An Ode to Influences
This image is the result of numerous creative influences – influences that had me exploring and experimenting.
Our work is certainly the result of our own inner creative urges – the forces that drive us to create in the first place. But we are also deeply influenced by the work of others. And those influences can take us in new and exciting directions, if we are willing to listen and absorb their lessons.
First off, I am challenged by the recent work of Kat Sloma. Her smartphone digital paintings are stunning, most notably her combining of geometric shapes with organic tree silhouettes. I don’t have a smartphone so I am unable to play in the same way, via apps. But her work intrigued me and I set out to incorporate some of her ideas in my own work. I remembered reading about a mosaic mask technique in Photoshop User Magazine that I thought might be a good place to begin.
Then I discovered the amazing free textures offered by Pixel Dust Photo Art . And a recent article on the DIY Photography blog reminded me of a new feature in Photoshop CS6 that was waiting for experimentation.
All these bits and pieces combined together, in a creative mish-mash, to produce the image above.
I am so very grateful to all the artistic and imaginative minds willing to share their work and their processes. Your inventive sparks of genius and giving spirits inspire me on a daily basis.
So, in that spirit of sharing, I have provided the technical details below of how this image was constructed.
Passing on the spark – what will you do with it?
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Photoshop Processing Steps (CS6)
Of course, the steps below do not reveal the experimentation that took place as I worked on this image. How I tried different blend modes and opacities. Different color fills and options within the Color Lookup adjustment. Just trying numerous options until I got the effect I wanted. Most of the time the result is an unexpected and delightful surprise, that moment when everything comes together.
- Copy the Background to a new layer
- Add a layer between the door copy and the Background. Fill with desired color.
- Add the light image to the door image as a new layer at the top of the layer stack. Using transform (CTRL-T), size and position as desired.
- While the light layer is active, go to the Channels Panel. Holding CTRL, click on the Blue Channel thumbnail to the load the white and gray area of the channel as an active selection.
- Return to the Layers Panel and hide the Light layer by clicking on its Eye icon.
- Select the layer with the copy of the door. Click the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and a mask will be created based on the active selection. You will now only see the door through the abstract light shape, which is now a layer mask.
- Click on the layer mask thumbnail to make it active. Go to Filer>Pixelate>Mosaic. Set the cell size based on what effect works best for your image. In this case, I set the size to 140. You can now see the mosaic effect revealing the image. The varied transparency is based on the gray squares that were generated by the filter. You can modify this slightly by applying a Levels adjustment to the layer mask itself, if desired. (Go to Image>Adjustments>Levels and drag the sliders to achieve the desired effect)
- Set the blend mode of the Color Overlay layer to Linear Dodge
- Add a Color Lookup adjustment (available in CS6 only), using the LateSunset.3DL color profile. Set opacity to 64%
- Add the Pixel Dust Nitty Gritty texture, setting the blend mode to overlay
Adapted from Photoshop User Magazine, April/May 2011, “Mosaic Layer Mask Effect” by Corey Barker (page 60-61)
Below are the original images used to create this effect. The door photograph is mine and the light image is from the Media Militia Lighting Effects Pack.