I've slipped into my artist's smock again today to make this image. I've been running across a lot of work that features waves lately and it inspired me go digging in my catalogue to see what I might have on the subject. Turns out not much - which is surprising given my affinity for water images. (Click here to see a collection of my peaceful water images recently featured on Photographyblogger.net) But serene was not the sort of water images I was looking for. I had it in mind to create an image with tempestuous waves and dramatic clouds. It's the paintings of talented artist Samantha Keely Smith that planted this seed. I have loved her work for some time now and was wondering if I might be able to create photographic art inspired by the sort of images she creates. After several hours of experimentation I think I might be starting to get to something. It's not all the way there yet but I thought I would share it with you anyhow.
HOW I MADE THIS IMAGE
So I'll start by saying outright this image is a composite of two images. I'm not very practised at composite work so this was a stretch for me. Both the image of the sky and the image of the water were taken at the same beach on the same night, no more than a few minutes apart. The sky is from a single exposure adjusted in Lightroom. The water image had a bit more processing on it. First off, it is a close up of the wave break at the shoreline and though the waves look very big in this image they were no more than 6-12 inches high. To get the shot I was crouched down very low with my rear end nearly in the wet sand. It too was a single exposure tweaked in Lightroom and then brought into Photoshop where I experimented with the tilt-shift blur filter and adjusted the colour and noise using Color Effex Pro and Noiseware Pro. Finally I did a bit of blending on the composite to help the two mesh together a bit better. I'm still not 100% happy with that part but I am letting it go. It's early work.... and I'm ok with it not being perfect just yet. Sometimes like the song says you just have to "let it go..." (so sorry I've put that song in your head for the day now haven't I?)
So even though I'm not totally happy with this image and National Geographic would never accept it for one of their covers... I don't think all the time invested was a total waste. There is much to be gained from experimenting and trying out new things. And it was fun too! Hopefully one day all the practise will help me produce something great.
Have a good weekend my friends - maybe take a bit of time to try out something new. If you don't like the results don't worry - you can always call it experimental art.
OTHER SOURCES OF INSPIRATION THIS WEEK
As I mentioned I've been running into many "watery" themed works by other incredible artists lately. Here are just a few that have inspired me:
- of course the paintings of Samantha Keely Smith - I can't decide if "Yield" or "Harbinger" is my favourite. How about you?
- Ben Young's sculptures of waves made from cut sheets of glass are fantastic - be sure to scroll to the end of the article for a short video about how he creates these one-of-a-kind artworks
- the beautiful and daring photos of CJ Kale and Nick Selway of Lava Light
- and last week's viral video of passionate surf photographer Clark Little who heads out into the beach break to get some of the most stunning shots