Sunrise - Ides of March
Texture use discovery: Image two.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VZ2BfqSjb4 - Bill Mays, "Imagination." - a little sunny, Sunday morning, piano jazz trio
The first day of spring is but days away, but Chicago, apparently, missed that email.
The sun really starts getting little higher in the sky – 40 degrees or so - come the first of March. It has warmth if it’s shining through a closed window, but none if you’re outside - as this guy and I were.
1 million people on Chicago’s southside and just two crazies out in the cold by frozen Lake Michigan. He seemed to be searching his thoughts. I was searching for an image.
I don’t like the cold, and neither do my cameras (at least so they tell me). I always get out of a warm car, underdressed for the weather, run like crazy to a good looking spot, decide what I want, and shoot really fast. All of the synapses are firing like a sonnuvabitch, I guess telling me to…
“Get the picture and get back in the car, you fool.” Sorry, but it is the way I work. I will probably catch pneumonia (and old-monia) and die, I know.
Three textures used:
Skeletalmess – “bored to death” – mainly the sky (twice), part of the ice (once). Warped to fit each area tightly and separately. ~ www.flickr.com/photos/skeletalmess/5153791941/
Distressed Jewel – “gradient” – used over the whole image, full frame. ~ www.flickr.com/photos/jewellofdistressed/
Pereeerica – “snow” – used over whole image, but as small patches of texture roughly 1/3rd the size of the overall image and then repeatedly duped and placed around in overlapping patterns. (Great for controlling depth, motion/direction, and sharpness/blur of snow or rain). ~ www.flickr.com/photos/8078381@N03/
I make my background layer with the best color, contrast, tone and sharpness I can. Then I make a dupe/copy or two. All other layers will go over these with various blending options applied.
Benefits for me:
I can pick a texture that I feel properly compliments or contrast the texture inherent in a particular portion of the master image. I don’t have to worry about muddying up the any part of the overall image with multiple, possibly, contradicting textures.
I can control the depth, look, softness, sharpness, contrast, shadow-to-highlight range and color of that single-style of texture to a marvelous degree. When you squeeze or compress textures from full-frame, their grain/pattern/texture usually gets tighter (more visible) too. I like that.
I can always go to one of my two master layers and by using the lasso tool and/or magnetic lasso tool, pull out little sections I wish to make really pop - copy and past them over its dedicated texture layer, and then blend, burn and dodge this small section of layer to get everything blended just right.
I find that I can do my burning and dodging (which I do a lot of) to give the image depth, becomes far more controlled, efficient and effective by working with the one or two copies of the background layers that lay underneath all texture layers.
Example: the rock portion of the image was lassoed, copied, pasted as new layer, named and then moved over its gradient texture layers (but still under the snow layers). I then burned and dodged the rocks some more, adjusted the blending options (soft light – played with fill, not opacity).
Eventually, I get something that looks right. That looks like what my warped mind and imagination saw of the scene, not just what the light cells of the camera captured.
It may sound complex, although to me it isn’t, (I guess because I came to it naturally. It is time consuming though). However, I find it to have far more control than trying to erase down through layers to get what I want.
Thank you for indulging me on this stuff. - So, so much to learn.