Friday, October 15, 2010

Photoshop Art

I may have mentioned how I'm cyber stalking a fan of Ree over at the Pioneer Woman.  She just recently put up a photography/Photoshop challenge where she provided an image and asked that fans use Photoshop to give a different spin on the photo.  It's really got me thinking about Photoshop as an art medium.  Now, don't get me wrong, I still think it's important to figure out my camera.  And while I haven't been shooting much lately, I'm still aiming to learn more and more every time I do get it out.  I'm also a big believer that while Photoshop has a lot to offer any given photo, the best Photoshop can do to a bad photo, is nothing compared to a good photo to start with.  Having said that though, Photoshop is pretty amazing.

So, I decided to take up her challenge, but on my own picture to see what I could do with an average photo of mine.  In part because I didn't want her awesome photos to have an influence on what I could do with my shots.  After all, I won't be working with her photos, I'll be working with my own.

So here's Bunny from a few month's ago on our LA Arboretum trip Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC)


The SOOC shot has that grey overcast that most digital cameras have.  I haven't figured out how to eliminate that via the camera.  Does anyone know?

So, the very first thing I did was adjust the curves slightly to remove the grey, put a smart blur on her face to soften it up a bit, and used the clone tool to tame the wispy hair on the back of her head.  This became my new base photo that all the subsequent changes were based on.

New Base Image

In this next shot, I used the above photo as my base and just added Pioneer Woman's Define & Sharpen action.
Image 1

In this next shot, I went back to my curves base image and added saturation and a lens flare.

Image 2

In this next one, I went back to my base image, increased the exposure by +1, darkened the levels twice and made it black and white.

Image 3

Going back to my curves base image, I ran Pioneer Woman's Boost action twice and added her Lovely and Ethreal action on top of that.

Image 4

Back to my curves base image, I added TRA's Troy action.
Image 5

And finally, on top of my last image, I added Pioneer Woman's Boost action.

Image 6

Okay, I just have to add one more, where I combine image 6 with background of image 4 kicked down a bit via opacity.  I have to admit, I really love how she's still washed out, but the background color gives the whole thing a bit more depth.

Image 7

I really love how each of them came out, but I must admit I'm drawn to the more saturated and dramatic ones.  I particularly like image 7, 3 and 6 the best, with the lens flare on image 2 coming in a close fourth place.

Which images do you guys like best and why?  What sort of photography are you drawn to?

Tomorrow I'll use this same image and explore textures and overlays.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

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