Birds In Flight

A layered image of storm clouds and a flock of birds. Processed in Photoshop and Perfect Layers 2. There are two separate stained paper textures which I downloaded from The cloud and bird layers were my own images.

Sometimes as an artist you hit a wall creatively and you have to pull from your reserves to get out of your funk.  I used today’s image to exercise some creative freedom and to test drive Perfect Layers 2. I have had the look for this image in my head for a number of weeks now and I was fortunate enough to have Perfect Layers to make it a reality. The bird layer is what really started this image off for me as it was a random shot I made quickly last year that I liked. I ended up saving it in Lightroom and I got to thinking about how I could use it.

The bird layer was just the flock of seagulls against a blue sky so my first task was to remove the blue sky. I imported the image into Photoshop and using the color range tool I was able to remove all of the blue in the image leaving the birds intact. The cloud layer was a shot I made over the Summer in 2011 as a tornado touched down over on the New York side of the lake sending these fantastic storm clouds over Burlington. I added a layer mask to the cloud image and painted out the clouds in a random fashion around the edges of the image. I then faded the mask so that the clouds would more seamlessly blend into the stained paper textures.

Once all of the Photoshop work was done I imported all of the layers as tiff’s into Perfect Layers and merged them changing the various opacity’s of each layer to fit my vision. The final bit of processing that I did was to import the final image into Lightroom and desaturate the color a bit as the paper layers had a yellow tint. I then added a blue highlight tint to the image so it wasn’t a straight black and white. The slight blue color reminded me of the sky and being outside…A black and white would not have made this image pop. I had fun with this exercise and it was a great way to utilize some images that would otherwise be sitting dead in my hard drive.


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