Getting Creative

Many of the photographs we see, especially in photographic competitions, are manipulated, often composites of multiple images.

This is not something I do very often, in fact it is quite a while since I last created an image in this way. I’m not sure why that is; sure I like my photos to be natural but there is a certain fun in making something from scratch. Painting and drawing are beyond me so image manipulation it has to be. If it is not something you have attempted then perhaps, with winter coming in the Norther hemisphere, it is something to pass away some of the dark damp days until spring. All you need is a little inspiration, watch the movies see a scene you like and try to recreate it. Write up your own little story board and find in your archives, or shoot, the images you need.

Here is one of mine.

“Running from the storm”

This is a composite of three pictures, the breaking wave, the sky and the boat. For the sea I only had to clone out the kite-surfer to end up with a nice wave with a furrow in it for the boat to plough through. The sky came from a miserable day on Dartmoor.


The cut-out of the boat was done in Photoshop by copying the boat onto a new layer inserting the bright red layer underneath so I could clearly see the background had been clearly and accurately removed and the rigging was intact. Once done the red layer was discarded and the boat positioned as a new layer beneath the sea layer which I then selectively removed by masking to reveal the boat ploughing through the wave. A little cloning of droplets and a bit of selective blurring produced the spray and splash around the bows. Next the sky was introduced and this layer went behind the boat and over the sea and was again masked off to achieve a neat blend between sky and sea.

I don’t often enter competitions but I had a go at the club I was member of and it won. Afterwards the judge asked me where I was standing to take the shot; my reply of “By the kitchen table” only served to confuse him more!

The boat, well yes, it’s a model shot on my kitchen table with a flash gun behind and to the right to add some raking light and one in front to open the shadows. If I had had a third flash I would have illuminated the white board at the back to make cutting out the boat out easier. Cutting out the rigging was done using the magic wand tool.

BiAll20100110021 BiAll20100110021edit"Running for shelter"

To see more of my images and to buy a print please visit Bill


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