Impressionist painting

Does it remind you of Claude Monet and his impressionist paintings? This “painting” is actually a landscape photograph—Photoshopped. Here’s its original version:

Landscape photo

Incredible, isn’t it? You too can turn your own backyard into an impressive impressionist painting!

Why is this impressionist-style photograph more impressive than the original realistic photo? When you glimpse these two pictures for only one second each, you are in awe of the impressionist-style and its colors; when you glance at the original photo, you may be distracted by the detail of the green plants in the foreground and miss the big picture—the “impression”.

It’s similar to the monochrome effect that helps see the “meaning” by eliminating the detail. This impressionist-style picture goes one step further and cultivates an autumn mood instantly in viewers.

Impressionist Characteristics

If you know the main characteristics of impressionist art, you can mimic them with in-camera or post-processing techniques.

The foremost impressionist characteristic is the fanciful colors that reveal the “impression”. The light also plays a crucial role in capturing brief moments in impressionist artworks. Other prominent impressionist traits are short, broken brushstrokes and blurred soft shadow lines or blurry background to eliminate the detail.

Impressionism without Rules

Actually, you can take impressionist-style pictures and get really fun results by breaking the rules of photography!

Focus through You can use techniques such as intentional camera movement, zoom blur, selective focus, specialty lens and long exposure to achieve this amazing impressionist effect without Photoshop.
The photographer set a low ISO, small aperture, and slow shutter speed to keep the color rich and make the detail be blurred. He also de-focused the image to make it softer. He calls the technique as “motion blurs“. The light, color and blur—a surprising impressionist success. Aspen Dance in Spring social
Birches Abstract This photographer got into more detail on using camera-panning technique to create impressionist photographs. It even includes shaking the camera!

Impressionist with Photoshop

Certain effects cannot be achieved in-camera though. Moreover, if a camera doesn’t capture the detail, it’s impossible to bring it back. In this sense, post-processing your landscape photos into impressionist paintings using Photoshop is a good idea. Multiple Exposure Effect

Impressionist Portraits

Not only can you transform your landscape photographs into impressionist paintings, you can also transform your portrait photos into impressionist ones.


You can get more creative with in-camera techniques and even the simplest props like a scarf! Just experiment with the lighting and exposure and you can shoot impressionist photographs as stunning as this one!

Further Reading

Photoshop Watercolor Tutorial: Add a Painterly Effect to Your Photos

About The Author

is a photography enthusiast and a frequent traveler who truly appreciates every tiny beauty of life and has traveled extensively around the world. She finds herself keen on a unique type of photography and calls herself a culture photographer. Her passion is Paris where she has been to more than once, living as a Parisian. She has walked big streets and small alleys in Paris, and every inch of the city has given her inspiration. She has a Paris collection on and a Paris travel blog at

Related Posts