Project 365 / Day 54 – Creating Art

Click on image above to link to my SmugMug Gallery

Today’s been an adventure on the desktop. With an assignment from my BetterPhoto class with Jim Zuckerman, Making Money with Your Photography, the challenge had been set.

This week’s homework? Creating artistic photographs for display at an art gallery. Working with a collection of boat photos that were taken during my stay at Mount Desert Island, Maine, I began my creations.

First downloading a 15-day trial of Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 as a plug-in to Lightroom 4.3, the adventure began. With some minor Lightroom edits, I selected five photos and one by one began editing them with Silver Efex. Easily linking within Lightroom, the photo is exported to Silver Efex. There are 37 B&W presets that you can chose from, and from there begin the individual process of choosing different film type effects and modifying things like shadows, grain, etc.

The photo is then saved and you’re transported right back into Lightroom where additional edits can be made if necessary. Let me just say..I’m in LOVE with this software combination. With such ease of use, intuitive software and creative effects, you can be assured I’ll be purchasing this software, along with the Color Efex version.

The next step was to upload the edited images to My SmugMug website to start building a solid portfolio of my photos for purchase. But wait, we’re not done !

I’ve been wanting to work on my watermark for a while now, especially with the feature that SmugMug offers. Create a watermark and it will be displayed on the photo. If the photo is purchased, the watermark disappears on the print copy.

First to create the watermark with Photoshop Elements 10. It took me quite some time as I find Elements cumbersome and not very intuitive. After some grumbling and fussing I finally created my simple watermark and uploaded it to an unpublished gallery at SmugMug. The image is then assigned as a watermark photo and is available for placement on the portfolio images.

Click here for SmugMug’s cheat sheet on how to create a watermark in Photoshop.

Once back at my designated gallery “Artistic Boats” I went into gallery settings and assigned my watermark and magically they are now on the photos!

Ok, so it’s not officially a photo I took today, but I think the amount of work I put into creating these five images more than makes up for it. Today’s learning session certainly causes me to admire the professional photographers out there that seem to do this so easily. I hope my growth pains help you if you are creating a portfolio as well.

29 thoughts on “Project 365 / Day 54 – Creating Art

  1. While I love the photo, 6 hours of editing is 6 hours that I can’t be outdoors shooting, and, it sounds too much like a real job. 😉

    I may have to give Smugmug a try, but I think that my rather plain photos would get lost there, and no one would ever see them.

  2. I’ll have to check out that BetterPhoto class. Is it an on-line class?

    Personally, I use Zenfolio for my portfolio just because for my small brain I understood how to get it to “work”, you know? I’ve also been eyeing that Nik Silver Efex . May have to try out that free version and see how it goes. Beautiful photo, as usual, Bella! Hope you have a great weekend.

    • I was having way too much fun with Silver Efex, which means it was really easy to use with Lightroom. I’ve tried PS CS5, PS Elements 10, and OnOne and none of them were as easy as Nik software. Certainly worth a look.

  3. I love the photos! You are most definitely working overtime Emily! Thank you for all these beautiful pictures and summaries. They are all stunning!!

    • You’re right Judy. This Project 365 keeps me busy, and now promotion on several social media sites. I’ve got to get a process setup so I don’t spend all my time doing this. I love how this series turned out too. I have many more photos to go through to transform as well to complete the album.

  4. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
    ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Wilows

  5. REALLY interesting… Thanks for the info. Beautiful photo!!!

    I actually set up a Smugmug account last year….and promptly became confused with the pricing, etc. It’s pretty overwhelming and definitely deserves its fair share of time. I really should attend to what I paid for….

    • I also find Smugmug a bit complex as well. Especially when it comes time to pricing. One thing I learned is that if I didn’t renew every year, the photos I uploaded disappear ! Make sure you download them if you haven’t a back up already. 🙂

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