Or how to take your dog on a trip while staying at home.
Sometimes it's fun to think about "what if". In this case what if I could take a "frenchie" traveling to different spots and have him participate in the adventures when I arrive. I have a library of french bulldog photos as my son has a little guy with lots of character. However the reality of traveling with an animal, let alone having the dog participate in activities in unrealistic.
So what's the next best alternative? Well why not travel virtually, by taking Opie to different destinations. So I decided to combine a photo of Opie, with different backgrounds and props such as a pair eye glasses or a hat to integrate him into the scene.
As well I needed to colour balance the photo of Opie (and props) and modify cast shadows to better integrate him with the background. Then there was the problem with the reflection on the lenses. These would have to be modified to reflect what's going on in the scene. In the "Opie in Jamaica" scene the reflections were added to the lenses.
The following images shows the composited final image, with the component images that make up the final "Opie in Switzerland" scene.
I hope you enjoy the traveling Opie images. May they inspire you to take your furry friend on a virtual trip. I decided to finish 12 images so that I could print a calendar. If you're interested in your own Opie calendar please contact me!
Thought for the Day
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift
Have you ever wondered how to create those photos with textures integrated into the image? The challenge is really one of melding a good base photo with an appropriate texture so that when combined it looks natural and adds value to the interpretation. In the above "Before & After" image I combined a photo of the forest floor with the texture from an aging sidewalk. I think the texture subtly enhances the image, making it more interesting and providing deeper meaning.
If you have an image editing program (Photoshop, Elements, Painter) with the ability to combine layers you can create these photos too. Place the texture image on top of the base image and use soft light as the blending mode. You can also use screen (which lightens) or multiply (which darkens) as blending modes. It's worth while experimenting to see what works best.
Once you've blended the images now it's time to experiment. For example, modifying the texture layer's opacity can improve the integration of both layers. Or try burning and dodging parts of the image. This can help bring into focus those areas that are most important.
In the three images below the left most image is the original, the center image is the final result and the right most image is the texture that was used. Texture can be used in all sorts of ways. Here's an example of how Victoria Wallace, a good friend of mine, uses texture to enhance the acrylic painting The End of Innocence. Victoria uses the crackle in the piece to suggest an earlier time, which in combination with the vintage ceramic figurine subject matter suggests an unchangeable innocent past.
Similarly one could expand the interpretation of the original photograph by combining the physical with the metaphysical. The wood, which is present in the dock, also becomes part of the substrate of the reality around it. The crackle suggests something old and worn supporting new mushroom growth that couldn't exist without the rotting organic matter that they grow on, or the contrast between the hardness of concrete that through time transforms and breaks down just as the leaves transform to become soil for the forest floor.
Thought for the Day
"The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection." Michelangelo
Eric David is a visual artist / fine art photographer that lives and works in Toronto.