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September, 2011

Welcome to my share page. Each month I'll try to bring you an enlightening thought, quote or tip. Any questions or feedback is always welcome at: roger@imageinations.com


Avedon"A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth."
Richard Avedon

Image: Marilyn Monroe by Richard Avedon

To see more Avedon images, click here






In every photograph that exists we see five (and sometimes six) separate things. Since they exist in every photograph we Imagewould be amiss not to be very aware of each issue as we capture an image. They are: 1. THE SUBJECT That particular thing which is the main observation in the image. 2. THE GROUND (or "background") This includes everything in the image which is not considered the subject. 3. LIGHT Without light we have no visual connection to the communication in the image. This includes all aspects of light. Including, but not limited to: Intensity, variation, direction, softness, and color temperature. 4. CONTRAST Without contrast there is no image. Contrast refers not only to contrast of light and dark ares, but contrast of shape, texture, and even the psychological aspects of contrast (eg: "beauty" vs "disgust") 5. COMPOSITION This was once described to me by Bruce Barnbaum as the trip the eye takes through the image. It includes, but is not limited to: balance, perspective, depth of field, colors, and shapes. Here is an interesting experiment: Hold an image in front of you with both hands and show it to someone. As they look at the image, observe the movement of their eyes. And...the elusive #6: THE CONSPICUOUS PRESENCE OF THE ARTIST Every image has the first five, but as an image becomes "art" we are aware of something more. This could be a point of view, a commentary, a communication of joy or sorrow or confusion. Now we begin to see the artist's presence as well.

Image: Cape Cod Fall, Roger Baker


Each Photoshop tip is designed to open possibilities and explore options. Even if you never use the exact effect shown, you will find that there are often new ways to do the same thing or new paths to explore. This month we will create FALLING SNOW. Refer to the sample images at the bottom of the instructions.

1. Open an image that would look in context with falling snow.

2. Click on the New Layer icon in the bottom of the Layers Pallet to create a new black layer above your Background image.

3. Fill this layer with black. This can be done in two ways. EDIT>FILL>BLACK or: Set black as your foreground color (if you don't know what this means, feel free to contact me for a free Photoshop lesson). Then press ALT-Backspace to fill with the foreground color.

4. With the new layer (now black) selected in the Layers Pallet, got to FILTER> PIXELATE>POINTILLIZE which will open the Pointillize dialog window.

5. Set the cell size for around 5 or 6. This will be the size of your flakes so you can go back and experiment with different settings.

6. We must now remove the color cast from this pixillated layer. Go to IMAGE ADJUSTMENTS>ADJUSTMENTS>DESATURATE

7. In the top of the Layers Pallet go to the Blending Mode drop down menu (it now says Normal). Choose Screen. We now only see what is lighter than your image. Anything darker is hidden. We just see the white blobs of "snow"

8. To give movement and direction to the snow, go to: FILTER>BLUR>MOTION BLUR This opens the Motion Blur dialog window where you can choose how long the blur is. This would be a result of using a long shutter speed on a rather dark winter day. If you imagine that there is a little wind you can drag the angle so that the snow is not falling straight down.

9. You can now feel free to adjust the Opacity of the snow layer. Voila!

10. If you want to get fancy and add a little more depth, press CTRL (CMD)-J to duplicate your snow layer. Then go to EDIT>TRANSFORM>SCALE and drag the new layer out a little bit (make it bigger). Adjust the Opacity of this layer a bit lower than the first and you'll add some depth to the snow.

Original image
Screen Mode
Motion Blur


Cruise Ship