Carry My Spirit to the Wind
My friend, John Pingree is an elder of the Shoshone tribe and lives at Fort Washakie, WY. I took a few shots of him at the Ft. Bridger Mountain Man Rendezvous in 2009. Later in the same year, I visited him at his house where I photographed him with stormy skies and red rock backgrounds. I saw him again last year at the annual Ft. Washakie Pow-Wow.
Carry My Spirit Layers 1: This project consists of a single Native American and two Bald Eagle images, along with a stream of smoke, some clouds, and several textured borders. The three main elements were extracted from their backgrounds using Topaz ReMask 2.
Carry My Spirit Layers 1: This screen grab shows the progression of third party filters I worked with, some at very low opacity. The layer “Fly 6 Blossom Scissors” was a Google/NIK filter in the Color Efex Pro group of presets. At the time, I was feeling the image was too plain and flat. I toggled through NIK’s filters and liked the look and feel, even though I only used it at 68% opacity over the underlying layer.
This screen grab shows the final touches. The image was looking a bit too “monochromatic” to me, so I added a teal Color Fill adjustment layer set to Vivid Light (layer mode). That one is identified as Color Fill 1 in this list. I set the mask to black, then painted in low opacity white to reveal some of the teal. The teal neutralized some of the rust colors and introduced hits of cool colors.
The top Color Fill 2 adjustment layer was created to add back in some white to the tail of the Bald Eagle. The Brightness/Contrast 1 adjustment layer was added to brighten the head on the right eagle.
Adjustment Layers are great for making a variety of color and contrast tweaks without adding too much to the size of the file.
Engraver’s Lines: The full size image was created at roughly 12.5″ x 12.5″. When it was close to being finished, I added an Engravers filter, keeping it at a high resolution. It added a vintage feel that I liked, and if I printed it, I’d maintain that resolution. When the image was reduced to only 1100 x 1100 pixels for the web page, the fine engraver’s lines disappeared, so I ran the smaller one through the same filter for this page.
If you like the idea of working with textured images, you might consider “photographing everything”. Rusty pieces of metal are obvious subjects. Most of this group came from a rusty toolbox of a wrecker.
But really, everything is a possibility when layering and texturing images. The three photos of the scratched lines on a grader could easily be desaturated and layered onto almost any image. I took all of these images a few days ago while waiting for my truck to get an oil change and tires rotated, vs sitting in the waiting room at the dealership.
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