Building up a library of images

Following on from the last ‘behind the scenes’ post about the creation of the image Tranquility I thought I’d delve deeper and show you around my personal library of images that I go on to use in my photoshop edits. When I build a new art piece I choose to do this only from photographs I have taken myself, not using stock images (taken by other photographers). Whenever I’ve considered using bought in photo elements the final art work no longer feels completely my own creation. There is no right or wrong really – I just choose to use only my own images.

Below you can see some of my windows and doors collection. You never know when a window or door could come in handy!

Lightroom Catalogue of stock images

My library of imges currently sits at 35k (many of course are photos of my dogs!) which I have collected together over the last 5 or more years. I can dip into these in the hope that I’ll find what I need when I have an idea for an image. Infact, sometimes it is a bizarre combination of images from the library that is the inspiration for an image.

The image that starts this post with the boat on a lake inside a room image is one such image.

This empty room in a beatuiful chateau in France was a disappointment to most of the visitors – but not to me. I was delighted to see an empty room – no need to edit out furniture before progressing with an image. All that needed to be removed was the lighting on the ceiling, a fire extinghisher and and exit sign. An unusually easy start to the edit.

If I don’t have what I need then I set out on a mission to find it.

Fishy Tales

My need to gather images has led me into some rather interesting conversations, not to mention raised a few eyebrows. I sometimes find myself wishing I hadn’t started the explanation.

This beautiful fish was purchased from the fish counter at my local supermaket. For some reason I felt compelled to tell the fishmonger why I was purchasing a fish (I don’t eat fish although this one wasn’t wasted my husband ate it). I didn’t need to tell him, there was no neon sign on my head saying ‘this customer doesn’t eat fish so what is she really doing?’

When you tell someone you are going to use said fish to create a mermaid’s tail for some photographic artwork it sometimes causes amusement/bemusement.

This fish was great value for money having gone on to create two different mermaid tails as well as provide a delicious dinner.

Not your traditional angle

On our last holiday to France we visited the beatuiful Lake Annecy. Unlike most (all – if I’m honest) tourists I was seen with my back to the lake pointing my camera at some rather beatuiful climbing plants – not the lake!

In my defence, I use climbing plants a lot in my work and tend to photograph it at every opportunity. The Fairy Widower incorporates masses of added plants. The archway in the piece was an internal room inside a monastry with no plants at all.

Vaulted monastry room

woman in an arched room looking out to sea

The Fairy Widower


Closer to Home

sinking boat in plymouth

There is plenty to photograph locally too. I often see things that might come in handy in the future. This image, with a lot of clutter around it, is near a local supermarket. With all the clutter removed and flipped to face the other way it ended up in the dreamscape image ‘Into the Unknown’ shown below.



lady looks across a cloudy lake to a wreck of an old boat

Into The Unknown


I’m long overdue to go on a stock image hunt but this sunny weather (written Summer 2018 – which is, so far, pretty great) makes it tricky. Stock images need to be photographed on a day where strong shadows are kept to a minimum. When blending images from a lot of different locations strong shadows are an unwanted complication – but that is another story altogether…

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creative photographers office space

Creative Spaces

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