I could say that the image-making process began when I looked out my window early one morning to see that the snow, that had fallen during the night, had transformed my street from winter drab to an enchanted landscape. The town was in the process of getting back to business as usual. The snow plows were already rumbling in the distance and early-bird neighbors had begun scraping their sidewalks. With no time to lose, I grabbed my old but trusty Panasonic Lumix zs7 and stepped out onto my front steps still dressed in my night shirt and slippers and quickly took several photos facing up and down the street. My intention was just to make a quick post on fb about the snow with a single image illustrating how little snow had fallen (We had been expecting a lot more snow). While the images were good enough for a quick web post, the image quality was not very good because I had forgotten to reset the ISO for the dim morning light resulting in too slow a shutter speed for sharp hand-held exposures. However, since I liked the subject and composition, I decided to explore in what ways this image might be transformed through digital manipilation into a graphic illustration.
Image editing - Basic
Having previously imported the digital file onto the Camera Roll (CR) of my iPad using the Apple SD card reader plugged into the Lightning port, the first order of business was to do basic image edits. I used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Mobile (Lr mobile) to rotate, crop, adjust overall exposure, and open up the shadows. Then I saved to the CR. (Edits could also have been done using SnapSeed, iColorama or a number of other apps.) This gave me my base "original" image.
Using Lr mobile has the advantage that you can access other Adobe mobile apps from it or save your image to your desktop version of Lr CC for further editing. In this case, I used the healing brush/clone stamp in Adobe Photoshop Fix (PsFix) to remove a tree branch which I found visually distracting before saving the image to the CR.
Image editing - further manipulation
I imported the edited original image into Impresso by JixiPix which makes it look like an oil painting. I selected 3 areas to be rendered with finer brush strokes in order to give the image visual focus. I saved this back to the CR again.
Although I liked the resulting oil painting-look, I felt that the image would benefit from even more detail than I could get with Impresso. To accomplish this, I would need to selectively add some of the details in the original back into the "oil painting." It was easy to do this in iColorama.
Alternatively, PhotoshopMix (PsMix) could have been used to bring in details from the original using layers. However, I have found that when an image has been transformed by Impresso or similar painting apps, it no longer registers perfectly with original image when using PsMix and is therefore much more difficult to use for this purpose.
For a slightly different look, I opened the last edit in Mextures where I cropped the image to a square (for posting to Instagram) and added a light leak filter using the Overlay Blending Mode. This resulted in the addition of a peachy-pink to the left side adding a bit of warmth to the image and reminding me of the golden glow of early morning sunlight.
That's it for this tutorial. I'll leave you with a couple other versions derived from the same original image.