Merced Camera Club, Getting The Picture
Getting The Picture

This is a monthly (or so) feature of our site, in which Merced Camera Club members provide their thoughts
about the creation of some of our favorite images.

October, 2010

"Dance" -Sam Shaw

How it’s done:

I love photography, but I also like the creative aspect of putting an image together from other images. Quite often I am asked where I get my ideas, the answer is really mixed. Sometimes an idea comes from seeing the work that someone else has done; sometimes it comes to me in a dream, day and night. Most of the time when I start to create an image it is because I have some photos that I want to do something with. I use images that I have shot just for backgrounds or patterns or because I wanted some object in the image to use somewhere else. Some pieces of an image are pure creation within Photoshop. “Dance” uses all of these.

Part of the background is strictly created in Photoshop. Starting with a solid Black canvas I run Filter – Noise – Add Noise, I use Monochrome Gaussian so I don’t have a real defined pattern. This gives me the look of a lot of very dim stars in a black night sky. To this I add some brighter stars by lightly painting with white. Now I have the appearance of a night sky with a lot of dim stars and also a number of brighter stars. The red nebula is a photograph of smoke that has been blended using the Lighter Color blending mode and they a Layer Adjustment Layer to change the smoke color to red. The boulders were photographed in Joshua Tree National Park because I thought someday I might want to have a base with boulders like these. The sky was removed and the boulders darkened to make it look like it was taken at night rather than full daylight. The figures were taken at a photo shoot and the girl was cut out of the background and distorted and darkened to make her a shadow. These shadows were placed on the boulders where I thought it would make a good composition and then we have “Dance”.

So, there is really a lot of thought and effort that goes into making one of my creations. This image is really a created background and five separate photographs.

The Birdie

Getting The Picture Archives


"Patriotism," Tom Frazier


"Baby Blue Eyes," Robert Dayton


"Stark Existence," Jim Cunningham


"The Old Barn" -Carlene Cunningham

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