Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Let the Journey be the) Reward

Easy to say, let the journey be the reward, hard to do though in my opinion.  I had been rethinking the way I view my workday this week so in a strange way this challenge did tie into what I had been thinking about this week.  I have an hourly part-time job and then I have my own business which I am hoping to have up and running in the next few years.  It is easy to let the hourly job, with its short term reward of a paycheck, take precedence over my own business whose reward is more long term and harder to describe.

So, this week I started a timer to keep track of the hours I am putting into my business.  An attempt to remind myself that this job is as real as my paycheck job.  So far, I have found it helpful, so I am going to stick with it for awhile.  One of the things I was working on this week while I was on my new clock, was layers and textures.  As part of that I went out this morning and took some photos of leaves, dead and brown, in the hopes of using that image to create new ones.  So below is a description of what I was working on.

First here is the original leaf photo:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/50

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/50

It’s a bit dark and needed some cropping.  This is a version that I edited into more of what I had in mind:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/50

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/50

Then I decided to try combining it with another image.  Here is the image I chose:

ISO 800 75mm 0ev f/4.5 1/250

ISO 800 75mm 0ev f/4.5 1/250

I then combined the two and created this final image:

ISO 800 75mm 0ev f/4.5 1/250

ISO 800 75mm 0ev f/4.5 1/250

Is this image one that I will sell? Nope, but it is the technique that I will use in other images that I would.

In this case with the two images in Photoshop, I drug the leaves in as a layer below the owl image. Then I put a mask on the bird layer and using a paintbrush set at about 40% opacity, I painted the leaves faintly in.

What do you think of the technique? Is this something you have also tried? What to you is most rewarding in your artistic endeavors?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Project on the Threshold

For the project that I am currently working on, which is a tribute to Georgia O’Keeffe’s Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses, I have gotten to the stage where I am putting elements together.  I already have a cow skull and a tree blossom.  Here they are together:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

Since I had already stripped the tree blossom from its background, this step was fairly easy.  I opened it in Photoshop, moved it on to the cow skull as a seperate layer and transformed it to make it smaller.

Because the original painting has a background element, I wanted to add one to my version as well:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

This was actually a bit harder than adding the flower because I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to handle it.  In the version you see above I did the following.  I took a picture of the tree bark.  I edited it using the Oil Paint Filter.  Then I outlined a section of it and created a pattern.  I then created a layer, filled with the pattern, under the skull layer.  From there I put a mask on the skull layer, and using a bristle brush, painted in where I wanted the bark to show.  Here is a small screen shot of what my layers panel looks like:

The layers panel for this project.

The layers panel for this project.

So, this is the version that is going to be turned in as a draft for critique in my Photoshop class.  This is a project on the threshold, about to be evaluated for the first time. What do you think? Do you like the elements as they are? What changes would you make?  Feel free to comment below.

Cheers!

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