April 22, 2016 ~ Yes, we have been going out and getting some nice bird photos, but I have told you about Clapper Rails and Curlews and three times already about the Great Egrets at High Island. Maybe soon I can share some pretty little warblers or some spoonbill babies but this week I am going to take you on the wild side with some Photo Art.
Composites are a lot of fun, but invariably when I post one on Facebook and clearly label it COMPOSITE PHOTO ART, I get all these well meaning comments congratulating me on such a good shot. I know some folks don't read any of the text, just like a lot of my dear loyal readers just look at the photos and don't read the adventure. The above is a composite of three photos: San Jacinto Monument from Baytown Nature Center, sunset sky from Surfside and Great Blue Heron from Texas City. The landscape photo and sunset are layers blended in Photoshop, and the GBH is a clip. I can put him anywhere, any size.
No birds here, but a little HDR processing from a trip last summer to the Galleria. The building formerly known as the Transco Tower, now called just plain Williams. It is dizzying to photograph such a huge building, straight up. Photoshop has a lot of cool tools to straighten and skew and fix the perspective.
And I am not really sure how this one came about. I started with an old shot of Addicks Dam; it is the one that is holding back a bazillion gallons of water from our recent floods. If you look carefully at the lower left, you can see Bill sitting on the concrete side focusing on some waders no doubt. I added a nice sunset of the refineries at Texas City (and removed all the buildings) but it didn't look dramatic enough. So, I added some clouds from the Crab Pier at Surfside and did some strategic erasing. Finished it off with a big dose of Topaz Simplify and a dash of Fractalius.
I found this in my Working folder. It is a Photoshop blend of several images, one is a church in Texas City, and another from those old apartments we found. I remember I put a cow on one of those buildings in some previous Photo Art. I don't recall where that cracked texture came from, probably a happy accident. I did some fancy filter work with NIK Collection to get it all old and sepia looking.
This is another image from a trip to the Galleria. I want to go back there soon, but it is such a pain. Way too crowded during the work week, and weekends are just about as bad. But there are so many strong shapes and textures there. This got some Topaz Simplify treatment if I recall. Usually I just try things until I like how it turns out, and then I can't ever duplicate the results.
it is always nice to include a cow. This gal was one of the small longhorns I saw late last year. And she is peeking out of a window from an old brick window in Rosenberg. I have been saving that image in my Working folder for a couple of years now, waiting for the right inspiration. I have so many photos in that folder that I play with, trying out blends or composites or new techniques. Nice activity on a rainy day.
All the rain events we have had lately have been causing the Spring migrants to land exhausted on the coast. This usually happens late in the afternoon and friends that live closer to the coast are getting great photos. There was a huge fallout at High Island after our Tax Day flood, but of course we couldn't have gotten there since the highways were flooded. But I have found a few new birds I will show you next week. Maybe I will have more by then.
Do you like the composites with birds time-traveling? Do you think photo manipulation is a cheat? Do you like your images SOOTC (Straight Out of the Camera)? Let me know in the comments below.