Creating a New Product Line

April 8, 2010

Photo Tips

In the exciting world of retail art photography, a photographer has to keep on evolving; keep on experimenting; keep on creating new looks.

Like most serious photographers, I have a truckload of old images that are really top quality, but which needed to be given a breath of new life. For ten years now I have been trying to paint my images manually, one way or another. I tried it with a paintbrush and acrylics at first. Then I tried painting oils on to my fiber darkroom prints. Finally I tried watercolor paints mixed with colored pencils. I had limited success, and ruined a lot of prints.

I have tried a couple of digital painting programs lately, and found them a bit difficult to understand. The instruction manuals still sit in a stack on my special desk, which is dedicated to unfinished projects.

As a tester for the new Adobe Photoshop CS5, I started toying around with the new mixing brush tool. You’ll find it hidden under the paint brush tool. I love it! It is pretty simple to use for those artists who already have a basic grasp of Photoshop. The image below was painted in about an hour, using just two different brushes on a single layer. Boy, I am really excited to dig further into the “wet brush” settings and develop a line that will really catch some attention when printed on large stretched canvases.

Shhhh! Don’t tell your oil-paint-artist friends how simple this is. Some of them may become jealous of us digital photographers — after all, we have the creative world at our fingertips!

This image is of a champion hula dancer named Haunani. If you have ever wanted to photograph real hula on the beach in Hawai’i, you can join me and Rick Sammon, and Juan Pons, and a dozen other pros (including others from the DP Experience gang) at the Maui Photo Festival in August! Rumor has it that the famous Adobe Photoshop Evangelist Russell Preston Brown might show up again this year to give us the inside scoop on CS5. There is nothing better than shooting a digital camera while standing barefoot in the white, tropical sands of Maui!


This post was written by:

- who has written 13 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Randy is owner of Hawaii’s oldest fine-art photography gallery. He left the world of corporate & medical photography behind 20 years ago to realize his dream of becoming a professional camera artist. He is an avid outdoorsman who proclaims, “My tent is my castle, and my kayak is my limousine.” You can visit Randy’s website at

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2 Responses to “Creating a New Product Line”

  1. Darrin Says:

    While no program will truly replace the “artist” they sure do come close. Use one of the powerful painting programs and throw it on a canvas and many would be hard pressed to tell the difference.


  2. Jeremy Pollack Says:

    Beautiful painting Randy.


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