An Artistic Touch with Chamira Young

Images and words by Chamira Young

Going through my archives, I stumbled upon some photos I'd taken a couple autumns back. It was at Goodells County park here in Michigan, one of my favorite places to walk. Using my Platypod Ultra and the Tamron 35-150mm F2.8-4, I was able to capture some lovely images by selecting strategic spots to set my camera down on the ground to take advantage of dramatic low viewpoints. In my life before Platypod, my go-to move was hunker down on the ground in wet leaves, mud, and grass. Needless to say, Platypod has now made my life much easier!

Here's my setup:

Sorting through these images, I found a couple that caught my fancy. Here's one after touching it up in Lightroom:

Afterwards, I brought the image into Photoshop and ran it through a custom watercolor action I recently created myself. My favorite feature about this Photoshop Action is that it incorporates actual watercolor strokes I painted by hand on good old-fashioned cold pressed watercolor paper, and then takes any photo through dozens of steps quickly. Creating the action actually took me weeks of testing, trial, and error. At this point I'm pretty happy with it, although it's still a work in progress.

Because of the way I created the action, it gives a unique result each and every time. From there I always fine tune it, which takes some time. This involves sorting through the numerous layers, adding in additional layers manually, adjusting the color, and adding in more brush strokes manually. Here's the final result.

I also found another image that had artistic potential. First, I retouched it in Lightroom:

From there, I also brought this one into Photoshop, ran it though my action, and fine-tuned it. Below is the end result. Fun!


 You can view more of my art portfolio at