The Great Journey in Photography

If It Walks Like A Duck…

Ducks in the sunset

Click for large view

One thing about making landscape photos, it’s location, location, location. I love a good landscape and from time to time try my hand at it. It’s certainly not as easy as it looks but I am getting better. That brings me to the sticking point, location. I hate taking the time to make a nice landscape technically but is really boring but when you have thousands of bird photos available it becomes a lot easier to spice things up. Not just a composite but rather a composite made to art. So today lets give it a shot. Here is an exapmle of one I came up with in about a half hour. There are so many paths you can take in making such a piece of art so I will not get too specific about how to construct such a piece, after all it is a creative thing. You are really going to need a program like Photoshop, certainly something that can create and edit layers and has blending modes.

Here is the basic recipe for the image above:

Process the landscape image as normal.
Insert a layer on top and fill it with a canvas like cream color and select Filters>Texture>Texturizer. You need to be in 8bit mode to do this. The default texture is canvas and that is what you want. You will need to adjust the Scaling and Relief depending on the size of the image. Tip: Be sure to zoom out to view the entire layer when doing this.
Click “OK” and you are done with that.Now set that layer blending mode to Hard Light and lower the opacity. This will probably look washed out but we will fix that later. You really want to see a canvas texture at this point.
Now go find some bird in flight images. You are going to need ones that are pretty high contrast with the subject a little under exposed and not real sharp. Wow! I have a ton of those.
Mask out the birds with the Quick Selection or Magic Wand tools.
Copy and paste into your canvas on a new layer.
Duplicate that layer and set the lower layer blending mode to Overlay and lower the opacity of the top a bit till it looks good.
Add as many birds as you like using the same technique.
Now here is the finishing touch.
Turn off the texture layer and hit Shift+Option+Command+E keys (Mac) to create a new layer with one merged image on top and lower the opacity way down and set to Overlay or a different blend mode for that extra punch of contrast and saturation.
Turn the texture layer back on.
Use levels adjustment on individual layers to fine tune the image and you are done.

It doesn’t matter how you get there. If it looks like art its art!

Thanks for reading everyone and have a great day.



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