What a great photographic age we live in. Digital cameras! What a wonderful advancement! But then you consider all the fabulous software and it's no wonder so many folks are being turned onto photography.
Here's a photo I took on a camping trip about 40 years ago. Back then, developing photos was an expensive proposition, and many of us poorer folk settled for 35 mm slides as a cheaper alternative. That's how this photo survived for 40 years, as a slide that bounced around from house to house, state to state. I'm amazed it survived at all.
Not long ago, I unearthed my long ignored box of slides and scanned them to my Mac. They were fabulous memories, but horrible photos. But this slide caught my attention, and I hated to waste it. I opened it up in Photoshop Elements, and opened the Filter menu. It defaulted to Posterized, and I was amazed how nice it looked without even making an adjustment. I decided to save it right there, as is, and that's what you see here. I call this "On Golden Pond".
Elements has dozens of filter effects to play with. You can make your favorite photo look like an oil painting, add frames and mattes, or create something a bit more abstract. I used my telephoto lens to capture a full moon in Tucson one evening, and I've been wondering what to do with that nice photo. A couple years ago, I took a photo of the river in Florence, Italy. While I liked the layout on that photo, the sky was washed out and the overall photo just didn't make it. Now recently, I saw a movie of Venus passing in front of the Sun. The movie had a very pretty red sky, which for some reason made me think of the other two photos. I made a screen capture of that red sky, and used Elements to blend all three images into the following, which I call "Florence Moon".
My point is that if a photo has some magical aspect to it, but the photo itself isn't that great, think about other uses. Just maybe, you can turn it into a winner.
Also, please note that I am happy to create an "oil painting" version of any photo from my galleries. Just contact me and I'll show you what it will look like before you purchase.