Friday, February 26, 2010

What Passes For Fine Art

I happened onto a website the other day offering "fine art" prints. The prices were pretty exciting to say the least. Here was a person I'd never heard of offering ink jet prints for as much as $1000.00+.  A quick check using Google confirmed that, basically, no one else had heard of this individual either.  I looked at the portfolio being offered and saw shots that looked like the early days of my pushing buttons in Photoshop just to see what would happen. One looked like it might have been taken in Italy somewhere and had a four point posterization filter applied. Another looked suspiciously like an image with a Water Color filter stuck on it. If someone is going to just push buttons and pass it off as art, they'd better rethink their pricing. Today's image took a lot more steps than a single button push. To find out what was done, hit the "read more".

Today's shot is similar to what I saw on the website I came across the other day. That shot wasn't a panorama, but the finish was posterized. Today's image is also posterized, but where were several steps before (and after) the Posterize filter was applied.

The first thing was to remove any grain (noise) from the bigger areas, without softening the details. A check of the Channels Panel showed that the Green Channel had the lowest noise and least contrast. The Green Channel was dragged onto the Create New Channel icon found at the bottom of the panel. A Find Edges filter was applied to the Green Copy Alpha Channel to isolate the edge detail. Next, a Levels Adjustment (not a Levels Adjustment Layer) was used to eliminate any specks in the large white areas and strengthen the black lines of the edges.

Back at the Layers Panel a copy of the Background Layer was produced by using CTRL J as a shortcut. A posterize filter was used to bring out the distinctive poster effect. To insure sharp lines the CRTL key was held down while selecting the Green Copy Alpha Channel. This made the edges a selection. Clicking on the Create Mask icon in the Layers Panel constructed a mask with the lines of the Green Copy Alpha Channel dropped out, letting the crisp lines show through.

Normal sharpening and vignetting techniques (discussed previously her on the blog) were employed to finish the image.