Creating Photo-Art: My Thought Process

Here is an example of the thinking that lies behind my photo-art.

Boat Transformation Before & After

The original image in this example is a boat and tackle. I simply love boats of all descriptions and I could easily publish 1000’s of original photo images of boats. However, I try to take notice of many things when I photograph boats. The surrounds and textures that abound in the boat’s environment – for example, old nets, creels, fish boxes, water, sand, people, harbours, buildings. Likewise, I try to remember the day when I took the photograph, my mood, the weather, precious memories…and so on. I often do photo-shoots completely on my own as the way I photograph things is relatively selfish and personal – frankly, my wife would be bored to tears with my obsession for textures. I often limit myself to strict criterion, such as, a single focal length, 16 x 9 format, manual only, only 20 shots – daft things like that to make me think about what I’m shooting. Oh, and by the way – I never carry a camera with me when I am out and about normally – I only do  photo-shoots!

It is from this jumble of experiences that I select ideas to inform how I create my photo-art. Since I choose to make art from photographs, I don’t want the result to look like a photograph.

In order to move away from that look I choose painterly or sketchy effects and ‘all manner’ of textures, in combination to produce an end result.

In this example I started with an unprocessed and rather ‘dull’ image of a boat & tackle. The first step was to convert the image to a more graphic one. The foreground float in the image lent itself to selective masking to be used ‘as is’ or as an ‘inversion’. Next a ‘Rusty’ looking texture was superimposed on graphic one – informed by similar textures that I had photographed at the time. As there were some stray elements showing towards the edges, I applied a ‘Vignette Mask’ effect to clean up the image. An effect that created a strong border and a feeling of age was then applied. I could easily have stopped there, but I was influenced to add yet another effect from a fleeting memory that passed through my head – it was of another rusty texture that appealed to me, but this time it was ‘pitted’.

So, although it is easy to create photo-art in Smart Photo Editor through random selection of effects or pure experimentation (both of which I do too), it requires more artistic thinking to deliberately bring different elements together to produce a result similar to what was in your mind’s eye prior to starting the process of transformation. I’ve told you what was in my mind when I created the photo-art based on the boat & tackle image. The actual process is shown below.

The Process Outlined:

Boat Transformation Process

Love to hear your thoughts.



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