Bugs. Creepy crawlies. Nasty insects.
And some of the coolest critters I've ever seen.
Ento 101 was a labor of love, and a lot of time went into putting it together. I admit that it does take so long because it's new to me and there's a bit of a learning curve going on. Practice makes better, and practice makes faster. I'll go more into this image further down the blog. But first, some background on the technique.
So, yeah. Those leaves are obviously not big enough to shelter my 5'9'' frame (okay, okay... 5'8'' frame). My backyard would be a pretty cool place if I had crispy, crunchy fall leaves that are bigger than linebackers. I mean, talk about the leave-crunching catharsis. It'd be better than jumping on bubble wrap.
Anyway, It doesn't take a genius to know there's some Photoshop trickery at work. Specifically, I used the "free transform" tool, and that tool is probably my #1 when it comes to combining images.
And it doesn't have to just be used for shrinking people and objects. It's a great tool for enabling Photoshop fun like this photo:
The picture "Fall," however, is the first time I ever attempted shrinking myself in photoshop.
The shrinking trick is a technique I picked up from the amazingly talented photographer Joel Robison. I've been a flickr follower of him for awhile, but my friend Melanie sent me this tutorial from his blog awhile back, and I finally got around to trying it this October.
All I can say is thank you, Internet, cause you're pretty much an all you can eat buffet for photography tutorials & techniques, and I'm a wildly ravenous eater. I'm not really gonna go into a how-to for this post, cause Joel's tutorial was great and I don't think I can add anything else to the table without encroaching on plagiarism. I'm very grateful he's allowed other photographers to play in his sandbox, and you should definitely check out his tutorial if you're interested. It's pretty easy to follow.
Anyway, Zack saw the first Honey-I-Shrunk-The-Kids-esque photo I made in October and declared that he wanted us to make a photo together. Well, actually, he said he wanted to make a photo of him riding "his" (read: his roommate's) cat. Something similar to this, I imagine.
That's not exactly what ended up happening, as you can see.
We did try for Monty photos for awhile, but she was in a mood and the sun was setting way too quickly, like it always does at this time of year. With that to consider, we tabled the Monty picture and started brainstorming other possibilities. After a few minutes, Zack dug out his bug collection from last year's Entomology 101 class, and ding-ding-ding we had a winner.
A closer look:
While I'm not going to include a tutorial, I am including a bit of a before and after just so you guys can see what got changed and moved around and added together.
Yikes. That close up is rather close. I wanted to show the detail of the bugs -- all real, all caught by Zack -- and also the two humans caught in the tubes. There was some overlaying, shadows, (over-)sharpening, and masking involved, and I'm still not entirely convinced it looks like we're actually in the tubes, but I'm satisfied enough. And I'm really satisfied with the bugs.I don't dislike bugs exactly, but I'm not a fan of them either. Still, though, these little critters are beautiful.
The world is a pretty amazing place, and I don't pay attention nearly enough. The technique used in this picture forces me to change how I see the world, if only for a moment, and that shift in perspective can be incredibly creatively refreshing. Try it out! And I'll be happy to help if any of you guys have any questions. This photo isn't beyond the scope of a Photoshop beginner; it's just a matter of how much time you're willing to put into an image.
Anyway, before I leave, I want to show you some of the components of this picture:
These are only about half of the components. Combining the bugs like this allows for a final image with a higher resolution than if I'd only used one image of the bug collection.
As always, please leave any questions you may have. Til next time!