Photography Blog from

Tutorial: A Bird in Hand


This post will be a bit of a  tutorial processing-tip. For more of a step by step on using layers see the links at the top of blog  for the   pages:

Tutorial: Textures & Layers   &   Tutorial – Plastic Bottle flower Print .

The first two images are based on the same shot. How were they created to produce the differing textures and colour/hue vibrancy ? The answer comes from using the following layer technique.



By first creating a duplicate of the base image original shot of the bird )  as a layer you can now modify the textural qualities and the vibrancy of the colours/hues.  I altered the layer creating a drawn line version using a Redfield Plug-in ( these a free, see Photography & Media Resources links on the right side of the blog) , Bas-Relief Effect. To maintain the original glint in the bird’s eye, I removed the bit of the eye on this layer to let this small part of the base image come through unaltered.

The next step requires altering the layer’s setting and opacity.  For the first image, the layer was set for Hard Light. Opacity was kept a 100.  For the second image the layer was set for Overlay . Opacity was set at 97. That difference in setting using the same layer and base image creates the two different  compositions.  The mat edges are produced after, using different textures that I have created.  

Taking the same base image and using a variety of layers & processes produces a very different image. In this case the base image is altered into a B&W High Impact composition. Portions of the very dark elements of the image are replaced with coloured texture. Additional layers blend in more texture & colour and varying opacity levels & light settings.This more complex combination produced this final image.




This  image has none of the original’s colour. It is high contrast with a bit of soft brown tint. It also incorporates other colours and textures, especially in the dark foreground  ( the gloved hands )  and in the darkened window in the background ( the upper right quadrant  of the image). Once the image is completed the mat edge is then added.

Note: The photograph was taken a number of years ago. The bird in hand had misinterpreted the reflection in one of our windows for the sky.  It was stunned, but it did survive. After about 45 minutes it sufficiently recovered and flew off.



7 responses

  1. leecleland

    Thank you, very interesting to see the differences and follow through your processes.

    June 1, 2014 at 4:01 am

    • elmediat

      Glad you enjoyed the flight of fancy and bit of instructional info. 🙂 I have carousel post coming up that will feature some variations on a single image. Some of the processing is the same.

      June 1, 2014 at 11:59 am

  2. Thanks a lot, this made me think, and you can see the result in my latest… Tony

    June 1, 2014 at 7:01 am

    • elmediat

      Great Tony ! Saw your Trippy portrait – very 60s 🙂

      June 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm

  3. Pingback: Self Portrait 13; LSD? Or not. | X-ray Pictures

  4. This is an interesting process, one I will make note of and hopefully use soon.

    June 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    • elmediat

      Glad to share – as a retired teacher it is a bit of an addiction. 😀

      June 1, 2014 at 12:58 pm

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