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Creating Painterly Photographs

Lesson 1 of 21

Class Introduction

Kathleen Clemons

Creating Painterly Photographs

Kathleen Clemons

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

So what we're going to be talking about today are painterly photographs. And you know, you may love a painterly look and not know how to do it. You may be a frustrated painter at heart and wanna be able to take your photographs and make them painterly. The more I shoot, the more I am attracted to this style of photography. I don't really wanna shoot documentary shots. I want to make images that show a little bit more about just what I saw, or even what I felt, and a painterly look really helps me do that. Because I kind of see the world in a painterly, soft way, and this style of photography lets me show the world the way that I see. I am not a Photoshop expert in any way, shape or form. But the post processing part of my presentation will be very simple techniques, nothing really tough or technical. Because I don't wanna spend a lot of time on the computer, I wanna be out taking more photos. As much as I love post processing, it's fun, but my real love is the feeling that I get when I...

capture something in camera. So I also want you to know that the techniques that I'm going to show you, you're gonna see a lot of flowers, only because that's my favorite thing to shoot, but the techniques are not only for flowers. They're going to be, they could be, you could use these for weddings, you can use them for still life, landscapes, you'll see a few landscapes and even a wedding shot, 'cause I've done one wedding in my life and that was good, it was enough. So to tell you specifically what we're going to be talking about, and also I'm gonna be showing you a lot of photos, and I think that's important because photographers I think are visual learners, and I'm not going to show you one image and talk about it for 15 minutes. I'm gonna bombard you with a lot of different photos and a lot of different examples, because I think that's important. And we're also going to be showing you some videos, we did a shoot in a garden a couple days ago to illustrate the techniques because I can't really do that here. So you'll see those as well. I'm always asked how I get the painterly look. So these are the things that I will be showing you as to how I do that. The in-camera techniques that I'll be covering are selective focus or shallow depth of field, I'll show you how to use a Lensbaby, we'll be talking about slow shutter speeds, in camera motion, we'll be doing shooting through, and that will be shooting through natural as well as artificial foreground materials, we'll be doing double and multiple exposure in-camera, and talking about painterly backgrounds. The post processing techniques I'll be showing you are panning in Photoshop, doing double or multiple exposure in Photoshop, and a technique that I call my Dancing Flower Technique, which is something that I've been experimenting a lot with lately and I want to share that with you, and then I'll go on into some painterly effect software. And the last thing that we'll be covering is all about adding textured backgrounds. Textures are huge right now and I will show you the how, why, when, what, where, everything that I can do.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Make yourself stand out among nature photographers by adding a new dimension to your images. Painterly techniques draw attention to the delicate patterns, lines, textures, and designs that we often overlook in the natural world.

Kathleen Clemons is an experienced nature photographer, known for her creative techniques and her unique, stunning compositions. 

Join Kathleen for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to achieve the painterly look in-camera with slow shutter, selective focus, Lensbaby, and multiple exposures.
  • How to evoke the painterly look in Photoshop with panning.
  • How to use Topaz Impression and NIK software to make painterly photos.
In this class, you’ll learn how to create painterly images by using a wide variety of techniques. Kathleen will show you how to apply effects using in-camera settings, different lenses, Adobe Photoshop®, and low-tech tricks like applying vaseline to filters. Capture the magic of nature and turn your photography into remarkable impressionistic art. 



Wow. I really loved this class. I took her other class, "The Art of Flower Photography" as well. She is very thorough, explains concepts clearly and is professional, yet kind. I have been doing photography for decades, but flower photography is a little bit of a different animal. I have found it to be extraordinarily challenging - which is also invigorating! At the same time, using Kathleen's principles, I feel like I now have basic rules and tools under my belt which I did not have before. This is a little humbling as I have been doing photography for so long and was surprised there were a few basic concepts I didn't "get the memo" on. haha. This class will save me heaps of trial and error time. I will be much better able to zero in on what I really need to work on. I actually recommend taking both her Creative Live courses. Yes, there is a bit of overlap - but that little bit of repetition is actually helpful. They are not the same class. Oh, and one more "perk" get to view some of the most stunning flower photography ever created. Masterful. Thank you, Kathleen.

Donna Macri Stevens

As I've been watching this class, I have literally been sitting at my computer and saying aloud, "Wow....WOW!" This is an absolutely amazing class!!! I began watching it while it streamed, but had to buy it. Kathleen is an amazing instructor, and she is SO generous with her tips and techniques. I love that she supplemented her instruction with on-site videos, in class photo manipulation and so much more. If you love flower photography or want amazing tips on how to make your photos more painterly, CLICK BUY NOW! I'm just blown away! This is a GREAT, GREAT class!


Kathleen's images have a very artistic and painterly character, so she is a great presenter for this subject. In this class she openly shares many of her methods of shooting to create in-camera artistic images (even with your phone) as well as post-processing techniques. She presents this material with her open, calm, strong and passionate manner that gives you an "artistic license" to experiment and discover "What happens if?" I have admired her work for a long time and am so excited that she shares the secrets of creating her enchanting images here. If you are interested in capturing images that go beyond what you see to incorporate how you feel about a subject, you will love this class!