In Fall 2010, I took a challenging class, Intermediate Photoshop. In some ways, it was as challenging as my lighting class. The instructors expectation of the work produced was pretty high. Each assignment dealt with a fairly different type of techniques. I enjoyed how well organized and knowledgeable the teacher was. I learnt a lot of skills. This is only the start of an exploration of the techniques and perspectives that Photoshop allows you to employ in creating images.
Critics say that a “photoshopped images” modify a photographic depiction of reality. In truth, unretouched photographs often distort reality, as well. Darkroom and other in-camera techniques have been used to create a non-representational or not completely honest image. This also ignores that photography can create artistic depiction which don’t need to be realistic. Taking this class showed me how many artists and photographers use this software to create visual photographic effects. It can increase the possibilities of what I could create using both the digital camera and the digital darkroom. Obviously, digital enhanced images should not passed off as documentary photography.
Some of the techniques that we studied:
Montage – creating a fantasy situation – what would it look like if graffiti was placed in prominent locations like other types of public art. My first design (see above) took a graffiti decorated garage and had it emerging out of the San Francisco Bay. The background for this image was the San Francisco skyline and the foreground was a curved brick shoreline.
The other image (see below) used an elaborate piece of street art. A small building with several doors and a mixture of graffiti styles that even references abstract art. I placed this Mission district building in a glass lined path from the downtown area. I added two statues at the sides and a nice lawn in the foreground.
The next assignment was to use the panoramic feature and continued my interest with street art. This image is a wall paying tribute to a graffiti artist, Mike Dream. I finally learnt how to correctly merge a rather large street mural (about 8 photos), adding some ground, reflections, and a different sky to the original images. In spite of the automated panoramic function, I ended up doing a lot of hand crafting of the image. Interestingly, I made the image by walking along the 100′ wall taking a photo every 10′ or so.
Sorry but the length of the photo makes it hard to place it here. To see a larger version, click on the link.
The second panoramic image was part of another collaborative mural. I like the guys hanging out at the right side of the photo unaware of the graffitied vehicle on their left.
Next we worked on retouching an old family photo and putting it in a different context. This is a photograph of my father as a young boy, and the final image plays with the idea of his running away to be part of a circus. As it was my dad was always a bit of a dreamer who traveled to many countries, so it somewhat suits him.
The final project was to create a series of photos that used a similar photoshop technique. I wanted to use the technique HDR (high dynamic range) which allows you to expand the range of exposure that you can capture in one image. I also wanted to create a non-real geography.
Here are the five images that I created for this.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing these photographs. Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think.