“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it”
Recently I have been trying what I call the new-old image stacking technique. The old comes from having used an image stacking technique quite a bit in my macro work to achieve greater and sharper focus. Focus image stacking increases depth of field, something often needed in macro work.
The new image stacking technique creates a more abstract look. Sharon Tenenbaum teaches an image stacking technique that yields more of an impressionistic image style image using the camera. I really enjoyed the webinar and would recommend Sharon if you have an interest in learning this technique or any other webinars she offers that might interest you. She is great teacher and also gives all attendees a recording of the workshop.
In the new image stacking technique you take 5-7 photos of the subject. With this technique it is critical to find an interesting subject and to move around the subject in a semi-circle keeping the subject in the same location in the viewfinder.
From there, download and edit the individual image files in either Photoshop or Lightroom. When edits are complete, load the image files into Photoshop on different layers. This can be done using Photoshop or Lightroom. Attention to lining up the images is critical. I like to select something in the image to use as the focus point and align all layers to that small specific area. Next, a create a black mask for each layer. Then fill the black mask with white of different opacity percentage, allowing different parts of the image to show through. From there, use a brush (20% opacity-black) and take out any detail that doesn’t fit with the composition or the look you are trying to achieve.
Lastly, when the overall composition is complete, merge up the layers and complete any fine tune editing or special enhancement. This includes adjustments such as brightness, color enhancements, etc. This is done with Photoshop Adjustment Layers, Topaz, Nik Plug-In or other software programs available.
Sample Images of Image Stacking Technique
I truly love this process and as you can see, you get better with practice! It allows me to be creative in ways I never experienced before. Also, it provides a new twist on an old subject matter.
Thanks for reading and I hope your inspired to try something new with your photography! To view more of work, please visit my website.
Creativity inspiration comes in many forms and often amazes me what may ignite it. We just celebrated a holiday weekend when amidst fun, food and frolic I experienced I heavy sensory stimulation to my taste buds; I was on the verge of orgasm. Now that may be a little bit of an overstatement, however, I did get your attention!
Just like anything else, creativity inspiration needs attention and enrichment. Here are a few techniques I have found to help jump start mine.
- Keep an open mind.
- Look at others work. As Salvador Dali once said “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” Looking at art always simulates ideas, often unrelated to whatever I was looking at. I may be reminded of an idea I previously had or a technique I want to use again on a specific piece.
- Read about other artist’s creativity inspiration. There is a lot of great information out there on the web and also many wonderful books, iBooks and podcasts regarding this subject. One of my favorites is “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon.
- Write. This is very effective for me. Get a notebook and everyday write down all the miscellaneous thoughts and issues that keep playing in your head. The result is you purge your brain of some of the small stuff, which, allows room for creative thoughts to surface.
- When all else fails just get in your creative work space or on location and just do busy work. For me I may straighten up my studio or clean my camera or maybe even sharpen pencils. Many times this sparks creativity!
So to bring this full circle what exactly cranked my creativity this time? As mentioned, we just celebrated a holiday. Of course, there was a wonderful meal and for dessert we had eclairs that were actually warm. Now, I have not had an eclair in years, probably since my childhood. And, although, my Mom was a dessert nut and did make eclairs along with many other delightful desserts, I can not remember experiencing a warm one. My mouth was watering as I ate it. Now that was a first for me and just goes to show new experiences are open to you at any time, if you let your creativity loose.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any eclair photos to share, but I wanted to post a few other dessert images from my extensive stock image library. Maybe I can get your mouth watering also! Enjoy!!
Thanks for reading! Check out more of my work on my website.
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
– Elliott Erwitt
Although I am posting this a few weeks after my birthday, I wanted to tell about my trip to the Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida. I had been there once before and was totally inspired and will say this repeat trip did not disappoint. The museum in St Petersburg, FL is a new building designed specifically to house his work and reflects his vision in many ways, so a visit is a total submersion in Salvador Dali and a truly a delightful experience.
It was a very busy Sunday, so we walked through the museum opposite the crowds, which allowed me to view his pieces with a different perspective. I was astounded with the artistic development in Dali’s work. Although, his initial pieces were perfectly crafted with incredibly detailed, they came across more simplistic in thoughts and concepts. As Dali evolved as an artist his work become massive and complex, with many underlying themes reflecting the social themes of the decade and I am sure his personal experiences. Also evident was the influence of other artist’s and masters of the times, proving even the best need others to craft their vision. Dali even broke out into different modalities, at one time designing jewelry. This reminded me of celebrities designing a line of clothing, fragrance or jewelry. Who knows what further notoriety and success Dali would of claimed had the Home Shopping Network had been around.
It was truly an inspirational day. My work can be viewed at Susan McAnany Photography.
Often for me a creative thought can be spun by words of another and provide guidelines for expanding my creative boundaries.
“Strive for the moment of recognition that there is something else going on – that both attention and inattention is required to fully experience a piece — is often what gives artwork its impact …..”
Karen Irvine, Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago