Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Computer Manipulated Photographs

I have learned a lot of techniques by experimenting with Photoshop for the last fifteen years. People have frequently asked about the methods used for achieving certain effects.

Although it is better to have a hands-on situation to see how these methods work in practice, this forum is certainly better than explaining detailed processes at a gallery opening!

I hope to encourage others to learn from accident and experimentation as I have. I hope that others will ask questions if they have them, and will share discoveries of their own, using this blog site as a place to exchange ideas.

The bottom image (made first) was created by bringing five photos into one document, each on a separate layer, and arranging them in a sequence representing five generations. Prior to moving the photos, the size of each document was adjusted so the figures would all be the same size. The background was created from a digital photograph of a crackled paint texture on an old door.

The top, and second image was an experiment on a copy of the first one. One of the great things about using the computer is that all the steps can be saved, so if you don't like the experiment, you can go back and try something different. The layers were merged, using the merge visible command under layers.

A new layer was created. ( menu) This was filled with white and then the transparency of that layer was reduced to about 50% in the layers tableau. The darker images beneath began to show through. Then the eraser tool in the palette was set at a fine size, and a Wacom pen and tablet were used in a sketching motion to remove the white layer and reveal the dark details
of the figures beneath.

I made several variations on this theme, which I will explain in coming installments. Look for other techniques to come!

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