Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DC3162 Trees + Land - Great Meadows

DC3162 Trees + Land - Great Meadows ©2011 Paul Light

A photograph from this past April - early Spring. I walk in this area frequently. I know what it looks like. By altering it I get to see a familiar subject in a way that I have never seen it before.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Aligning and blending photographs is the basis of the photomerge process. This is a very old process of combination printing that began in the 1850s to compensate for inabilities of the film used then. Two or more images were combined to provide a uniform whole. In the 1880s this became quite popular in England with the combination photographs of Oscar Gustave Rejlander and Henry Peach Robinson. New options were added by Jerry Uelsmann in the 1960s with his darkroom masking and blending techniques. Now we have Photoshop, Calico and Autostitch for digital photography.

I began this photograph by taking 3 vertical photographs that overlap by about 1/3. I then ran these images thru Photomerge in Photoshop and got a second broken up strange photograph which I rejected. I find there to be a lot of trial and error with both Photomerge and Calico.

I then ran the same photographs thru Calico and it accepted two of the 3 photographs. I could have stopped at this point and cropped off the uneven edge. Instead I went back to Photoshop and went to File>New and constructed a blank area slightly larger than what I imagined the final photograph to be. I used the Photoshop Move tool to take the merged Calico image and the rejected third image to merge them together. I completed the photograph by changing small areas with the Photoshop Clone Stamp tool and then cropping out the unused white space of what began as a blank area.

This photograph was done with an SLR camera on a tripod and a laptop computer. Variations on this technique can be done using any type of handheld camera or an iPhone with the app Autostitch.

© 2011 Paul Light all rights reserved