Imperial Palace Tokyo

 When I got hooked, really hooked on taking pictures I found myself with a firm view that the image should be pure in the sense that there should be no tricks to change the image.  I viewed it as a kind of cheating.

I would allow myself the luxury of re-composing or changing the highlights and shadows.  It has been a long time for me to finally realise the power of photo manipulation.  It used to surprise me how stunning some photographers can be with their images and how I just was not getting that depth of colour that made my photos stand out.

I am and have been on a journey of discovery and the big turning point just recently was when my brother showed me some features of Photoshop.  My brother is a traditional artist in the sense that he has a fantastic imagination and the skills to use art materials to create high quality pieces.  He has also studied as a graphic artist and therefore he can produce some equally amazing works on the computer.

For me it has opened a door and I have stepped out of it and out of my comfort zone.  I am doing things that I would not normally do, and this image is very much in that vein.

I have a vast collection of photos and thus a mine of material through which I can work.

In this case I have taken an image from my trip to Japan and, to all intents and purposes, blown it away!

Imperial Palace Tokyo

So my aim was to enhance this photo originally and, at the time I took an HDR image and was somewhat disappointed with it.  When I am choosing a photo I am looking to split the sky and large separate masses within the photo.  In this case I have selected the sky, wall and greenery as the main elements, with details from the white tower and the road in the foreground.

The issue I had with this was the fragmented nature of the separate elements and this took some time to work with.  The final image below is made up of 12 layers, including the base image, texture and colour filters.



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