I'm Obsessed!

No doubt I love many expressions of creativity. But recently I stumbled upon this world I didn't know existed. It takes something I've been doing for years, and brings it to a whole new level. I've always dabbled in layering images. I did this A LOT back in the day when I made graphics and templates for ebay sellers.  And in more recent years, I have delved into adding digitial effects to my artwork to get various results from one piece. I love that process and love that I can turn it around and make another original artpiece out of the results I like best. But this? While I was searching for some painterly paintings for inspiration, I stumbled across paintings which were not paintings! There are other photographers/artists out there who, like me, enjoy editing their photos to look like paintings! Only, their skill with photoshop is a whole other world beyond my current knowledge.

As fate in 2020 would have it... after searching for this kind of art, ads started popping up in my facebook newsfeed. Shocker, right? LOL. Ok by me. I can put a name to it now.... Composite Photography. Only.... Not all compositie photography is the same. I began to find photographers/artists who are in tune with my vibe. Images which I had previously assumed were all digital art (as in created using a digital art app and drawn from scratch) were actually manipulated photography elements! What????? So, what I did a dozen years ago to create client banners, combined with what I'm doing today... enhancing my own photos and artwork is this whole exciting world of Fine Art Composite Photography! It also gets labeled a few variations of that. But in a nutshell, it's people who use art, photography, and digital enhancement to create something unique and spectacular. The styles are endless. Lots of product markup stuff. Lots of fantasy stuff. Lots of plop a kid in a pretend setting stuff. It all has it's place. It's all wonderful. But my favorite is the slightly grungy, slightly fantasy, slightly fine art look achieved by manipulating individual photography elements and then combining those elements to end up with a whole new work.

Of course, my first attempt was not necessarily "my style". I watched a few YouTube videos of an artist who is very skilled with photoshop and composite photography. This was the firt video I watched:
Then, I watched about 4 more. I will watch every one he has. Amazing. I learned a lot after watching just a few videos. I could't wait to get started, and I created the fantasy storybook image above. It's inspired by my 10 year old son's love of epic stories. I pictured him reading, and the characters from stories "being called" from far and wide to hear him read to them. The characters come to life because he brings them to life. Yes, it's flawed. For one thing.... I do not have photoshop! I know. I know. I will get it, soon. But I did all of that on picmonkey, and I'm pretty damn proud of it for a first go. I think it's awesome.  I'll post the one I'm working on today, Sunday. It's much more the style I am dreaming of. It's such a mix of my art and my photography... but also my writing!!!!! Three passions rolled into one. They are like storybook art.

I decided to get a bit more serious and take a class on Fine Art Composition Photography. I am so excited to delve in deep, and learn some technical tricks of the trade to make my work go more smoothly. I'm sure some things are taking hours that should only take minutes, but I don't know which tools to use yet. It's all trial and error. I will say this though..... I have ALWAYS done things my own way. Back in the day, I used multiple print programs to edit and layer photos. Everyone said, "Those aren't the right programs to use. You need Corel Paint Pro and Photoshop. You need a Mac computer!"
Well, I didn't have those things. And guess what? No one else could get the same effects I was getting and everyone wanted to know my secrets. My secret was the same then as it is now... I've never been afraid to experiment! I did things I wasn't supposed to do and got results no one else was getting. I read a lot of people posting that when they have the right tools, they'll start something. Well... start with the wrong tools!!! You can learn. You can play. And yes.... eventually, get the best tools for the trade. But I'd rather have fearless imagination and the wrong program anyday over the opposite. Both are optimal, of course!!!

Here's the class I'm taking over at Creative Live if anyone else is interested...  Fine Art Photo Compositing.