image progression: paris I

Paris I, digital photo manipulation, 2011
Paris I, digital photo manipulation, 2011

I’m drawn to windows.  I’ve noticed they appear frequently in my sketching, painting, and mixed media artwork, as well as my travel photography.

In my photography work, I love the beauty of clean uniform lines, architectural aesthetics, and the metaphor of glimpses to another human’s unique outlook onto the world, not in a being-creepy-and-I-want-to-look-into-strangers-windows way.

Windows are a theme worth exploring more thoroughly eventually.  However, this post is focusing on more digital photography manipulation work based on my travel photography.

Paris windows, photo/copyright: Carly Swenson 2011
Paris windows, photo/copyright: Carly Swenson 2011
Streetlight, photo/copyright: Carly Swenson 2011
Streetlight, photo/copyright: Carly Swenson 2011

The background of this piece is an original photo of a grid of windows, while the foreground image is an original photo of a cherub streetlight from a main bridge over the Seine.

Working in Adobe Photoshop, I erased much of the negative space within the windows.  These openings create uniform negative space dark violet color background layer, or the female form to be seen.  Both figures came from the same renaissance-style painting stock image.  The cropped woman was layered between the dark violet layer background layer and the background image of the building.  The cropped male figure layer was then placed on top of the building layer. This created a romantic intrigue when combined with the angelic male figure.

I duplicated the building image and added a cutout artistic filter with a similar analogous color palette  to the additional  visual custom photoshop brush elements I used as the top final accent layers.  I gradually deleted/faded out the cutout layer, so it is more evident in the top row of windows.
I gradated filters on both figures to add more texture to their classically painted style.  This makes them feel more embedded into the visual approach of the piece as a whole. The figures captured the enchanting and amorous atmosphere I associate with Paris, while my original photos remind me of the streets I walked while I enjoyed the timeless beauty of the city.

Photoshop brushes used in this piece include the branches (bottom left), text and diagrams (on the streetlight), bird forms (upper right), and the translucent wings (on the male figure).

Greek Painting, stock image: Liquid Library
Greek Painting, stock image: Liquid Library

More of my Beautiful reminiscence of Travel series artist process:
Paris II
England V
England II

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