Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Digital Photo Art

I loosely consider that there are four types of Photoshop users.  Remember, this is a pretty loose definition!

  1. Graphic designers 
  2. Photographers who use Photoshop to 'develop' their RAW images and process their photos (ie everything starts out as 'real', no matter what it is ultimately made into)
  3. Digital artists that create work starting with a blank canvas and who fill that canvas with their own creations using the tools available in the program (ie nothing is 'real')
  4. Something in between, where 'real' photographs are composited with other photos, layered with textures, vectors, typography and other artwork

I have always fallen into group #2, and I am sure that, for the vast majority of time, that is where I will stay. But I happen to run across an intriguing course related to being a Type 4 user.  I was intrigued by it because of the course 'pamphlet', the enthusiasm of the instructor, and the fascinating pieces of artwork that one can create using these techniques.  It also looked far out of my comfort zone, which I think is a good place to go every so often! If nothing else, I thought that learning new Photoshop techniques could only help me with the work that I usually do.

So I signed up and took it! 

You couldn't find a more enthusiastic, invigorating, easy to follow teacher than Sebastion Michaels.......his philosophy about art and living an artistic life is one that closely matches mine and perhaps closely matches yours as well.

It was, without question, worth every penny. Many of the techniques have proven useful to know for 'straight' photography as well as for this type of work.  And, though I don't know how much of this type of work I will ultimately produce, I can attest to the fact that it is fun and an excellent way to release creatively..... a freewheeling way to experiment and exercise the creative juices.

It is with some trepidation that I show my first piece created with techniques I have learned in the class. The trepidation is because this type of work is way, way out of my comfort zone. This piece only just touches the surface of what can be done and pales in comparison to what some of the folks in the class who are more experienced in this type of work have been able to produce.

If you have an inkling that you might like to produce work like this, give the course a try.  I don't think you will be sorry.  And what you learn are skills that are definitely transferable to more 'straight' image processing as well.

Photoshop Composite

© Howard Grill