Photo & Video > Fine Art > Creating Painterly Photographs > Dancing Flower Technique In Photoshop

Dancing Flower Technique in Photoshop


Creating Painterly Photographs


Lesson Info

Dancing Flower Technique in Photoshop

Let's take this multiple exposure in Photoshop up one more level, by doing what I call the dancing flower technique. This is a magnolia and it looks a little bit like it's dancing on its own, but lets open it up. Let's start with a new layer. Okay, this ones already got what I had done to it so let's get rid of those, 'cause I wanna show you step by step with this. I've been seeing a lot of this type of effect on the internet and it was killing me to know how people did it. Do you ever have that? That's like, oh, how'd they do it? And they didn't share, so I started playing around in Photoshop a little bit. You make a new layer and then go back to that around the 30%. And then, take those transform controls and instead of just twisting you try stretching them out a little bit. And stretch this part out a little bit. And then, you go in and make a layer mask and erase that off the part where you don't want that dancing effect. Yeah, no wonder, my opacity's only at 30%. I'm like why isn'...

t it erasing? There. So, you go in and play. I don't want any effect right here in the core part of the flower. You can see that now I've got multiple petals in the back and I can take some of those out at different opacities. I can pull down and make them a little less obvious. Then I can just do it again like we did before, Control J. Maybe this time I wanna pull them out this way, or maybe twist those petals a little bit, like that. And then, I can go in again, clean my stem up. If it's too much, I can pull some of them back. But, I've been playing with this effect a lot and I'm really liking it. I love the feeling of dance that it creates. We'll go from this with all these dancing petals to just a simple single flower. Let me show you some examples of other flowers that I've done with this technique. I went from this to this. Here's the original and I did the same thing, just stretching the pebbles out and twisting them and playing with my layer mask at different opacities. Keeping some petals so it's not as obvious, getting rid of others, and then I put a texture on the background. And that's, I think a really different image than that. It's really not complicated and it's really your personal taste about how much you like, how much movement you want to create, how many extra petals, and that's why I call it the dancing flower technique. Here's the original of a magnolia that I shot, and then I added some more petals and a texture. So, from this, to this, with a really simple technique. It doesn't take a lot of time. So then, I started thinking about this and thinking about other ways that I could play with this. There I go asking myself again what would happen if? I started thinking what if I cloned some of these petals at a low opacity instead. Hmm. So let's find out. Let's open this up, and a new layer of course, and I'll grab my clone tool. Some people don't know that you can change the opacity of the clone tool, when I figured that out it was mind blowing for me (laughs), 'cause I was cloning at 100%. And to find out that I didn't have to was pretty big. Let's go down to about 30% again and we're gonna need to get a decent sized brush. More than that, this. Let's go to 800. So I can come over here and I can grab this set of petals, and I can create more at a low opacity. You can put some down here. You can even change the direction of what you're cloning. So it can be very subtle. You can make a layer mask and take some of that out. I think it's a very similar effect to what we just did, just want this, but quicker and a little bit easier. We went from just the plain flower to the dancing flower just with the clone tool. Just a simpler way of doing it, less involved, less layers, less time consuming. I just started with this technique this is the only one that I've done with it so far, but I like it. Here's the finished shot, when I really took the time to play with it. So, from that, to that. And I added a texture, and that's all I did, was clone petals at a low opacity.

Class Description

Make yourself stand out among nature photographers by adding a new dimension to your images. Painterly techniques draw attention to the delicate patterns, lines, textures and designs that we often overlook in the natural world.

Kathleen Clemons is an experienced nature photographer, known for her creative techniques and her unique, stunning compositions. 

Join Kathleen for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to achieve the painterly look in camera with slow shutter, selective focus, Lensbaby, and multiple exposures.
  • How to evoke the painterly look in Photoshop with panning.
  • How to use Topaz Impression and NIK software to make painterly photos.
In this class, you’ll learn how to create painterly images by using a wide variety of techniques. Kathleen will show you how to apply effects using in-camera settings, different lenses, Adobe Photoshop®, and low-tech tricks like applying vaseline to filters. Capture the magic of nature and turn your photography into remarkable impressionistic art.