How to Turn an Average Photo into Art
While running a Landscape Photography workshop recently along the Great Ocean Road I came upon this reflection of a cloud near the mouth of the Erskine River. It wasn't anything special, but I sensed almost unseen possibilities in this transient little slice of nature. Almost immediately after tripping the shutter a workshop participant called out to me. So I moved on without thinking about or continuing to work the scene any further.
While sorting through some files in Lightroom last night I had the opportunity to take a closer look at the image. The reflection was interesting, but lacked definition. I make a virtual copy of the original and rendered it into black and white. Against a dark, colourless background the reflection of the cloud became a little stronger. Not having to deal with the color it was easier for me to start to define a shape within the larger cloud reflection. It was then simply a matter of cloning out the superfluous areas of cloud to reveal what had drawn me, intuitively, to the scene in the first place.
A Koala Bear! OK, you might think it looks more like a lioness or, maybe even, a baroness. Either way I think the process I entered into has allowed me to produce an interesting abstraction from an otherwise mundane image.
Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.
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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru