I believe that it was Ansel Adams who made reference to photography being somewhat analogous to music and said “The negative is the score and the print is the performance”. In the musical world there are many different interpretations, performances and arrangements of songs and musical scores. Should this be any different in photography? I would say no. In today’s digital world I would say that the raw image capture is the score and the digital post processing is the performance. The performance brings the image to life and gives it its own personality.
I’ve experimented with different tools and techniques to make a photograph look like a realistic painting. None have met a quality and performance level that satisfied me and looked realistic until now. Traveling down a Google rabbit hole one day I discovered a tool called Real Paint FX. I was blown away by the capabilities and customization options that the tool offered. It’s not a gimmick and is in fact the real deal. Many Photoshop actions and plugins simply provide a “click and done” process yielding less than optimal results with little or no opportunity for applying your own performance to the image. I’m not fan of the “click and done” tools. Real Paint FX is different. One can apply many adjustments and customizations after the effect has been applied. I’ve even added my own textures which is extremely simple do to. The tool lives in FX Box in Photoshop. I’ve just begun learning this tool and all of the options it offers. Below are a few of the results. I’ve also printed them and have to say that the results are impressive.
If Ansel Adams were alive today I have no doubt that he would embrace any and all tools that are available.
Click here for a link to a very good YouTube tutorial.