Posted on Apr.30, 2009, under Michigan

(Olympus E-3, 70-300mm at 70mm (2x crop factor), ISO 100 exposure 1/800 sec @ f/8.0)

Palio is an Italian restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The side of the building is painted to look old, a combination of trompe l’oeil and real features. My goal in this shot was to highlight the color and texture of the painting.

My processing involved using some curves layers to brighten parts of the image and improve contrast, I used an HSL layer to bump the color a little bit and a couple of sharpening layers. One sharpening layer was to add ‘clarity’ and used a low amount and high radius, followed by a regular sharpening layer. At this point I had an image which really showed some detail and aging, but I decided I didn’t like the look. As an experiment, I created a new layer using the Topaz Simplify filter which created more of a painterly look. I still wanted the image to look like a photograph, so I reduced the opacity of the new layer and let some of the sharpened image come through. In the end I really like how the Simplify filter brought out some color that was hidden in the paint and the overall look it gave to the image.

I’d be interested in hearing what others think.

Comments and feedback welcome.

Image and text Copyright © 2009 James W. Howe – All rights reserved

This image can be purchased in my Color gallery at ImageKind.

Follow me on Twitter @JamesHowePhoto
On Google+ at James Howe

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One Comment

  • Ilan says:
    That’s cool. When I first saw the photo, I thought it’s some kind of very original book-closet so you can imagine that I was surprised when I’ve read your description.
    It was nice to be surprised :)

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