Abstract Landscapes(2): Do these work?

Ever since I stumbled across the work of Leeming and Paterson (see previous item) I’ve been wondering how it’s done.

Whilst I guess that some of it at least is done in camera at the capture stage, I thought it might be possible to replicate some effects in Photoshop – so I had a go.

A couple of weeks ago, this small beach near Fort de Bregancon (where the French President sometimes stays) was interesting because of the quality of the light along the waters edge and the figure in the distance. This is the out of camera shot.

I duplicated the layer, then blurred it using Motion Blur. I then roughly masked the blur layer along the waters edge up to the background figure to allow some of the (unblurred) base layer image to show through. I  adjusted the Levels, Contrast, Saturation and Colour Balance to produce this result. The result is probably best viewed at a larger size by clicking on the image.

My aim was to concentrate the eye on the waters edge and the lone figure whilst simplifying the rest of the image to convey the mood of the afternoon light and the stillness of the beach. Does it work? It’s pleasing at the moment but whether I still think so in a weeks time – who knows.

I tried the same technique on a couple of other images, The boat is on the same afternoon near the same beach, and the marked tree is part of a forest trail in the Luberon.

The technique seems to simplify the components of the image, in the same way that B&W conversion can do. But these examples are a long way from the delicate tones of the Leeming and Paterson images.

You may have tried something similar yourelf. If not- why not have a go. Either way it would be interesting to hear about the results.


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