Before/After: The Return of Photo Art

I don’t do this much anymore, mostly because my wrist can’t take the extreme mousing required when masking, but once in a while I simply must indulge because the results are striking, beautiful, or both.

Here’s the original, straight out of the camera.

I took this shot from across the lake and was amazed it was clear and sharp. You can tell by the water it was a windy day, to boot. That always makes it harder to handhold long-distance photos. Tripod? I don’t need no stinkin’ tripod. 😉

Well, I probably do, but they’re a pain in the ass to lug around, set up, then afterward collapse again–especially if you’re carrying two cameras and a bag of lenses. By the time you’re ready to take a picture, the creature is often long gone, and that’s why I shoot handheld 99% of the time.

The funny thing is, most of the time my hands are steady as a rock. No shake. But once in a while, I can’t get an unblurry photo no matter what. Days like that I definitely need a tripod.

Here is the cormorant after swapping out the background. Their blue eyes are stunning, aren’t they?

Here’s a grackle. Dull and dingy day, but I liked the pose of him twisting his head to look up, plus I got tremendous feather and color detail.

I swapped this background out, too, and replaced it with one from Jai Johnson’s Corners collection (I changed the hue to better match the subject), then overlaid that with one of her chalk textures (after desaturating the color). It’s amazing what a little post-processing can do, isn’t it?  A common bird suddenly looks magical.

I did this one a while ago, but after taking another look at it, I redid it. Here’s the original after processing. The lighting was difficult; the sun was setting and the shadows were on half the birds.

And this is what I did with it.

Interesting, isn’t it? How a background can make all the difference?

See you next time.

About Fenraven

Fenraven lives in central Florida, which reminds him of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Find him on Twitter and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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6 Responses to Before/After: The Return of Photo Art

  1. Thor Crowley says:

    I just love this kind of art !
    … When I started modeling spaceships in Blender for fun (awesome 3D design program btw) I noticed my wrists ( I use both hands ) starting to hurt after a while. I got myself a vertical mouse after doing some research on the matter.
    Since I use the vertical mouse I have not experienced any discomfort in my wrist or elbow.
    These mice are rather inexpensive. For working with 2D graphics I mostly use a XP-PEN drawing tablet. You probably know about the mouse already, but just in case I thought I mention it anyway 🙂
    Have a great week

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