Project: Creative Interpretation

Whereas the previous exercises were about correcting and improving an image without making any creative changes to it, this one allowed us more free rein over what we did. It was about exploiting the features of Photoshop more radically.

I chose this image of a trailer of kayaks to work with:

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First I corrected the obvious wonkiness, then set to work!

The idea behind this version was to create something that might have been done by pen and ink. Apart from the obvious conversation to monochrome, I created the high contrast using a combination of levels and contrast control. The actual settings were the result of trial and error as one adjustment affected the other.

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I quite like the result, although there is probably too much dense black to be a pen and ink drawing.

The second version was an attempt at a high key effect. This was achieved using levels. Because of the intense lightening that wouild take place, I wanted first to make sure there was a deep black so I made sure the black slider was well into clipping. I then adjusted the midtone and highlight slider to get the effect I wanted.

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I don’t think this is as successful as the previous version. This was the result of many abortive attempts and it still is not the image I was after.

The third and final version was an experiment in colour. Photoshop has a “Replace Colour” feature. You can use this to select colours in the photo with an eye-dropper tool, and then dial in a colour to replace it with. This was purely experimental as I had no particular end in mind, I just wanted to see what effect could be achieved. I concentrated mainly on the kayaks (but did play around with the foliage as well) and produced this:

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I’m not really sure how I managed it, but there is quite a pleasing sheen to the hulls of the boats.

I regularly use Photoshop to correct and enhance photos, very rarely do I push it to the extent I have here. I do not see this level of manipulation as forming part of my photographic practise, but it is useful to know the effects that can be achieved.

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