What started off as just an exercise to learn a few simple Photoshop techniques has turned into a fun little photo project for me. Being more of a traditional photographer I do the vast majority of my editing in Adobe’s Lightroom. I have used Photoshop for years but only for very small tasks. Doing things like resizing an image or removing small distracting elements from my photos. Photo manipulation is something I have not done a lot of. One of the big reasons is because I just didn’t know how. Layers, masks and all of the other tools in Photoshop is pretty overwhelming if you don’t know what your doing. I like to keep things as simple as possible. But lately I have been wanting to up my game and start learning new skills.
As an artist there is nothing more exciting than learning new skills. Skills that allow you to create things you couldn’t create before. When all of my friends started playing around with Pokemon Go I thought this would be a good opportunity for a fun little series. Not a Pokemon fan, I wanted to insert Nintendo characters I actually liked into my Chicago photos.
Why? Because lets face it, it would be way more fun to run across Mario and his friends racing their karts around the city than a stumbling across a Squirtle ( is that what its called? a Squirtle right?) So I started practicing how to do that and made a little 4 photo series. You can read about that project and see the photos here.
That series was fun so I wanted to try doing something that looked a little more realistic. My wife gave me the idea of doing something Star Wars related, a Star Wars in Chicago theme. This was weird because I’m not sure my wife has seen any of the movies, but it was a good idea. I wanted to incorporate some iconic images from the series into my Chicago landscapes. Again, just for fun and as a way to learn a new skill. I have two completed photos right now and 2 more in my head I am still working on. My favorite is the Death Star over the Chicago skyline as it is more subtly. The skyline is the main focus of the image but the Death Star adds a bit of a fantasy element to it.
I think sometimes as an artist I focus so much on sticking to my strength that I forget to challenge myself to learn new skills. Creating little series just for the fun of it and trying new things is essential and something I need to remind myself to do more often. The goal doesn’t always need to be producing a piece of fine art, sometimes it should be just to create something fun.
Have any ideas of other Star Wars images I should include? Please share.
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