I attended a workshop this past weekend, in Seattle. I'll have more to say on that later. We did most of our shooting at the Arboretum, a beautiful park that features plants from all over the world.
I thought I had this creek all to myself, and I was photographing some floating leaves, very close to the shore. I was pretty focused, when all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye this canoe comes into view.
I had only about 3 seconds to manually focus and get off a couple of shots. No time for any other camera settings, but it worked out just fine.
When I looked at the original file, I saw a lot of individual detail, way too much in fact. What I wanted was more of a picture of the stillness, the beauty this man must have been feeling. Certainly the image had potential.
Remembering the watercolor effect in Topaz Simplify, I went there and gave it a try. The preset was a good start, but not what I had in mind. But it is so easy to simply move the various sliders and instantly see the effect. Basically what I did was increase the watercolor effect, toning down what Simplify was doing with small details. I also decreased the brightness a bit.
Check out the original on the Continue link below. Note that this week I also am showing the pre-cropped version. The photographer leading the workshop definitely likes to fill the frame with the subject, so I'm giving that a go in this finished image.