A BEACH VIEW COTTAGES LANDSCAPE PAINTING

Barbara and I have enjoyed Beachview Cottages on Sanibel Island for several years.  My health has prohibited us from getting down there since our last visit in 2018 and I miss it.  I’m comforted, however, by occasionally clicking on a URL for their beach view camera, a view you can see in real time (daytime only!) (and if it’s working; it doesn’t always.)

by clicking here.

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Obviously, there’s something wrong with the exposure levels and also, maybe, with the color fidelity, but I love the scene at different times of the day.  Then one day it hit me that the scene’s tones made me think of the work of impressionist Mary Cassatt, Pennsylvania born and raised, student at PAFA and later in Paris.  As an example here’s her “Children Playing On The Beach.”

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That made me wonder what I might be able to do with a capture from the beach camera.  I began to do daily screen captures where I thought the scene had potential.  I finally settled on this one.

Yes, it was washed out but I saw potential in the clouds and I liked the surf line and also the water’s wash on the sand.

Sanibel Beach-gigapixel 4x original 800

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THE PROCESS

First, since the extraction from a screen shot yielded a relatively small number of pixels I used Topaz’s Gigapixel AI to enlarge it.  That program does a good job in any event but the video camera tends to produce a soft image such that enlargement doesn’t introduce much in the way of artifacts.  Those that appear can be wafted away with Topaz’s AI Clear.  Next, You’ll note the curved horizon introduced by the lens of the video camera.  Photoshop’s Edit/Transform/Warp does a nice job of straightening things out and, again, the general impressionist tones of the image help sublimate any other distortions introduced.  Next, I wasn’t happy with the scrubby growth or the bare twigs along the lower edge.  In Photoshop I cropped out some of the  bottom edge and then used the Clone tool to create a similar patch at lower left.  Again with the Clone tool I enhanced growth at lower right.  Finally, I used Topaz’s Studio 2 to fiddle with contrast and saturation to produce the final image.  I did not apply any of the Topaz “Add Look” filters.  And, I’m happy.

Sanibel Beach-gigapixel-scale-4_00x NIK's TC 800——————-

For a full sized version click here.

4 Responses to “A BEACH VIEW COTTAGES LANDSCAPE PAINTING”

  1. Ken Curtis Says:

    Well done, Ralph. I have not done what you did, that is, take a snapshot of an online shot and try to improve it. I have found it fun to go back over my older photos and improve them based on the skills I have gained over the years. The results are similar to what you’ve done here in that my photos, and your photo, look so much better. It should be a nice hobby for you. Are you going to try other scenes, such as lighthouses?

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      I, too, have found myself “re-tuning” an earlier image based on capabilities I’ve found in e.g. Topaz, or on improved skills with Photoshop. In this case I deliberately made the screen grab of the video stream anticipating polishing it and also working towards a “painting” landscape. Thanks for your continued fo9llowing of my work and your insights.

  2. Judy Austermiller Says:

    Beautiful, peaceful photo, Ralph. Thanks for sharing the image and how you arrived at it.

    • Ralph Berglund Says:

      Thanks, Judy. Barb and I were in Cape May this past Sunday (the 30th) and we thought of you and your knowledge of the town (which we also love) and your life there with Warren.
      Summer is winding down and I expect to be returning to the Leas after Labor Day. C’ya ’round campus.


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