The After and Before forum is organised by Stacy Fischer, it is a place where amateurs as well as seasoned photographers explain the wow and how about their photo and editing decision.
You can read more here about how to take part.
To create this week’s picture, for the “After Before Forum”, most of the work was done before I even opened Photoshop. I have had an idea for quite a while of a dandelion clock. As a child I remember being asked what time it was and then blowing on a dandelion to find out; each puff of breath representing 1 hour. To translate this visually I thought about 12 pictures of dandelions slowly being blown out as well as the yellow dandelion flower. All of these images would be laid out like a clock face.
My set up for photographing the dandelions was quite simple; Black Card placed against the wall, a dandelion in a pot of play dough and two Ikea spot lamps to light the dandelion. I took several test shots in manual exposure to get the exposure right. Once all the pictures were taken and I packed everything away it was off to Photoshop.
First I created a new document and filled the background layer black. I needed to create guides for the clock face to know where I would be placing elements of the picture. I used the line tool, drew a line and the duplicated and transformed it with a rotation of 30 degrees. I did this 5 times and I had my guide.
I imported my Dandelion shots from Lightroom as layers. With each layer I had to resize ( as they were a little too big) and rotate them to the right angle for the clock face.
I separated the dandelion flower from its back ground using Select – Focus Area. I resized the image and placed it in the centre.
I turned the group of dandelion spores and flowers into two separate smart objects. Using some basic adjustments with clipping masks toned these elements. I didn’t place them in one smart object because they are two separate groups of elements that if I needed to tweak would be easier to do separately.
I wanted to create a textured background for the image. I imported a french wallpaper and grass texture. I placed these textures above the background image, with the grass above the French wallpaper. I set the grass texture to overlay to make the grass fill in the pattern of the French wall paper. I then added a hue and saturation layer to shift the greens slightly and create a separation between the main composite and the back ground.
I wanted also to create a simple border. Since I had black background layer I decided to add a hard rounded corner mask to the textured background. A simple boarder was added.
I am quite happy with the final image, it is close to my original idea. At first I wasn’t to sure about the background but it has grown on me.
I would love to know your thoughts on this image be it positive or negative.
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