Its fair to say that nearly all of our NZ birds are fairly drab in the feather department compared to many overseas birds, but they make up for it in the range and variety of their song.
However if you can catch a Tui in the right sunlight, the amazing iridescence on the feathers is highlighted and suddenly he is a much more colourful creature!
On the first image above I was experimenting with some advanced masking techniques in PS (all those fiddly bits around the feathers) and a frame overlay I had seen done by a fellow Awake student. It turns out if you create the rectangle in black and blend in with an interesting mode it intensifies and brightens the colours fabulously.
I have been asked to submit the first image for consideration in the Photo Artistic Life magazine, produced by our tutor, and I had to rework the image in a larger size and noticed that there were two other images that could be edited using the same techniques.
Now there are three, and I am seriously considering getting them printed reasonably big on canvas as a triptych.
How were they made?
The birds and branches were masked out of the original image – I used Topaz ReMask for the main selection and then manually tidied it up in PS
Duplicate the masked bird layer and run thru Topaz Impression for a painted look and blend back into the photo layer until the right balance achieved
A Daily Texture was used as the background and some blending around the edges of the birds brushed in.
A text layer for added interest (except for the middle one cos apparently it got forgotten!)
A black rectangle for framing blended in with soft light or overlay
As a comparison here is the original image after it was edited in Lightroom and posted on my Flickr page 3 years ago
Personally I am really pleased with how these came out, the original bird photos were nice but the backgrounds were very bright and distracting.
For the first time this really feels like I have created proper art and I am very happy how they turned out.
I know this sort of thing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I would appreciate your feedback, thoughts and comments – I think the art versions are an improvement – would you agree?
EDIT 8th Oct – I got a lot of great feedback regarding the central image so I have done a new version with a LIGHTER background – would be interested in your views on that 🙂