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I have been experimenting with putting textured overlays on some of my photos. These are my very first attempts: wild fennel sky01-Jills moon fabric texture overlay copy

This one of a fennel plant silhouetted against the sky uses one of Jill’s photos of a piece of her fabric weaving. I love this photo and have a feeling it’s going to be used lots more times! Two versions of the same gardenia photo

gardenia-cambodian stone texture overlay copy

This one has been overlaid with a photo of a Cambodian stone frieze

201103120207_gardenia-wooden door texture overlay copy T

his one has been overlaid with a wooden door texture

201103120197-yellow hibiscus-sanskrit texture overlay copy

yellow hibiscus with a sanskrit text overlay

201103020087_white-frangipani-nylon fishing line overlay copy

white frangipani with a white nylon fishing line overlay

201103020090_white-frangipani-ceramic jar overlay copy

and last but not least the ceramic jar was very colourful but I was interested to see what effect the overlay would have At this stage I haven’t tried to do anything more complicated than overlay a single texture over the top of a photograph. Experiments with changing opacity, etc. may come later but it has taken me ages to do this successfully. I found a very good tutorial at the studioCalico. I would point out that rather than “open” both photos I used the “file>place” function for the photo of the texture. I used PSE8 for this.

I recently had some fun playing with a website where you can upload your own photos and create some cool digital effects. I experimented by uploading a photo of myself, one of a lotus flower and one of a cat. Here are some of the results:

This last one is my favourite.

I thought you might want to see how I composed a recent photomontage.

First, I had no plan to make this composition. I didn’t think “Gee, I’m have this composition in mind with a woman in a gown standing in the desert with a coyote.” No, with this, as with most of my compositions, I saw an image that grabbed me and it grew from there.

I was browsing an online fashion and home decor catalog (Stylehive, if you really want to know), and I came across this image that really caught my attention.

I usually try to use my own photographs whenever possible, but since I have no plans on selling this piece and I composed it as a mere amusement for myself and a few others, I grabbed the image. As you will see in the finished piece, I heavily manipulated the image using Photoshop.

Next, I needed a visual context for the woman. I reviewed all my personal photographs and found nothing suitable, so I opened up Terragen, a landscape generating program, and crafted this background. This was perhaps the hardest part of the composition.

Next I pulled up two of my own photographs that I took at a local nature reserve that seemed to be an appropriate fit for the desert background. I extracted the foreground shrubbery in one and the background trees in the other.

I started putting these images together in Photoshop, moving around the layers until I was satisfied with the balance. However, it seemed a little unexciting. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized that the woman needed a mascot and that the desert scene suggested some sort of desert animal. The coyote popped immediately into mind. So I started googling coyote images until I found one that would fit the composition.

After putting together the elements, making sure that shadows were all falling in the same direction, I began applying Photoshop filters to give the feel of a painting. There came a moment when I thought, “that’s it; it’s finished”, and I was left with this final composition that I entitled “Desert Muse.”

I hope this little demonstration has been helpful to you as you construct your own compositions.

L.Gloyd (c) 2008

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with cabinet photographs – they are portrait photographs, mostly taken around the turn of the century, by professional photographers both in Europe and the U.S. The reverse side of the photo is often more beautiful than the actual portrait. In recent times they have become collectors items and occasionally you come across whole albums of them in flea markets (for a hefty price of course) and even the individual photos are now expensive. I have a few which I have scanned (far too precious to use the original).

The following collage is made up of two scans, one of the reverse side and one of another photo. The blue colours of the reverse side appealed so much to my love of blue that I used image editing software to change the colour of the portrait to a similar blue. I have used rubber stamps over the background and on the portrait and collaged a leaf skeleton over the top.

According to the Last Supper Theory website, an amateur researcher called Slavisa Pesci has discovered new figures in the painting by superimposing a reverse image over the original. The figures are supposed to be a knight and a person holding a baby. You can find the story, and the images here.

These Da Vinci code theories get more and more delightful – who would have thought that Da Vinci had access to such sophisticated image manipulation? But wait, there’s more. I decided to have a go myself and layered a flipped image over the original. Here it is:


I must admit I haven’t examined it too closely – hard on the aging eyes, you understand – but I do think I found something significant in the area highlighted below.


Here’s a close up:


See? It’s the Devil!

Well, I’m sure if you did this long enough you’d find all sorts of conspiracies lurking in this painting – or any painting come to that. Don’t know how Pesci did it – the video is in Italian and I can’t be bothered downloading it, but he seemed to have used an image printed on film over the original. I did my images in Paint Shop Pro, but you can use any graphics program that uses layers.

First make a duplicate (shift D in PSP) of the original. Then do what you like with the duplicate – flip it, mirror, whatever. Go back to the original and make a new raster layer over it. Go to the duplicate and copy it. Now paste the duplicate over the original so that it fits exactly.

The new layer will have its own control in ther Layers box at the right of your screen (or wherever that is in other programs). Change the opacity of the superimposed layer to 50 per cent and voila! You can see through to the bottom layer, merged with whatever the top layer superimposes on that image. Have fun.


Manipulated Photograph

Lori Gloyd (c) 2007


This photograph is of an outdoor seating area at my local coffeehouse. It is adjacent to a supermarket parking lot. In Photoshop I airbrushed out some cars and a shopping basket. Then I created a second layer to which I applied a filter called “underpainting” which I reduced to a 50% opacity. Then I merged the layers and applied various artistic brush filters and noise filters until I acheived a “painted” effect.


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