It’s time for another Brenda Photo Challenge! This is the 4th of July weekend, so the theme is appropriately God Bless America! As a proud and patriotic conservative, I have been enthusiastically looking forward this!
Hubby and I are collectively celebrating our birthdays right now, and a flag-designed dessert is taking center stage. The fruit on top helps to assuage any of our guilt for consuming the gooey frosting and chocolate cake. I quickly took a snapshot before we dug in! The camera settings were f/5.6, 1/30 second, and ISO 1000.
I recently read a photo magazine article about using displacement maps in Photoshop. I decided to try out the technique for the challenge. I tried a similar method several years ago, but this one is decidedly better. First, I grabbed and prepared an old stone wall photo in my inventory. This wall is actually a support for the Pisgah covered bridge near Seagrove, North Carolina (circa 1911 and one of two left in the entire state). I recommend that you never pass up the opportunity to take a texture shot like this. You may be able to use it later in your photo editing!
Then, I merged another layer on top of this photo - a high resolution flag graphic available on the internet. Using Photoshop’s displacement magic, you can see that the flag takes on a 3D look and appears to be painted on top of the rocks. (Click to enlarge.) I also processed the image using a Nik Silver Efex plug-in filter. This step converted it to a black and white image. In the final steps, I selectively added back a low saturation of the red and blue colors on the flag, and also applied a soft sepia tone and vignette around the edges. The image of the rocks was taken at f/10, 1/40 second, and ISO 800. Pretty cool technique, huh?
Now that you have seen my contributions to the challenge, go to the web link and see God Bless America photos by the other participants!