Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Photo as Illustration

From time to time, I have explored more graphical ways of presenting a photograph using the tool set offered by Photoshop and a few other plug-ins.

This image was mostly a matter of masking out the portion of the photograph that was in the background, leaving only the Downy Woodpecker male and the river birch it was on. Woodpeckers will use a "shelf" like this, created by a branch breaking off the main tree, to hold a seed while they break it open. It would be nice to have a whole series of similar images with other species of woodpeckers.

Using the same technique as the last photograph, I masked out the background leaving the pair of Mallards. The female on the left had stretched her right leg straight out behind her. She very slowly brought it back beneath her body and very gingerly tapped her foot on the log before putting weight back on it. I thought it was strange how careful she was being.

This image also started out as a photograph and was converted to a more graphical look using filters found within Photoshop. The image was passed through a plug-in program made up of frame edges where an edge was added to the picture. When you have no talent for drawing, but do have a strong desire to be able to draw illustrations, being able to manipulate a photograph in Photoshop is not a bad way to go.

This image is almost identical in technique as the previous image. Here is a photography tip when filming a flock of birds. Try to wait until the heads of all the birds are visible. You can see that it was not completely successful here. If the head of the third bird from the right was not showing, I don't think I would have been able to use the picture because you would have a hard time separating the bodies of the two that overlap one another. The head of the last bird on the left is hidden but it doesn't seem to have as much of an impact.

I'm not sure why I end up picking photos of geese to experiment on with this technique. I am always amazed at how easily this technique modifies a straight photographic image to the point where you might never suspect is was initially an actual photograph.

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