Photoshop Filters and Making a Painting from a Photo

By Matthew Bamberg / May 6, 2006

Today I hiked two neighborhoods in BA. The first was a neighborhood of upper crust society–Recoleta–where the picture below was taken.

My favorite subjects here are the elderly, not because they are old, but because the dress how people used to dress. Now the woman here I caught eating lunch. I liked the picture a lot, but it was blurred. These Edward Hopper-like scenes are easily manipulated to look like paintings.

All I do in Photoshop is choose Filter>Artistic>Underpainting (I choose canvas, then play with the sliders to get result you want) then I tweak the casts by playing around with the levels sliders (Image>Adjustments>Levels).

I do this only because I like the way this tool tweaks. There are many other ways to get same/similar results. And, many times, you can tweak parts of your image with the same filter by first selecting it with a selection tool.

Last, depending on the condition of the photo, you might warm it up a bit (using PS’s photo filters) or blur the edges with a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur).

Below, you’ll find an image that I tweaked, an image of 60’s-like stool seating at an old bar in BA. You gotta just love the scene, and after it’s tweaked, imagine it hanging in your or someone else’s home.

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About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).