Is it all smoke and mirrors, is it a black art?

Behind The Scenes

self portrait full of magic

To some extent Photographic Art is still the new kid on the block so I’ve decided to start a series of blog posts about the way I create photographic art which I hope you’ll find interesting.

No two pieces of art are created equal and all artists tend to put their own twist on techniques in order create their own style of work.  I thought I’d share some of the processses that go into creating my style of photographic art.  I mention ‘my style’ because I’ve never seen two artists use adobe photoshop the same way.

weaving together the fabric for the spellbound imageFor this first post I thought I’d go broad and brief and aim to dive deeper into different areas in future posts.  If you’re particularly interested in any of the process feel free to comment below and I can add that to the ‘later in the series’ list – I’d love to hear from you.

Photographer or Artist?

I’ve mentioned before that I see myself as both a photographer and an artist but probably primarily an artist and I choose photography as my medium to create.  In order to create images that I cannot photograph in one shot I use adobe photoshop to combine a (usually large) number of photographs together.  My work is nearly always self portraiture too.  I’ve been drawn to photoshop right from the early days of picking up my camera as a hobby and I simply haven’t been able to leave it alone since.

Multiple Layers

pictures to go into a compositThis image shows a few of over 50 shots I took in the studio so that I could then select the scarf elements I wanted to use to make up one of the bodies that feature in the ‘Missing’ series.

building up the body for spellbound in photoshopFor this particular body there were eight different scarf elements but it still took several hours to select the right ones and put together a combination I was happy with – not to mention edit myself out of every shot.

Bringing It Together

The next stage is usually to start working on building up layers of colour and adjusting the light and shadow.  Although I’m no painter and certianly cannot draw I’ve had to study books on various techniques from longstanding forms of art such as painting.  In order to make a photographic image made up from a number of elements look anywhere close to believable a good handle on colour, depth, perspective and shadow work is certainly necessary – even if the subject remains impossible.

This speededit below condenses two days of shooting and editing into just over 3 minutes.  It shows just a few of the elements and tells the story of how the image ‘Spellbound’ evolved – very quickly!

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I am currently building up my online shop – many of my images, including Spellbound, are now available as fine art prints…

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three french doorways with tranquil scenes behind© Kirsteen Titchener
photography self portrait full of magic© Kirsteen Titchener