Sunday, October 03, 2010

Rainforest Art from Photos

Images from Olympia, WA, February 2010

Two images from the temperate rainforest surrounding Puget Sound in the state of Washington, taken near Olympia. I drove up from Portland, where I was staying for a week near the end of my latest long winter roadtrip. I spent the day visiting my aunt who lives in Olympia. We had a nice meal at a restaurant overlooking the Olympia marina, then drove around the area to see the sights. I made some photos from the moving car, capturing what I could, as we drove around.

These two photos are a bit blurred by the motion of the car. But I liked the lines in them, the arrangements of the vine and moss covered trees, and the overall mood. So I chose to work with each image in Photoshop, using different techniques to create different kinds of effects. I am becoming more and more interested in making art from my images, leaving some as pure photos, but working with others to create more artistic effects.



This only slightly blurred image stood out because of the arrangement of trees, especially the gnarled shelf of ferns growing out of the foreground tree. I used an antiquing process and added vignettes to the corners to age the image, and hopefully give it a timeless feel.



For this image I accentuated the motion blur, then de-blurred the foreground tree, to create depth of field. Then I desaturated the color from the background, so that only the foreground tree is highlighted in color. I wanted to create a sense of the mysterious darkness of the rainforest in this image. The color elements are thus in contrast with the moody background, like life and shadow.

I've been experimenting from time to time with creating B&W images with just a few items picked out in color. (A technique that works better with some images than others.) The colored items are either in the color original, or hand-painted in with color in Photoshop. In this instance, which was originally a color image, I kept the central tree in color when I desaturated the background. I also darkened the overall image, to up the contrast and create a darker mood.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Elisabeth said...

These are beautiful photos, Art. Have you seen Lorenzo's work? See: http://landscapeofalife.blogspot.com/2010/09/walls-and-flatroofs-in-slum.html

He too plays around with photographs and turns them into amazing art forms.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

Not Lorenzo, I think, though his blog is also terrific. I meant, Alberto Oliver's blog. I sometimes get these two bloggers cpnfused.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Interesting. Thanks for passing that along.

His stuff looks more painterly, in some ways, in terms of what he does with assembling materials and composition.

The truth of subject matter is that every photographer makes images from what they encounter, either from what's around them every day, or wherever they travel to.

I've always wanted to visit Oz and NZ. Someday. Cameras at the ready, no question.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

I like to post the occasional "how I did it" post about an image or poem or piece of music. It's fun to talk about, and I do get comments from people saying they like to hear the "how to" since it gives them ideas.

I certainly get inspired that way, myself, and by reading the occasional book, so I'm happy to oblige.

11:15 AM  

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