One of my favorite things to do in Photoshop is to combine techniques. I used to do this in the darkroom many years ago, but now it's so easy to do because you can see the results immediately on the monitor. If you don't like what you've done, just go back one step (Control or Command Z) and try again.
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Sometimes Surreal or Painterly ... Always Unexpected
Combining techniques usually produces images that are very far from the original. Sometimes they end up being surreal, sometimes painterly, and almost always you end up with something completely unexpected.
You donï¿½t need great powers of precognition. You donï¿½t need to pre-visualize the end result after youï¿½ve moved 10 creative steps away from the original. Itï¿½s just a matter of trial and error. If you like an effect, save it and then go on to add more effects. When do you stop? Whenever you like.
This photo consists of three images: My wife modeling a costume as if she were in Venice, Italy during Carnival, a famous building in Venice for the background, and a Mardi Gras mask that was digitally pasted over my wifeï¿½s face. I used Photoshop to cut and paste these components together. Then, I applied the Buzz.X filter and that turned the image into an abstraction of the original composite. It looks like a painting.
Finally, I exaggerated the colors with hue and saturation and then increased the contrast using levels.
Learn more from Jim Zuckerman ...
Jim Zuckerman teaches a number awesome online photography courses at BetterPhoto.com, including:
About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Jim Zuckerman
Few people are able to spend most of their time pursuing their passion in life. I'm one of them, and I feel blessed to have had a love affair with photography since I began taking pictures.
In 1970, I decided to abort my intended career as a doctor in favor of photography and have never regretted it. Photography has enriched my life more than I can tell you. My career has taken me to over 60 countries, and I've seen and photographed wondrous things.
I specialize in wildlife and nature, international travel, and digital effects. In addition, I also shoot nudes, photo- and electron microscopy, children, and other subjects that stimulate my visual or emotional sensibilities.
For 25 years, I shot a medium format camera, specifically the Mamiya RZ 67, for its superior quality. When I would lecture, I’d project the large, glass mounted transparencies, and it was really an incredible experience to see the brilliant color saturation and resolution of these slides. However, I went digital in 2004 because the technology finally equaled or surpassed medium format. I now shoot the Canon 1Ds Mark II digital camera with a variety of lenses.
I am the author of 12 books on photography. My work is sold in 30 countries around the world, and my images have appeared on scores of magazine and book covers, calendars, posters, national ads, trade ads, brochures, and corporate promotions.
For many years I've led photography tours to exotic places. These include Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Burma, Greece, The Czech Republic and Slovakia, Spain, Morocco, and Peru.