Photo Art: Part 3 of 3

The previous posts in this demo showed ways to adjust a photo using filters to make it more artistic, and how to blend layers together to create new images. Starting with the original image (shown below), I’ve shown you nine new versions so far:

original photo/background image (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

When all four new versions were blended with this image as a background, this was the result:

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

Today we’re going to look at a few other variations of the same image made by selecting certain layers of the composition and leaving others out.  The following image shows each of the layers that will be used followed by the resulting image:

Layers 1,2,4 + background (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

By removing the mostly white third layer the final image is much bolder than when all layers are used.  This next image uses even fewer layers!

Layers 1,4 and background only (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

The final image uses even less layers by removing the background layer and blending two of the filtered layers by themselves:

layers 1 & 4 only (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

As you’ve probably guessed by now, the possibilities are endless. Add or remove a layer, change the way the layers are blended, adjust the opacity of a layer, apply more filters…the sky is the limit.  I usually run out of steam way before the possibilities run out!  If you weren’t familiar with photo art, layers or filters I hope this both inspires you to play with them and helps you understand how they work. I’m available by email if you have a quick question and I also do one-on-one or small group instruction on photo and/or digital art. I encourage you to take some time and just play with your photo images to see what happens, that’s how I’ve learned and how I continue to learn!

Exploring the endless,


Photo Art: Part 2 of 3

Yesterday, in Part 1, I introduced some steps to create art from a photograph. Today I’m going to show you how all these new layers and images can blend together to create yet more art. As a reminder, here are the layers that I am working with:

original photo/background image for art (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker
1st layer, filtered (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker
2nd layer, filtered (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker
3rd layer, filtered (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker
4th layer, filtered (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

To see each of these new layers blended with the original image be sure and visit the previous post! This next photo shows the “Layers” window on the screen in Photoshop Elements with all of the layers visible.

"Layers" window

With all the layers blended and visible (layers are visible in your art when the “eye” on the left of the layers window next to it is visible) the final image looks like this:

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

In part 3 of this demo I will show you what can be created by making one or more of the layers “invisible” and taking it out of the image.

More tomorrow!


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,