One of my customers made the strangest statement last week...she said, after posting an incredible piece of work she completed with one of the backgrounds, "I'm not an artist". I've been thinking about that remark ever since I heard it, and to be honest, I have to say, I totally disagree! No, she may not be a trained "painter" or have experience with what people traditionally call "art", but to do what she did with her photo, to blend it with the background she chose, to create that wonderful final image from her vision she had - THAT IS ART, my friends!
As soon as you have the initial vision of what you can do with that photo, you have started the artistic process. This is the point when you move from PHOTOGRAPHER to ARTIST. That is when the journey begins!
When I took the above photo, I wasn't thinking about "getting the perfect shot". To be honest, I was firing off a ton of shots of the eagles in motion. The next shot after this was the second eagle, against a totally blown out sky, just like the above photo. Most excellent photographers would have trashed this shot because of the sky. Since "out of camera", it wasn't perfect. Well, I don't consider myself an "excellent" photographer. But I did have a VISION when I saw this photo, and that's when I went from photographer to artist in this process.
My vision involved getting the next photo of the second bird into this photo, which was quickly accomplished with placing the second photo on top of this photo as a new layer, and masking the background from the second photo away, leaving only the bird in the sky. The next part of my vision involved taking a background from the Big Sky Collection and placing it on top, in multiply mode. Boom! I now had a dramatic sky. The bottom of the image over the trees became a bit too dark, so I simply masked some of that off the texture layer to reveal the original color of the trees better. And that's it, I was done. Below is the resulting final art:
Because I had a vision, which propelled me into ART mode, I've now created a scene which tells a story in a moody way. No one else may know this story except me, but I know exactly what this image represents to me. And what it represents to me is unimportant, because the viewer of the image will form their own story as to what it might represent to them.
These otherwise "non-usable" photos have now become the integral part of the story. When before they may have simply taken up hard drive space, or been trashed altogether. I love being an artist...I love taking the unusable and turning it into something worthwhile. The fact I can do that makes me an ARTIST -- and it does you, too. Remember that when you transform your photos - YOU ARE AN ARTIST. Claim it!
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