ottmar liebert sound bites grill photo art part two

Photoshop Tutorial Creating Photo Art

Let’s go into a little more detail on the creation of the photo art for the Sound Bites Grill ‘Wall of Fame’ with guitarist Ottmar Liebert as the subject.

The process is one I’ve dubbed Photo-Synthesis taking multiple images and using Blend Modes, Layers, Masks, Fx, Adjustment Layers and more to create the final piece. First here is the final piece as it now hangs at Sound Bites…

final photo art

Finished ‘Wall of Fame’ image featuring Ottmar Liebert

starting images for photoshop tutorial

Raw materials for the final photo art.

layers palette for photo art

Here’s the Layers Palette with Layer Modes and Opacity Levels indicated. I recommend reading from the bottom to the top to get a better feel of my process.

I usually start with the base Layer and add a texture I feel will blend well. Then I experiment with different Blend Modes and Opacities to get the effect for which I am looking. On the MAC if the Move Tool is highlighted then holding the Shift key and hitting the + & – keys you can scroll through the various Blend Modes seeing their effects in real time.

This should give you an idea how I work with Adobe Photoshop in creating photo art projects.

Have any questions?? Let me know.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – Textures are available everywhere. Even from fellow photographers. I have a large library of different kinds of texture but for some reason I found myself attracted to two textures from one of the people who inspire me, Thom Rouse. That’s a link to some amazingly fantastic images. Thanks Thom!! BTW if you ever get the oppourtunity to see Thom speak don’t miss it. It’s a fabulous walk through the art world



lumix g7 macro art

You know me.

I gotta play.

Here’s the image from yesterday that started with multiple exposures captured with the Lumix G7 and Layer Stacking in Photoshop. Adding a little artwork using blend modes in Adobe Photoshop.

apache bloom plume art image

Apache Plume Bloom

Once the original capture is assembled then it’s time to select the plant image in order to separate it from the background. This allows the addition of a drop shadow which creates more depth. Then adding some textures in various blend modes I built a background to give the image a more painterly feel. I always encourage people to play with images and ideas.

When’s your next test/play session??

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

lumix g7 macro

Just got my hands on the new Panasonic Lumix G7 – Lumix G7 w 14-140mm lens ($1098) or G7 w 14-42 ($798) – and have been putting it through some paces.

There are some beautiful desert plants that my wife has been landscaping the yard with vs having water-sucking plants since we live in the super dry climate of Sedona, Arizona. This is the bloom of the Apache Plume plant.

apache plume bloom

Apache Plume Bloom

Capture info

I used the 45mm f2.8 Macro to make the details of the ‘plume’ feathering jump. In order to get the most detail I set the aperture to f8 and used studio flash. Shoot through umbrella to the side and just behind the plant with soft reflector fill opposite. Black background paper lit with flash with snoot and 2 layers of blue gel. Used the Wifi from the camera to allow the Ipad to run the camera changing focus using the free Panasonic Image APP. Never having to touch the camera makes for better, easier blending because there’s no camera shake or movement.

Here’s How to Focus Stack

I captured fifteen exposures with focus through the image and used Photoshop to stack them together and achieve sharpness from front to back. Take the images into Adobe Camera RAW and tweak any color or shadow/highlight settings. From the Tools menu ask Bridge to Load Files into Photoshop Layers. Highlight all Layers in the Layers Palette. Under the Edit Menu > Auto-Align Layers. With all Layers still selected, Edit > Auto-Blend Layers with the Radio Button Stack Images Selected with Seamless Tones and Colors checked. Then go through your image and look for areas that might not have been blended perfectly by Shift clicking on the individual Layer Masks to see if there is a sharp image that might be blended better. **Note – Subjects that contain a lot of white will have more issues with Blending the Sharpness in this process than others with more color and contrast.

Initial Thoughts on the G7 (more to come in future posts)

This camera would make a great back-up to the GH4 if you are a pro on a budget. Controls are slightly different but not so much you would have a problem switching in the middle of a job or if you are doing a two camera shoot. Pros – VERY light weight, super-easy 4K Photo Mode, interchangeable lenses,  image quality on par with GH4. Cons – Tripod plate needs to be undone to get to battery and SD card compartment, smaller battery, built on plastic body vs magnesium.

If you are really on a budget two or three of these cameras would make great kit to have pro backup capabilities.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob



butoh posing time lapse

A couple days ago I shared some images from working with Pash Galbavy when she was doing a model posing for a life drawing class. She was posing in the Butoh style, something I had never heard of before documenting this class. See the post here.

One of the great features of the Lumix cameras that doesn’t get spoken about too often is the ability to shoot time lapse sequences. I mounted the Lumix FZ-1000 on a tripod and set it to capture an image every 30 seconds. I was looking to tell the story of the life drawing class and how this particular session of Butoh posing was done.

Pash and the artists at work in the Life Drawing Class over a couple hour period.

These images were given a quick process to control color and contrast and saved to 600 pixel jpegs. For the time lapse 94 images were used at 7 frames a second giving a 13 second film output as an H.264 codec which produces a .MOV file. They were assembled using Time Lapse Assembler a free program for MAC or PC. One thing to remember when creating a time lapse movie that a normal playback speed is using 24 frames per second. which means you often need to capture images about every 1-3 seconds over a long period of time to have a longer final film.

pash galbavy art from butoh pose
Here is one of my working images from the shoot.
Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

step & repeat level four

Step and Repeat Level 4 is a continuation of Photoshop Tutorials using repetitive individual photo elements in a geometric pattern to create artistic images. Although this tutorial stands on it’s own for advanced Photoshop users you might want to check out the Step and repeat videos Number 1-3 before viewing this one. You can start here.

You may notice the Arcanum. It is a different way of learning and you can check it out here


Step & Repeat Level Four Photoshop Tutorial
Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob