.

Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

So, we have a target place, a target time, and a portal. Who wants to go first?

* * *

Fiction-related aside: Time travel usually isn’t my genre (weird for someone with a history degree once upon a time, but there it is), but this series about historians tasked with maintaining the time stream is fun:

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

* * *

“History does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells, ‘Can’t you remember anything I told you?’ and lets fly with a club.” 

― John W. Campbell Jr.

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No writing today, but I did learn a little more Affinity Photo. I spent some of the afternoon playing with images and one of the things I made was this poster with Pride and Prejudice text overlay.

Now it’s time for pizza (which does not intimidate me)!

* * *

Text by Jane Austen, Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

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