“It’s a peaceful, fall day in early October. A hungry, black bear ambles along the edge of a field in search of food. Suddenly the pastoral serenity is shattered by the whir of beating wings and urgent, staccato calls as the ring neck pheasant explodes from its hiding place in the patch of tall, dry weeds. The bear looks on nonchalantly as another meal makes its getaway.”
I couldn’t resist this bit of arty prose to describe my latest Photoshop creation. The scene is a composite of four different photos: the field, the sky, the bear and the pheasant. My intent was to create a “wild-life art” look that is popular in many specialty, art stores. As I assembled the scene each item was maintained on a separate layer. I applied a Dry Brush filter to the field, bear and pheasant and used the Clone and Smudge tools for touch-up. I used a 50% gray, overlay to adjust lighting and shadows and Curves adjustment layers for overall tweaking of shadows, midtones and highlights. I created the bear’s shadow using the 50% gray, overlay. I know there is a better way to do this. Maybe someone can help me out.
I also had problems with edge blending for both creatures. I used a 2 pixel feather on their selections and ended up with lighter, ringing on both. I used smudging, cloning and erasing the correct it as best I could. I’m still not satisfied with the result.
I then applied the Rust flake texture to the field and sky and a sandstone texture to the pheasant and bear. Finally I applied Smart Sharpening to the bird and a very slight Smart Blur to the bear.
The project took about four hours and was a good learning experience. Plus, it was a lot of fun. I would appreciate feedback on this creation or any “fixes” anyone might care to employ, especially a “wings in motion” effect.