One of the A Levels I chose was Photography. I already had a good knowledge in photography; I knew how a camera worked and how to operate it but I didn’t know anything about Photoshop. Up until that point I used Google Picasa, a free editing programme.
My first project in A2 Photography was surrealism which was a lot more challenging than I first thought. I based my responses on several different artists and photographers including Salvador Dali, Kyle Thompson and also inspiration from books. Below are some of my favourites from the project, a little about the thought process and the processing behind the edits.
This was a relatively straight forward image to create. The main photo was taken on Bass Rock of a Northern Gannet. The feather behind the gannet is a Mute swan feather I found and in front are downy feathers. I spent around an hour editing the swan feather which included erasing out the background, filling gaps in the feather (around 6 layers) and sorting out the shadows. Then it was a case of copy and pasting each feather and positioning them.
This image took a lot more effort into editing. The Toadstool was photographed in Richmond Park after a day of photographing wildlife with a friend, Josh Burch when we came across a couple of these little mushrooms. I cleared the ground around them and attempted to blow some of the dry dirt off this mushroom. I then brought the unprocessed RAW image into Photoshop and began messing around with colours and saturation. I duplicated the image, erased out the mushroom and edited the background and ‘shroom separately. The little door, window, chimney, etc were found from stock images. From memory I believe this edit took 8 hours, just over my usual Photoshop editing time.
This photo was actually page filler but I actually really like the result. A while ago I bought some super cheap extension filters from eBay which I used to photograph my eye. I then brought the image into photograph, erased the background and messed around with colours (my eyes are blue not purple!). I photographed my hand in my garden and blacked out the background. Put it together and ta da!
This was inspired by the film Black Fish and the work of Martin Vlach who also photoshopped whales into grey faded landscape images. I photographed the Killer whale on a point and shoot at SeaWorld almost five years ago now, before I had any interest in wildlife or photography.
I photographed my sister in my local woodland while walking the dogs. The wings are from an Arctic tern I photographed on the Farne islands. Another relatively simple edit.
This is obviously inspired by the patronus charm in Harry Potter. The blue swirls took forever to find on stock sites and the wolf is taken from Google. I remember this taking a while to put together, possibly another 8 hour jobby!
This is by far the most complex edit I’ve done. I had to expand this image and only half the image is the actual photo I worked from. One of my liabilities in Photoshop is that I can’t flatten an image until I’m finished and when I have more than 40 layers it becomes a lot for my laptop to process. After several evenings (10 hours +) and over 100 layers, I completed this which was inspired by the works of Joel Robinson.
This was my final image for the surrealism project and was inspired by several photographers, including one of my favourite photos by Kyle Thompson which also includes recurring images of a red balloon. The background and stag are mine and the red balloon is from stock.
This was inspired by my friend Freya Coursey who photoshopped a very similar image. I absolutely loved the idea and wanted to recreate it for myself. Layering this was a little tricky as I stupidly changed my focal length while I was photographing my sister’s hands which made it a complicated to put together.
There is another image I’d like to show of a stag ghost in a dark woodland but I seem to have lost it on my hard drive – I’m sure I’ll find it! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little about the edits and thank you for reading!
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