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Spirit Messengers
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist
 
Spirit Messengers
Spirit Messengers

In many traditional religions, cranes are thought to act as bridges between
the earth and the spiritual world. This work symbolizes that connection.

To make this picture, three photos were combined in Photoshop.
Using many overlapping layers, I created these spirit cranes which are present and yet transparent.
See the discussion for the original photos and a description of how this work was created.

Location, camera and lens settings described on the original photographs.
Feedback greatly appreciated!

© Pamela K
Miscellaneous Does...
 
  Spirit Messengers -- Crane #1
Spirit Messengers -- Crane #1

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Camera: ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/3200sec; lens: Canon 70-300 DO IS @ 300mm

© Pamela K
Canon EOS 20D Digi...
 
  Spirit Messengers -- Crane #2
Spirit Messengers -- Crane #2

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Camera: ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/2500sec; lens: Canon 70-300 DO IS @ 300mm

© Pamela K
Canon EOS 20D Digi...
 
  Spirit Messengers -- Sunset
Spirit Messengers -- Sunset

Pablo National Wildlife Refuge, Montana
ISO 100 f/2.8, 1/250sec; lens @ 7.0mm

© Pamela K
Olympus Camedia C-...
 
 
 
Pamela K
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 7/21/2004
    Here are the three original photos and a basic description of my Photoshop work.

I selected around each of the cranes using extreme zoom and the lasso tool. The cranes were then resized to fit onto the sunset photograph. The cranes were turned into spirits (present and obviously cranes and yet the sunset is clearly visible through them) by creating a series of layers as follows:

Layer 1 (bottom): Crane silhouetted in black using Brightness/Contrast adjustment and setting both to -100%. Layer blended at 100% in Soft Light mode. This enhanced the color of the sunset.

Layer 2: Crane’s black silhouette lightened to 75% gray using Brightness adjustment. This was blended at 50% in Difference mode. This made a stronger outline around the crane silhouette.

Layer 3: Exact copy of layer 1 (black silhouette at 100% Soft Light). This darkened the silhouette without losing the luminosity of the sunset.

Layer 4: Crane with contrast made extreme using Brightness/Contrast and Curves to make the delineation of the feathers prominent. Blended at 100% in Overlay mode. This gave the crane definition of feathers without losing the pattern of the sunset in the background.

Layer 5 (top): Black silhouette blended at 30% in Normal Mode. This darkened the silhouette to make the crane more present and substantial while keeping the colors and feather outlines.

I then made the cranes stand out a little more by darkening the sky in a feathered oval around them to make the edges of the photo darker than the center.

Pam

8/31/2007 5:11:27 AM

 
David W. Orias
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member since: 3/16/2007
 

Cool composite work.

8/31/2007 12:40:09 PM

 
Stephanie A. Laird
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member since: 2/12/2005
 

Congratulations on this wonderful finalist!

9/21/2007 10:58:07 AM

 
Dominick M. Dimacale
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member since: 11/16/2006
 

Congratulations Pamela...Dominick

9/21/2007 11:32:33 PM

 
Marilou Olejniczak
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member since: 7/16/2004
 

Congratulations Pamela.... beautiful work!

9/22/2007 9:16:12 AM

 
Kay E. Mahoney
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member since: 4/23/2003
 

Congratulations Pamela on your beautiful finalist. Good luck in the next round.

9/22/2007 5:56:39 PM

 
Jeff W. Robinson
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member since: 10/17/2002
 

Outstanding work Pamela; congrats on your Excellent Finalist!! Jeff

9/23/2007 6:25:36 AM

 
Cary Rogers
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/30/2006
 

A very cool, creative image, Pamela!! Thanks for sharing the "how-to's"....and Congratulations!!!

9/23/2007 9:53:48 AM

 
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