Topaz Labs does it again!

It’s no secret that my favorite plugins for Adobe Photoshop digital image editing comes from a great little company called Topaz Labs. Their plugins include modules to Adjust, B&W Effects, Clarity, Clean, DeJPEG, DeNoise, Detail, InFocus, Lens Effects, ReMask, ReStyle, Star Effects, and my favorite Simplify. Now they have raised the creativity bar with their newest module: Topaz Impression. Impression allows you to turn your photos into art with real brushstrokes – digital brushstrokes, of course. This new module separates Topaz Labs from the other digital filter software makers and gives photographers a new tool for creating their own original masterpieces.

Digital cartooned image of Mann Reservoir

To launch is great product, Topaz Labs are giving away 3 copies of Topaz Impressions – a $99.00 value. Enter here to Win

Fall Colors in the Colorado High Country

Every year summer turns to fall, and in the Rocky Mountains nature turns the mountain scenes into works of art. Autumn has once again come to Colorado, and it’s time for artists to get out the camera, sketch pad, or easel.

My artist tool of choice is my dSLR camera coupled with a laptop and my digital processing tools. With so many spectacular scenic opportunities out there, it’s hard to choose what to shoot next. The first step is to get out into nature, with an empty memory card, charged battery, and a monopod or tripod. Once you find your scene and the light is right, take many, many shots. I work on bracketing exposure and depth of field.

Colorado mountain color scene
Out of camera, sharpened jpeg of a fall scene in the Colorado mountains new South Park, CO.


These RAW shots are then taken back to my processing lab in my RV, and downloaded into my computer. Once images are out of the camera, and into the processing lab, it’s time to review all the bracketed photos and pick the best captures to digitally enhance.

My current style is to apply generous amounts of digital processing to transform my OoC (Out of Camera) images from a realistic photo to an impressionistic colorful simplified image that expresses my inner feelings about the scene I witnessed. For true photography purists this is probably not to their liking, but sorry, it’s my style right now in my digital art journey.

My favorite digital image processing tool of choice right now is Topaz Labs Simplify.

Thanks for reading my blog, and check out some great Fall Images on Fine Art America:
fall prints

Photo Gallery & Online Store is Open!

After a long delay, my online gallery and web store is now open at @fineartamerica.  My artist name is J.Michael Nettik, and I have a unique way of processing my digital images. I call it Digital Impressionism so therefore it’s J.Michael Nettik – Digital Impressionist.

brown thorny thistle impressionistic abstract by J.Michael Nettik

During our year of full-time RV’ing I shot over 14,000 digital images and I continue to process these photographs and create unique one-of-a-kind works of art. I have shots from The Thousand Islands of New York State to the Gulf of Mexico.

Royal terns nagging mates on beach

I have continued to shoot photographs after settling in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. I will be posting new images and growing my gallery in the future. Enjoy, and contact me if you are interested in purchasing a print. I will send you a discount code that can be used at checkout just for visiting my blog. Thanks, and enjoy!

Digital cartooned image of Mann Reservoir

I’m sponsering a page on Fine Art America – Digital Images, there are some amazing artists doing some amazing work!

digital photos

The Other Boot Drops

The Other Boot Drops – With a THUD!

I’ll first share the drop of the other boot and then go back to some of the good times that we hadn’t shared before this started.

May 7, 2012

Talk about a crazy day! We had quite a time getting to Austin.  We thought we were already to hit the road until we tried to pull in the living room slide, it wouldn’t budge!
My Hero Jerry to the rescue – with his super powers and trusty sidekick Cabo, he was able to determine an electrical connection problem and got it working.  Great we’re on our way at 2:30, hmm not the early start we’d planned, but what the heck, we’re on the move. Continue reading The Other Boot Drops

We’re Back!!!

I want to apologize to those of you who have been following our blog, it has been a long long time since the last post (Boy sounds like confession!), but the other boot has finally dropped.

After almost 9 months of pretty much problem free life, bad luck caught up with us. (Pat, our dear friend from Rhode Island tells me it adds interest, excitement and drama to the story! I can think of more preferable ways!) any way, after 3 weeks of repairs to the RV and me, we’re getting back to sharing our great adventure. I’m feeling well enough now to go back and share some of our “before the boot” stories too.
So, we’re back!!!  Hope you’ll come back often to follow.

Mississippi to Louisiana

Betty’s RV Park – One of a Kind

Time to head “On the Road Again”, but not without a couple of hitches. First Jerry sent me off to town to pick up baby oil. A fellow RV’er suggested coating the front of the 5th wheel with oil to help keep the bugs from sticking to the front of the RV. After seeing hundreds of these black bugs smashed on the front of my white car after driving to the Jazz Fest in New Orleans yesterday, Continue reading Mississippi to Louisiana

Bay St Louis, LA

Hurricane Katrina Comes Ashore

Our next stop was at Bay St. Louis near Waveland, Mississippi. You may remember hearing the name during Hurricane Katrina. Waveland is actually where the eye of the hurricane came on to land. It’s hard to imagine the terror and devastation that took place here in August 2005.


Sunrise red sky and sun
Sunrise at Waveland coast taken by devastated dock

It is now a beautiful calm and peaceful seaside community again, Continue reading Bay St Louis, LA

“Sunni” and the Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach, Florida

The Name is Sunni, that’s the name I’ve given my Toyota Solara Convertible. I figure she has earned her own nickname since we spend hours together as we follow Jerry, Cabo and Big Red down the highways (often with the top down). I feel she has earned a nickname, so from now on, my beautiful white Toyota  Solara convertible will be referred to as “Sunni”! The melodic voice of the GPS led to the femal gender decision.

Panama City Beach

We made our way to our next stop,  Panama City Beach, FL, by way of Florida 30A and US 98, the costal highways wind through  more picturesque places. We hope one day to make it back to one to explore it more fully, a seaside village called Mexico Beach. There were RV parks, condos and resorts right in town on the beach. We also drove through a huge military base that stretched for miles, and over many long bridges and bodies of water before reaching Panama City. This was the heaviest traffic we’ve driven in since we left Palm Harbor. Sunni and I followed right along behind Jerry and Big Red. Somehow it is more nerve wracking to watch Big Red weave through traffic from behind than it is to ride in the cab with Jerry! I must say though, Jerry has been just amazing at how he took to towing the 5th wheel, especially since he had never towed anything before we left RI last Fall! Learning to tow a 33 foot 5th wheel trailer by pulling directly out on to Interstate 95 in Warwick RI the first time was trial by fire, he’s done great from the start.

There are actually two separate towns, the original city of Panama City and the the community on the beach called Panama City Beach.
We stayed in Panama City Beach at Pineglen RV Resort.

Trailer, car, and camp in Panama City Beach
Pineglen Camp, Panama City Beach

The park was actually located inland  in the pine trees and was laid out nicely with good sized pull through sites, ponds, screen rooms scattered throughout and a large screened area which enclosed the pool, shower rooms and laundry.
Cabo seemed to be  more comfortable here in the pines than he was by the water at our last camp ( he must be a mountain cat rather than a sea cat). He even treed a couple of lizards in the first hour we were set up as he explored his new home from the end of his leash.  He was very comfortable outside on his leash, even by himself, (at least until a car would drive by!)

Cape San Blas

Our camp in Indian Pass is at the ‘end of the road’, literally! So, every once in a while we left to do errands or explore a nearby area.

Well, just when you think you’ve already been to the most beautiful and peaceful places in Florida, you find another one.  Yesterday on our ride back to the RV after driving 18 miles to the nearest post office to mail our tax extension request (anyone who knows the Nettiks is not surprised by this) we saw a sign for Cape San Blas and took a right turn onto a paved road which led down a narrow elbow shaped cape. A paved bicycle trail followed the highway for miles, not ending until we reached the gate to a National Park. We eventually turned off the main road to check out some of the many houses for sale and rent (always having an eye out for a good deal in “paradise”). At the end of the neighborhood we parked the car and walked down to the beach – what met our eyes was miles of white sand beach and hardly another human being in sight. We walked along with the warm Gulf of Mexico lapping at our feet and the brightest blue sky I’d seen in years above us.
Eventually we tore ourselves away from the beach and Back into our car headed toward our home on wheels. However, on the way we decided it was time to check out the Indian Pass Raw Bar and Trading Post that we had heard a lot about. Who can resist a place described as having the best oysters ever and self serve beer! Not us, that’s for sure!
We weren’t disappointed. We started off with a self serve pitcher of beer and a cup of seafood gumbo (delicious), next was the decision of how to have our oysters – raw, steamed or baked – we decided on the baked with topped Parmesan cheese and garlic butter, they were absolutely the best tasting oysters we’ve ever had!
Great way to end another beautiful day!

Indian Pass

A Walk on the Beach

As Jerry and I walked along the miles of beach at Indian Pass, I collected shells and Jerry grabbed his #camera and did some landscape and abstract #photography. We started walking together, but soon Jerry went on ahead looking for just the right bird or wave to photograph and I became completely engrossed in examining the shells washed up on the beach by the morning’s storm.  As I was collecting the “just right” small shells from the sand, an elderly man came down from his house above the beach.  He said that he and his wife had been watching me for some time and thought I must be finding jewels of some sort. I said that I was, I was collecting the jewels of the beach, and that I was planning to make them into jewelry. We had a wonderful conversation where I learned that his wife had been a teacher and he a principal! He had been retired 29 years and had been coming to Indian Pass for the last 11 years.
Next I came across a couple from Atlanta who were walking their dogs, one a beautiful golden retriever and the other a homeless dog that they had rescued from a park near their home in Atlanta.
It is so much fun to meet and hear the stories of the people we are meeting along the way!