This is a 11 minute video on how you can use standard filters to get a custom effect. I have tried filtering everything.
I have filtered great photos into different great photos. I have filtered medium to bad photos into better images. I have even filtered sketches into interesting blended works. I am not a purist. I want the image that I want.
I love all the filtering programs that automatically do what took me hours to master in Photoshop. Generally these programs are automatic and you must accept the entire filtering of your image. This isn’t acceptable to me, sometimes I want only a part of the files with a specific filter effect.
I found Sketchbook, a free program that has layers like PhotoShop, and the ability to erase parts of the layer. So basically I start a file in Sketchbook and populate it with dozens of filtered layers. You can reduce the transparency of one layer then merge it down to the next layer. Or you can merge it down with darken, screen, overlay, etc. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
In the end the image is closer to the idea that you want, it isn’t necessarily better than the photograph, but it stands unique. I encourage all image makers to play with the concept.
I remember going to an art festival where the booth had a sign “No PhotoShop Here”. How sad to not use a useful tool. Perhaps the owner thought this guaranteed that his/her work was of better quality. It’s true that awful images can be made with PhotoShop. Awful images can also be made with cameras.
Some people avoid filters because it may make images that “pretend” to be canvas prints. Shame on you if you use technology for fraudulent art. That does not give you an excuse to ignore some wonderful techniques. Digital Art is Art!
Seek the image that you desire!