This image was just too good to pass up as a background texture! I thought a castle might look good in there somewhere but I came upon this image of a statue in France that I liked. I combined the two images in Photoshop as layers with Copper Bottom on top. With the blending mode set to Normal I reduced the opacity of the texture layer so that I could just see the underlying statue layer starting to show through (about 75%). I then created a mask on the texture layer then inverted the mask (changed it from white to black to hide the texture using Ctrl+i for invert) and proceeded to paint in the texture around the statue using white as my brush colour. I started at 100%, painting in but leaving room around the statue to fade in the texture using 25%, then 12% and finally 5% as I got closer to the statue. I went over the lines of the statue a few times but by hitting the X key to change my brush colour from white to black I was able to remove the effect from the statue. I continued to do this until I had a blended edge that I liked. I liked the effect of the reduced opacity (75%) on the texture layer so I left it at that, but I could have darkened or lightened it to taste if needed.
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Like Larry, I figured that Copper Bottom Abstract begged for use in an overlay. The difference is that when I look at the image I’m reminded of the fantastic colours seen in a pool of oil. I am also very familiar with astronomical photos, especially those done using narrow band filters, which turn a sky object into a colourful abstract.
The first thing I did was move Copper Bottom Abstract into Develop and Edit in ACDSee, a photo cataloging and editing program whose use I am exploring. There I used Curves to make even more of a fantasy scene. I then used Photoshop to layer an image, taken by the Hubble Telescope, with my new version of Copper Bottom Abstract as background. A bit of work with an opacity adjustment and with a layer mask, to allow the background through more strongly or less strongly here and there, and you see the result.
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It’s hard not to keep fooling around with abstract designs. I’ve always liked looking through kaleidoscopes, because of their use of symmetry (my background is in Mathematics so symmetry really appeals to me). For this version, I started by making three more copies of the original except that each one was flipped, either horizontally or vertically to create a set of four tiles. I then enlarged the canvas for the the tile image that was to be in the upper left corner so that all four tiles could be accommodated on the new canvas. Using the Move tool, I successively opened and moved the other three tiles into their correct position on the canvas, so that, once complete, I had a symmetrical arrangement, around the canvas center, of the four tiles.
Now came the fun part – playing with filters. There are lots of free Photoshop filters to be had on the internet. But I started with a filter in ACDSee (see above) to create a swirl pattern around the center. Next, I used a filter called LensFX, available free from Richard Rosenman (to find his site, do a Google search) to create an image that reminds me a bit of Haida art!
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Couldn’t resist. Here’s another one: