Did you ever wish you could make up your own landscape? Painters do it all the time. They might take some mountains from one place and a lake from somewhere else and paint them together to create their own Shangri-La. I used to paint — back when computers were practically non-existent and I was a budding artist at the High School of Music & Art in NYC in the early 70’s. I painted landscapes in oil on canvas. I was ok, but not destined for greatness as a fine artist so I traded in my paint brushes for a career in graphic design. It’s a way to earn a living, while still being creative, but sometimes I still get the itch to create just for myself.
Now with a digital camera and Adobe PhotoShop CS4, I can once again use my imagination to create new landscapes (and seascapes for that matter) right on my computer. I can add my own touch to nature!
How do I do this? I use the layers palette in PhotoShop CS4 to combine the two photographs that were used to make up the finished image above. Each photo gets its own layer. The photo with the red tree is on the base layer and the buildings on Central Park West are on a layer above. I then add a layer mask to “reveal all” to the buildings layer. Now, making sure that I have the layer mask selected on the layers palette, I use the paintbrush to brush away the parts of the buildings photo that I don’t want. I adjust the opacity of that layer to give the photo a more distant look and making the red tree layer pop more. By using layer masks instead of the eraser tool to get rid of unwanted parts of an image, my original images are untouched so that if I need to go back and add parts back in I can. When I get the composition the way I want it, and after I have saved the PSD file, I then flatten the final image and save as a tiff, a png or jpg file and I am done.
The above image is available for purchase at my Dive Art & More gallery
Below are the two original images that I used: