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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Photographer or Digital Artist?

I think of myself as a photographic artist, who uses digital enhancement and digital manipulation to create my images, but sometimes the lines get very blurred and I'm never sure into which genre I really belong. 

Many people viewing my images take a look at my work and think I've just popped a texture over a photograph.  Only rarely is that the case.

I began making my own textures when I started using Photoshop almost 3 years ago, and I now have hundreds of them and usually mix at least 3 or 4 into my photographic art images.  These textures are my own photos which I have taken then digitally manipulated, sometimes using several layers to get the effect I want.

Occasionally I use a stock texture, but very infrequently as I mostly prefer to use my own.

Also, I often add a part of another photo or photos from my own stock to my work - that could be a person, or a bird, grass, tree, or whatever - and I also use various brushes and sometimes add digitally painted colour, as well as adjustment layers for dodging and burning, colour correction, light and dark, and numerous other effects.

So, by the time the image is complete, I have a number of layers which are not apparent in the finished work, and although I always state in the description when I've adjusted or manipulated or edited, and I save my PSDs, it's not usually possible to say exactly what I've done because I work intuitively.

Most people think of me as a Photographer, but I'm not absolutely sure I agree with that categorization.  The lines blur and I'm not even certain if it matters really, because I just love doing what I do.

In this sequence of images, I began with the background
photograph of the seashore.
In the second image, I have added 3 layers of texture
and adjusted the light and the exposure and colour.
In the third, I added the boat which was cut from another
photograph, then more adjustments to light and dark,
plus some dodging and burning.
"Before the Storm" by Chris Armytage
In the final image, I have added the birds with a
Photoshop brush, and layered a stock photograph of the
woman and her reflection.

Photography, or digital art?  I would love to hear your opinion.

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