image progression: paris II

Paris II, digital photo manipulation, 2011
Paris II, digital photo manipulation, 2011

For our 5th anniversary, my husband and I joined a couple of friends on a quick weekend trip to Paris.  The weather was rather cold and dreary and the trip seemed to end to soon, but the company was delightful.  That city is enchanting; it always leaves me in awe.  On our second night we took a bicycle tour, enjoying the sunset as we cycled past iconic Parisian landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral.  We took in the sights and sounds of city gradually making our way to the Louvre.  By the time we reached the courtyard with its eminent glass pyramids, night had fallen and the lights from the building strikingly accented the Louvre’s architecture.  Glowing light fell from the museum windows into the courtyard, allowing us to catch sight of the stunning Greek marble statues illuminated within.  A street musician beautifully played the cello, as the sound cascaded though the chilly February air, I felt intoxicated by the perfection of the moment that surrounded me.   

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

This piece also contains a couple of the windows from the photo I used in the previous piece.  However, I have also added an original image I took of an elegant sculpture outside the Louvre of a woman with a greyhound.  I added stock images of the Arch de Triumph, columns and an odalisque figure, to emphasize the Parisian setting.

Odalesque, stock image: Liquid Library
odalisque, stock image: Liquid Library

I used the photo of the Arch de Triumph to set the main color scheme for the piece.  Using a muted shade of green and deep violet, I applied a Note Paper filter with a moderate relief to get my desired simplified image.  The photographed windows and brush design elements (upper left) were added toward the end of the piece to create color unity.  These elements also contributed to the visual interest of the work, giving the image more depth.  The telephone (center left) and branches (center right) were also added as custom Photoshop brushes.  I made several layers with the columns, allowing me to play with different variations of filters and opacity until I found the ideal combination.  The digital manipulation of the sculpture consists of roughly four separate layers.  These layers utilize very basic filters including Cutout, Poster Edges and Halftone with a light pink and black.  By erasing sections of each layer, or altering layer opacity I created this final look.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Seasweetie says:

    Love your photos. And am happy to hear that you find Paris enchanting. My closest peeps who have been have not liked it. I have never been and still in my heart know that I will find it magical.

    1. I really love it. It has its inconveniences and whatnot–but everywhere does. I think it depends on your expectations.

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