I was inspired this week to explore images from Namibia with my painterly effects project for the month. In the brief time I have spent there, I have found it to be a magical place. The light is beautiful and the landscapes are at times surreal. From the air, the vast open spaces seem lifeless, but on the ground, it is a completely different story.
To some, using software to make a photo look as if it were sketched or painted may seem like an abomination. Photographers often go to great lengths (sometimes at great expense) to create sharp and crisp images that show the viewer exactly what the scene looked like. But what about those times when that beautifully crisp, perfectly exposed image doesn’t convey the feeling of the moment? Or, heaven forbid, what if you goof up on the exposure, or mess up the focus a bit, but the moment was great and you still want to do something with the image? These are just some of the reasons for exploring painterly effects with photography. I’ve edited photos in the past for all those reasons and while I don’t post them too often, I do have a gallery of my favourite Artistic Impressions or Photo Art images.
This week, I was inspired by a vintage style travel poster I have had hanging up for around the last 12 years or so. I see it every time I walk towards my sitting room; this week I was struck by the interest in creating a photo series inspired by it, whereas most of the time I just look at it and think “I really want to go to the Serengeti someday”.
I decided to do a series of Big 5 animals; I can imagine these in a vintage travel brochure advertising visiting the “Dark Continent” to see the wild and ferocious Big 5. I edited all of them using the Topaz Simplify filter through the Topaz Studio program.
I had a completely different image ready to go, but something about it just wasn’t sitting right with me. So I started scrolling through my photo catalogue, and came across the series of images I took of a pride of lions that had treed a leopard, seen during my safari in 2015. That sparked my creativity in a whole new direction.
I wish I would have thought of creating a composite image like this when I was originally editing the series and creating a blog post about it. I think this image captures the essence of the sighting in a way the individual images were unable to. If you didn’t catch the story of the lions versus a leopard the first time around, you can fid it here. There was definitely a lot going on that morning!
I hope you enjoy this last instalment of my multiple exposure project. Next month, on to something new.
I’m really finding creating these composite images to be a fun project for the month. I’m again digging through my archives to find images that, to me, just work together. This leopard was a fairly young male that I photographed in the Okavango Delta last May, and the sunset image is from a different trip to the delta, in 2015.
I had initially had another vision for this image using two very specific photographs, but they just didn’t want to play nicely together.
I hope you enjoy what I have come up with this week.
This first multiple exposure image of the month is an idea that I jotted down in more than one place over several months, so I am finally glad to have a chance to explore it and create something.
I created this image utilizing photoshop, using some basic layer masks and adjusting the blend mode to suit. It really is that simple but that are lots of step by step tutorials available if anyone is interested in researching it further.
The lion image that is a basis for the composite was shot in Etosha National Park in Namibia in April 2017. This young male lion slunk across the road in full stalk position towards a herd of zebra, but as they had spotted him before he even started moving, it really was a wasted effort. The orientation of the zebra pictures I had from that same time period weren’t quite right for what I was looking to do, so I found one in my catalogue taken in the Okavango Delta in 2015 that worked much better. The positioning of the group of zebra and tsessebe give the impression that they were watching something in the distance… perhaps even a predator moving through.