Totem Pole

Totem Pole

Ketchikan, Alaska

I enjoyed the process of bringing this image to life. The original RAW shot of the totem pole contained a quiet green lawn in the background. Not too exciting or interesting but a nice image of a totem. As I worked on a project of adding textures to my images I thought I could make this shot a bit more captivating.
 
I was inspired to try this when I saw a painting on a wall in an office building. A cell phone picture of that print is in a file on my computer. I refer to this file to inspire ideas. This image looks nothing like that illustration but the artwork motivated me to explore possibilities I had not considered before.
 
The process isn’t easy to explain in a short post but let me try to simplify what I did.
 
After I converted the RAW image in Lightroom I opened the photo in Photoshop. I made a few quick corrections and then started to apply my texture layers.
 
I used the quick selection tool and selected the totem and then replaced the background behind the carving. The background layer is a combination of two textures blended together using the opacity slider. 
 
Applying more textured layers with layer masks over the “new image” I then added the brown and red components to the shot. Next I added some design elements with my brush tool using artistic brushes that are available in Photoshop and online.
 
I had a vague idea of where I wanted to take this image but never really knew how it would look until I started “playing” with the textures. I enjoy the creativity as I make artistic renditions of my images.
 
I encourage you to try this. I’m sure you can create some masterpieces. I’m always happy to share this technique while on photo expeditions and workshops.
 
Embrace the Journey!
 
Date: 6/11/18
Time: 12:25:30 PM
Model: NIKON D500
Frame #: 9617
Lens (mm): 65
ISO: 200
Aperture: 6.3
Shutter: 1/80
Program: Manual
Focus Mode: AF-C
White Bal.: Sunny
Quality: RAW

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