March 6, 2009

Playing with Layers

I've been having a little fun this morning with Photoshop Elements and layers. I'm long on enthusiasm and short on knowledge. The base photo was shot in Monterey, CA from the wharf, directly into the bright early morning sun. Stark contrasts come from that, silhouettes, which I enjoy although considered blown-out by some. In this case the photo had characters and something going on, a story if you will. Of course one of the great aspects of digital photography and image editing software is being able to keep your original and create mayhem with copies of it. The end result in this case is too busy and contrived but I learned a good deal doing it. 

For anyone interested in layers, in short, this is a composite of six photos, or portions of them. As each layer (photo) was added it's opacity level was adjusted (made transparent) so that all the images can be seen. Once I was okay with the layers in total, they were flattened giving me a much smaller file. If you wanted to keep the layers flexible, you would do a "save as" and not flatten them.

If you have been reading previous blog posts or have visited my website you may recognize some of the photos used in this composite. Can you identify the different pieces that make up the image? Below is the original which in my mind already has plenty going on. Made a fun practice piece with all that white space.

A side note: One of the many things I love about this technology is the ability to enlarge images; a variety of sizes, no waiting and FREE. Sometimes those enlargements offer a look at things you didn't even realize were there when shooting. Sorry this isn't large enough to see the details of what I'm going to describe. If you look to the left of the pier in the water are two creatures. The one in the back is a floating bird. The closer, mostly submerged one, was the surprise. Any idea what it is? Enlarged it looks like a sea turtle but I don't remember them being around when I lived in that area years ago. The water is awfully cold. May be a seal, there were plenty around that morning. 

Enough musing from WA where a tad of snow is due again tonight and tomorrow. Have a great Saturday!

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