Photo Art: Part 1 of 3

After looking through my earlier posts about digital/photo art I realized I hadn’t ever done any kind of “how to” posts. Well, that ends today! 🙂 I’m going to do a show & tell of fairly simple steps you can take to change a normal photo into something more artistic. I’m starting with an image I took of leftover collage scraps.  I like that they have lots of bold colors & lines. Plus I’m just a sucker for words so that didn’t hurt anything either!

"not dealing with reality" photograph (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

For this demo I am using Photoshop Elements. I am sure there are other programs out there that use filters & layers, which is all we’ll need for this exercise. The first step I took was to make a duplicate layer of the same image (this can be done by right clicking on image in the layers window shown below or by selecting “duplicate layer” in layers tab at the top of the screen). I then used a filter on the duplicate (the first of the following three images) to create a new image.  The filters tab is at the top of the page, when you click on it there is a drop-down menu with a large selection of filters for you to experiment with. The filtered layer was then combined with the original layer, which I’m using as a background.  There are many different blended tools available to combine the layers of an image, I chose the “overlay” effect to blend the two together, which in turn created another new image (the last of the three images shown below).

(c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

Next I made another copy of the background layer/original image. I applied a different filter to that layer, creating another new image and then – like the first new layer – blended this new image with the background/original.

(c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

This is a photo of the layers window that shows each of the individual layers in the “Layers” window. The one that is highlighted is the one that you are currently editing (background copy 3 in this case). In this photo I clicked on the blending modes so you could see all the different options available for blending your images. I routinely try most of them to view how they blend before deciding which version I like best.

blending changes in Photoshop Elements

After the second layer I added two more layers with different filters, effects and blending tools, shown here:

third layer
forth layer

I know I’ve thrown a lot out all in one post but I didn’t know how else to divide up the steps! Part 2 of 3 will show how all these layers come together into one image and beyond.

Click, click, click,