Learning from others

May 10, 2010 17 Comments by vanelli

I’m a big fan of Larry Becker’s blog. I love his ability to observe a simple situation and then, with his unique writing style, make a lesson out of it.  Recently, he wrote a post called “Dissecting the Work of Others“. In his article, he suggests three reasons to try recreating someone’s style. It reminded me how we analyzed other competitors when we competed on the National Karate Circuit. So, for a week, I had my karate students “dissect” each other’s performance. Their goal, copy something they liked from another performer.

Using this same advice, I started to review a few of my favorite photographers. I wanted to see how they blended their photography talents with their editing skills. Notice I said editing skills? It doesn’t matter if they used Photoshop, Lightroom or another image editing software. I was looking for artist to emulate and then one found me!

I received a compliment from Trey Ratcliff on my post, “Adding Texture to an Image“. I was feeling pretty good. He mention he did a video series on textures and offered me to check it out. Being a HUGE fan of his work, of course I had to. Applying Larry’s advice, I dissect Trey’s technique. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

Trey blends several simple Photoshop tricks together to create a unique piece of art. He walks you through his entire work flow from choosing the textures to applying them in Photoshop. Some textures and techniques worked, some didn’t. He didn’t edit anything out of the video. You see exactly what he was thinking while creating his image. As an added bonus, he supplies all the textures for you!

My quick notes:

  • look for textures with colors that will enhance your image.
  • apply as many textures to an image as you want without over doing it.
  • major use of layer mask, look for elements in the photo you want to keep and edit out the rest.
  • merge the final layers, keeping the original as the top layer and use opacity to dial in the effect.
  • Review Trey’s Video

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