Creative cropping

When the picture is complete it is time to consider whether your picture needs cropping. It is very easy when working on a picture to accept the format and shape in which it was originally conceived. However a picture can look good in several different ways of presentation so it is worth spending a few minutes in trying out several different crops. Try out some radical ones too, they can often be very interesting.

Figure 7.37

The completed picture.

Figure 7.36

inal layers palette.

Figure 7.36

inal layers palette.

Figure 7.37

The completed picture.

Some of the crops that I tried with this picture are shown in Figures 7.38-7.40 together with some from earlier stages of the montage (Figures 7.41 and 7.42).

This has been a long and complex set of instructions to follow, but I hope that is has given an insight into how a montage might be created. I have introduced several ways to blend images, through cloning, merging layers and the use of layer blending modes. The whole process is very much one of developing ideas as you go along and not being afraid to experiment. Not everything will work but invariably something worthwhile will come out of the creative process.

Using multiple originals from which to clone, means that textures and imagery can be drawn from two or more photographs and parts of each photograph cloned into the final picture.

It is easy to jump from one original picture to another, which means that the image can be modified as the picture is created which allows a lot of flexibility. Despite this flexibility it is still very important to plan ahead both from the technical requirements of image size and resolution and from the creative aspect. You can clone from different sized originals however the tracing paper facility will not work in this case.

Step 1 File> Open> DVD> Step-by-step^^^^^Fgun^14MFeaithers1 files> 07 Statue 3.

The original picture of the statue was scanned from a 35 mm slide and was in 24 X 36 mm format. The picture that it is going to be combined with is nearer 46 X 36 mm, so if you cloned form the original scan the statue would appear in the top left corner when it is needed to be in the centre. In order to clone it into a roughly square background the canvas size had to be enlarged and the result can be seen in Figure 7.44, which is the image on the DVD. The background has been filled with black to show the shape but as you are not going to clone from that area the color is immaterial. Step 2 File> Open> DVD> Step-by-step files> 07 Feathers.

The picture that will be combined the statue had already received some creative work in Photoshop. The original was a slide of cockerel feathers that had been copied and flipped to form an abstract design. The colorful feathers inspired the idea of flames from which the figure could emerge. Step 3 Make the statue the active document by clicking in the image. Step 4 File> Clone, which will make an identical copy of the original statue image, do not clear the clone copy. Step 5 File> Clone Source> Feathers. This last step changes the source of the clone, so \Figure 714^Statue1

the clone information will be taken from the feather image and painted into the portrait. There is no limit to the number of pictures from which you can clone and the clone source command allows you to toggle between them. Other pictures can be brought in at a later stage.

Step 6 Select Acrylic> Opaque Acrylic 30 from the Brush Selector. Step 7 In the General palette, change the dab type to Static Bristle, Method to Cloning and Subcategory to Soft Cover Cloning. Make the opacity 5% and the brush size 127.0.

Step 8 Click the tracing paper icon, this will overlay the feather picture. Step 9 Paint lightly over the feathers, just enough to give some idea of where they are, then you can turn off the tracing paper to get a clearer view. This stage is shown in Figure 7.45.

Step 10 Gradually build up the density of the feathers and allow the 'flames' to reach up to and around the face. Don't worry if you overdo this as it can be adjusted in the next step.

Figure 7.45

Step 9.

Figure 7.45

Step 9.

The edges of the smaller picture are visible and these need to be hidden so increase the brush opacity to 15% and paint over these in the direction the feathers run. Paint over the hands at the top of the picture as these are not needed.

Step 11 Decrease the brush size to 14.4 and increase the opacity to 62%. Use this brush to flick out brighter marks that will increase the contrast and texture.

Step 12 Change the clone source back to the statue (File>Clone Source>07 Statue 3) and paint any areas of the statue that have been covered unintentionally. Go back and forth between the two sources until the effect looks good.

In the final picture shown in Figure 7.46 some additional surface texture was added this procedure was covered in Chapter 6.

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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