It’s Spring – and almost officially, so I got inspired to work on an image of a blue poppy that I photographed at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania back in early March. This was made inside the conservatory. I had heard so much about these blue poppies, but my vision and the reality were at odds on that day. There were just a few in a large planter, two planters actually, and most of them were already spent. This one was in great shape, though, and the light came softly through it’s petals as it gracefully nodded its head. I made a good, clean image of it, but it needed something else in my mind. So I took it into Photoshop, combined it with an out of focus layer that I had exposed while there, using overlay as the blending mode; that made it a lot better but I decided to take it a step further, and made a copy of the layer, and ran it through Topaz Simplify using the watercolor preset. I made no adjustments to that preset, but instead went back to Photoshop and reduced opacity to 70% to blend the water color effect and the real but dreamy soft montage I had just made. I like the results. Painterly, but not an obvious preset look. If I had more time, I’d continue, but I have to post this before I head off to teach a workshop in the morning; oh wait, it IS morning already!!

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