AWAKE Session 1 Experiment 1 – Swans

Black Swan and Cygnets – click to embiggen

It is the coldest day of the year so far I think, snow is in fact forecast to sea level tonight.  Despite that I have the fire on, and the curtains shut most of the day so I could heat through to the bedroom where I have my big computer that gets used for Photoshop.

Been two weeks since I joined Awake Photoshop Artistry course, and I am champing at the bit to get started on the lessons!

So here is my Session 1 experiment – using the Urban Rain techniques

Post Processing Steps:

1.  Find the black swan family image and output at large size

2.  Trawl through course content to find two background images that I blended, and added a faint text layer over using a text brush on the right hand side

3.  Add in a darker grunge edge – I think Katie Pertiet

4.  Add in the swan layer and mask with black and paint in the swan with a grunge brush – have to be careful not to leave the hard edges of the image in the frame – blended with hardlight around 90%

5.  Spend AGES trying to find some framing options, and eventually while looking in Awake course content I found this, again Katie Pertiet I think

6.  Fluff around with layers and mask out the one of the background ones to get the true colour of the swan image coming through into the framing

7.  Again fluff around for ages trying to find another accent to fill the top space of the image – find a brush that kinda fitted so I mirror imaged it coming in from both edges.

8.  I didn’t feel the need for a colour pop as the very dark swan with the red beak and eye already provides that IMHO

9.  Decide after an hour and a half working that its as done as its likely to be!

This creative stuff is hard work!  Like it?  Don’t Like it?

All feedback and suggestions for improvement welcome!


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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14 Responses to AWAKE Session 1 Experiment 1 – Swans

  1. kirsten says:

    LOVE it! You did a great job on this first assignment! I really like the tone of your composition. The black swan adds a great contrast. Katie P has great stuff! I always enjoy incorporating her stuff into my designs. I’m still working on Module 3. I will get to the Awake course soon – I hope. Right now I’m working on a project to help me raise money for a month long trip to Australia next June.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Im halfway thru mod 3 – I need to do the layer and marquee exercises for that but I need to find the right image, Its been SO cold here I havent been able to use my big computer much, heating the whole house is expensive but I splurged and did it today.

  2. although I’ve been in the course since it started, real life got in the way – doesn’t it always – so I’ve only just started. It’s so interesting discovering how people go about creating their images and I think keeping a blog of your progress is a great idea

    • lensaddiction says:

      I have been blogging my photography journey for the last 7 years so it seemed natural to extend it to my Awake journey.

      Plus if I write things down then I have a better chance of remembering what I did and why if I ever want to do it again!

  3. leecleland says:

    Impressive Stacey! I’ve read through session 1 but decided I’d better go back and finish a few of the modules in PS Artistry Grunge first. I loved what was going on in Urban Rain and like that you had a go at trying the techniques. The black swan and red beak carry the image and any more colour would detract from that tight family shot. I just finished a much simpler image before I came on here and found out what you had been doing, I’ll post it in a few days as I was quite happy with it.
    Yes it can take ages to find stuff in all the loot we’ve downloaded but I guess as we get more used to what is there it will become easier.
    OMG that’s cold, snow down to sea level ! We’ve had snow on the tablelands near me and it has been very cold at home too but nothing like what you are getting.

    • lensaddiction says:

      It didnt snow here but it tried and its still bitterly cold even with the sun out, I have the fire on again. I felt like such a twit with watching the first part of Urban Rain, going, you can make your background up out of multiple bits, why didint I think of that LOL

      Im going to have another go with another swan image I think, now I have a better idea, and I have found some frames in my Content stash that might do the trick 🙂

      Im half way thru Mod 3, just getting into custom brushes and there is LOTS to cover there.

  4. loisajay says:

    Absolutely love it! I don’t have Photoshop so it is interesting for me to read all the steps you go through to achieve what you do but this is so worth it. Beautiful, Stacey.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Lois, Im sure I use twice as many steps as someone who knows what they are doing but its all about the learning right now 🙂

  5. Stunning work Stacey. You are so inspiring.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Raewyn, I don’t think of myself as such cos Im a TOTAL BEGINNER at this stuff 🙂 But Im having fun learning and thats the important thing.

  6. Robyn G says:

    This looks so good! I love your choices and your result 🙂

  7. Pingback: D.I.Y. Digital Processing Pt 3 – Making your own brushes in Photoshop | Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist

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