Photo Tips

Painterly Captures


Finding the artist within oneself many times is very difficult. Finding inspiration and learning the techniques of the art benefit from learning from others that have walked the path before you.

Thus, this past week my inner artist has been challenged by two lovely and very talented photographers. Using a camera as my canvas the potential of what I can do with it is truly limitless. But knowing how to use it, and what to do with the images I’ve taken in the digital darkroom is a whole other task.

A very dear mentor and incredible artist in her own right is Denise Ippolito of A Creative Adventure. I’ve been so fortunate to spend some close time with her this past year. First on the beautiful beach on Long Island where we spent several days capturing Common Terns, Black Skimmers and American Oystercatchers. And then earlier this spring at Longwood Gardens where we spent time with the blue poppies there.

This past weekend, she offered a special one-day event named Creative Expressions which was a classroom event where she shared with us some of her magical secrets in the Digital Darkroom. All of these tips and much more are included in her E-book “A New Guide to Creative Filters and Effects.”

To be honest, I have purchased this E-book, but have yet to open it up and read it. I’m one of those learners that do best by doing, not reading. So this workshop was perfect for me. Denise had set up photography stations with flowers for us to practice with, and then showed us ways we can become creative in the digital darkroom following the photography session.

And so the next creative photographer and her ideas step in. Enjoying a recent Creative Live class “Creating Painterly Photographs” by Kathleen Clemons, she had shared the idea of using tulle and printed backgrounds to enhance flower images in the field. So I brought some lace and textured backgrounds to play with in the workshop.

For the image above, I placed the lace over a bright textured background and set it behind this flower. Creating a simple composition, I then brought it into Photoshop CC and added a texture and brought in some of the flower detail.

Amazingly, the overall task was quite simple, but it was with the inspiration and guidance of these two amazingly creative ladies that I was shown the path.

Denise Ippolito has another lovely image that I have admired and I’ve done my best to do my rendition of her image.


This one actually needed a bit of forethought as Denise had taken dried Hydrangea blossoms and kept them for some creative work. Placing them on an light box, I assembled them as desired. Once I brought the image into Photoshop CC, I tried my best to figure out Denise’s magic. This was the closest I could get by using the Photo Filter option.

It’s as if I went to the art store and bought new pencils, and paintbrushes. Now that I have some new tools, I can begin to create my own digital art. Let the painting begin!

32 replies »

  1. Beautiful, Emily! I love transforming my photos in a similar way – it’s amazing sometimes to see the number of moods that can be created from one image!

  2. A fascinating post! I have many of the same tools you mention, but I’m wishing I could have attended the workshops and leared more. Your results are beautiful, and I tapped the “Press this” button, although I’m not sure what it did.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this post with your readers Skip. It reposted it on your page. Brilliant ! The Creative live one is recorded and you can purchase it and you own it forever and can watch it over and over. I’m learning and tried yesterday some of the techniques but didn’t quite get what I wanted. I’m going to keep trying though. Have a wonderful day!

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