Friday, July 30, 2010

Curiosity makes for Creativity

Do you ever look at a photo and wonder...geeze how did they do that?

This link to a Photo called LIFE'S FIRES on Flickr happens to be the photo that turned me into an experimentation frenzy regarding CS, Photoshop, and Elements Filters experimentation mode.
[Thank you Liz for allowing me to link to your photo!]

Well I have. And then curiosity got the better of me and I began to experiment in Photoshop 7.0 and Adobe Elements, in ways I'd never thought to before.

The original photo was edited in Topaz Adjust to bring out the color and add depth to the clouds.
Then I duplicated the layer and dropped the levels until the photo was nearly black.
I went to the filters drop down menu and picked Radial Blur at 100, and dragged the cross hairs down towards where the sun was setting.
I waited for the first blur to come through and then used the short cut 'Ctrl F' twice more.

I got this:
Not very interesting is it?
Well now change this layer to 'Screen' and see what you get.
Still not the BIG 'wow' is it?
Experiment with the layer's levels and saturation...and interesting things begin to occur.

Depending on whether your are using Elements or CS, you may want to erase portions of the radial blur that don't fit. You can use the layer mask, or simply the eraser [in Elements].

This effect doesn't work in all photos.
I tried it with this:
The radial blur was much more interesting as an abstract after I added a bit of 'Twirl' to it and upped the saturation.
It may come in handy somewhere down the line so I saved it.

I'll be working more with the Filters menu in Photoshop and Elements to see what more fun creations I can come up with.

Don't get me wrong, I love unedited photos very much, but my computer is like a great big box of crayola crayons and artist brushes without the mess and clean up.

So when the Creative Bug Bites, go for it and explore your inner child and artist.
Have fun!

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