image progression: england II

England II, 2011, digital photo manipulation

I am very blessed to have been able to travel a great deal during my relatively young life. I’ve studied abroad in the United Kingdom as well as having lived in England for four years. During that time abroad, I have visited several European countries including Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany and France. I love photography and make every effort to capture memories of intriguing passing moments or striking places, architecture and landscapes. I believe photos encapsulate more than simply what is captured within the image; photos also convey the moment I stopped to take the photo, who I was with, and how I felt.

The artist in me is always inclined to push my creative limits. Thus, I have begun work on this series of digitally manipulated imagery capturing memories of my travel. These pieces include a mix of my own photography, stock images, scanned items, simple filters and Photoshop brushes. All pieces have been created in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Lacock, England 
photo/copyright: Carly Swenson 2010


This piece started with an original photo of a Tudor style building in the small eighteenth century village of Lacock, outside Bath. I love the old Tudor architectural style, it will always remind me of our little English home. Behind this layer, I placed an original close-up image of a bird on cobblestone. I erased the sky in the upper portion of Tudor building photo, allowing the bird to be seen in the final image.

For each visual element added to within a piece (with the exception of brush layers), I have generally three or four layers of that specific element. This allows me to play with a variety of filters and color combinations, as well as changing opacity. This ability to change the aesthetics of each component in the image allows me to create my ideal unique look.

bird on cobblestone 
photo/copyright: Carly Swenson 2011
daffodils photo/copyright: Carly Swenson 2005

I chose the color scheme from simple elements of color that already existed in the initial photos I intended to use. These consisted primarily of the yellow from the daffodil flowers, the brown of the wood and the teal color of the door. The daffodils in the foreground are also an original photo taken when I was at school in Oxford, I selected the yellow portion and used a brush tool similar to the look of antique wallpaper for the subtle design in the petals.

Queen Victoria, stock image: liquid library
Teapot, stock image: liquid library

The etching of Queen Victoria and the teapot are both stock images. I have used a simple conte crayon filter with burlap and an additional layer yellow layer to add a more artistic drawn feeling to the portrait. Photoshop brush additions include the tree and bird silhouettes, as well as the rough distressed frame. These additions helped to accentuate the color scheme of the piece, while also adding visual interest to the composition as a whole.

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