Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

In my Photoshop class we are working on a project that is supposed to channel the art of photogravure.  Photographs done in this style are often soft images with a sepia tone and a textured look to them.  To say that is really simplifying things, and the link I provided goes into much more detail and gives many examples if you are interested in taking a peek.

This week I have been busy creating a series of images that hopefully reflect that style.  Here is one:

ISO 200 18mm 0ev f/5.6 1/400
ISO 200 18mm 0ev f/5.6 1/400

I will show you the original image at the bottom of this post so you can see where I started. It was very cold this week, but I went for a quick walk in a local park looking for an image like this that I could work with.  This photo I shot with my point and shoot camera, because I knew that it could capture an image like this one well.  I also knew that my final print for my project will be a small one, no larger than 8×10.

When I got home, I opened this image in Photoshop.  I created a duplicate layer and then used the Filter-Blur-Field blur to create focus on the plant but blur the background. Then I created a Gradient Map layer. My gradient goes from dark maroon to blue to pale yellow.  Then on another layer I brought in  a background I had that is a journal page.  So those are my three layers, they are stacked in the order that I mentioned them. The plant is in a normal blending mode with an opacity of 45%.  The Gradient Map layer is also in normal blending mode but set at 67%. The journal layer is set to blending mode multiply and 80% opacity.

Here is the original image I was working from:

ISO 200 18mm 0ev f/5.6 1/400
ISO 200 18mm 0ev f/5.6 1/400

The theme this week for the WordPress photo challenge is juxtaposition, and my take on this theme is to create a single image out of the snowy scene and a journal page, something that you might not think of as being complimentary.  Do you think this combination works? What do you think of my editing? Feel free to leave a comment below. This photo has also been added to my Picfair portfolio.



32 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

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    1. On the original scan you can read some of the words. For the purpose of this assignment though, they were blurred so that you can’t as I thought that might be too distracting and then photo is supposed to have a mostly soft focus. Did you find that distracting?


      1. I thought it looked good. Hard to tell online-the softness. Just considering how I could do this with my high school classes perhaps. In some firm. Not sure


      2. Thanks, I’m always curious to know what people think since a lot of times they point out things I hadn’t considered. The simplest form of this exercise would be just to have a photo and use the various blur filters. Since there are several options,even if everyone was using the same photo, they would all have a different result.


      3. I would like to chime in here – I did not find the words distracting and I am glad that you blurred them – it was just the right mix. I also think with all this typing and computer/phone writing – well the cursive is even more beautiful. 🙂


      4. I ask that question about things being distracting, because it is interesting to me how different people react differently to different elements. I find that to be one of the interesting things about writing this blog 🙂 I agree with you about the handwriting. I think one of the reasons that I really like that particular background is that it harkens back to a different time.


  1. I like your editing – and yes, I think your idea works for the theme. and as a writer – I LOVE the way you added in those journal sheets – blends right into the snow and is pretty cool.

    I also like the juxtaposition of the red hue against the washed out white (with little design from the cursive) – and there is a texture thing going on – the texture in the florets vs. the smooth backdrop. 😉


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