Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Which Wood Would You Choose?

I had been working on this image when I saw that the travel theme this week at Where’s My Backpack? is wood.  If you, after having looked this post over, have an opinion as to which version you prefer, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Usually I show the original last, but this time that is what I will start with:

ISO 160 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/320

ISO 160 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/320

I took this photo while on a short walk on a very cold day last week.  If you have visited my blog lately you will know that I am working on a project where the aim is to imitate the style of the photogravure.  I wrote about the creation of another winter image in this style here.

For the image above, I created a gold version and a blue version, scrolling down you will see them in that order:

ISO 160 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/320

ISO 160 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/320

ISO 160 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/320

ISO 160 22mm 0ev f/5.9 1/320

Both photos were created in the same basic way in Photoshop but each then has it’s own variations.

First the basics.  Each of these is a three layered file.  The image, a gradient map layer, and a texture layer.  With the original image I went to the channels and created a new alpha channel.  With that active I selected the gradient tool and drug a reflected gradient from the middle of the photo down.  Then back in the layers panel, I chose Filter-Blur-Lens Blur and created the blur using a slider that is in that dialogue box.  Also in that dialogue box I had to check alpha channel as the source, in order for this effect to work the way I wanted it too. From there I created a gradiant map layer and added the color that I wanted to it.  Then I added a layer of texture, by bringing in a background that I had already.

Some ways that the two images differ is that the background texture layer is different on each.  Also the gradient map layer in each image is different.  It’s dark blue to light blue to white in the blue image and black to white in the gold image.  The layers are also stacked a bit differently and set to different settings.  In the gold image it is Gradient Map layer normal, opacity 48%. Image layer, normal, opacity 55%. Texture layer, lighter color, opacity 100%.  For the Blue image it starts with the Texture layer, multiply, opacity 51%, Gradient Map layer normal, opacity 100%. Image layer, normal, 100% opacity. If none of that particularly makes sense to you, I think the takeaway is that the layers can be placed in any order that is appealing to you, and that changes is blending mode and opacity can make a big difference.

The next step in this project is to print.  None of the photos I have created will be larger than 8×10.  Also, instead of photo paper I will be experimenting with a textured drawing paper.  This is something I have not really tried before so I looking forward to seeing what I come up with.

So, if you have made it this far and have an opinion about which image you prefer, please comment below.




43 thoughts on “Which Wood Would You Choose?

    • Thank you, I did really like the first shot, and am always pleased when I get a really nice shot out of my point and shoot camera. Sometimes, with the classes that I take and various camera things that I read, the take away seems to be that everything has to be taken with a hugely expensive camera. While that helps sometimes, it isn’t always necessary. OK, will get off my soapbox now 🙂 Thanks for commenting.


    • I find it very interesting, and you would see in all the comments that I am publishing this morning, that you are not alone in liking the original version best 🙂 This class is very interesting, and I do have to say I am really enjoying this project. I have five versions, two of this tree and then three other photos, that I will be printing in the next week. I am very much looking forward to that next step.


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