Photographic Fun and Amputation

Do you have a love/hate relationship with Adobe?

I do. Witness this photo. I produce a weekly newsletter for the Ananda Community in Mountain View, California. Strictly an amateurish effort. When God made me, he turned off the brain cells where graphic arts talent is localized. Nevertheless, I struggle on.

I grew excited when I watched a tutorial by Jesus Ramirez on his wonderful YouTube Photoshop Training Channel, where he explained a technique for turning photos into pencil sketches in Photoshop. I’d not been impressed by similar applications of Photoshop filters in the past, which didn’t really deliver drawing-like results. But Jesus is a relentless experimenter, and he found a quirky method that was fun and actually produced decent images.

The final step, the one that mattered, involved applying the Oil Paint filter. Wow, I thought, the example that Jesus made is really amazing. It’s beautiful. Smiling with anticipation, I chose Filter > Stylize > … only to find Oil Paint greyed-out.

Naturally. Of course. Why do God and Adobe so often frustrate my pathetic artsy dreams?

I spent perhaps 2 1/2 hours looking for a way to make Oil Paint work. No luck. None of the suggested fixes worked, even though my PC has an eight-core processor, a qualifying graphics card, and 16 GB of RAM.

Oh, well. Several hours of wasted time, on a photo that would be printed 3 1/2 inches wide. If that ain’t the glories of technology, I don’t know what is.

I ended up tweaking the photo in Pixlr, using a Glamour filter as an Oil Paint stand-in. I think it worked pretty well.

Thing is, I spent 2 hours in my frustrated search for a computer fix. Then I meditated a little longer than usual in my noon session, and when I returned I found the Pixlr filter.

Don’t you just hate it when you’re constrained to use photos at postage-stamp size? Why do you think I’m writing this? Purely so I can post the photo at the size it was intended to be viewed.

Oh, yes. Sorry, I amputated poor Kamaladevi’s left arm with the Spot Healing brush because it appeared to be sticking out of Suman’s head. I’ll probably re-attach it before using the photo again. Maybe fade the left hand a bit with Gaussian Blur? Leave the shoulder and omit the hand? Did I mention that I’m visual-arts-impaired? I’ll meditate on it.


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