Spirit Messengers

© Pamela K

Spirit Messengers

Uploaded: August 31, 2007


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 August 31, 2007

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.


David W. Orias August 31, 2007

Cool composite work. #4728884

Stephanie Laird level-classic September 21, 2007

Congratulations on this wonderful finalist! #4821146

Dominick M. Dimacale level-addict September 21, 2007

Congratulations Pamela...Dominick #4825591

Marilou Olejniczak September 22, 2007

Congratulations Pamela.... beautiful work! #4827431

Kay E. Mahoney level-classic September 22, 2007

Congratulations Pamela on your beautiful finalist. Good luck in the next round. #4829300

Jeff Robinson level-deluxe September 23, 2007

Outstanding work Pamela; congrats on your Excellent Finalist!! Jeff #4831558

Cary Rogers September 23, 2007

A very cool, creative image, Pamela!! Thanks for sharing the "how-to's"....and Congratulations!!! #4832482

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