Flat-detailed imagery


Flat-detailed images (that's what I'm calling them) caught my eye and sparked my imagination when the Pembrokshire Coast National Park released a series of posters back in 2012. http://www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk/default.asp?PID=575

The posters are based upon the 1920/1930s work of Frank Henry Mason for Great Western Railway (GWR) and other rail organisations that promoted the use of the railway travel to UK beaches and seafronts.

Having taken many photographs of various locations and landmarks in the UK and aboard I thought that I could transform some of my images that befit such transformation, i.e. each image has to have a clear sky and a lanscape or notable landmark.

Without going into too much detail or giving away all secrets of the photoshop techniques used, I settled upon a method that limited the number of colours used in each image but retained the structure and composition of the image

One of my first attempts looked good but lacked something. I didnt particularly like the way in which Photoshop had rendered the sky; at any one point there are millions of shades of blue in the sky, but Photoshop presented the change of colours in a step by step change that just didn't look neat.

This gave me the idea of erasing the sky, delicately cutting around edges and shapes of foreground landmarks to reveal a completely empty sky.

I'll add a new layer and gradient fill it with the colours that were present in the sky before I just removed them. The blend between flat-detailed image and gradient fill sky, in my opinion, worked really well.

But I was working in a landscape mode and the gradient fill didnt last very long, i.e. there wasn't enough of space for blending all colours.

So, I changed the size of my canvas to an enlarged A-series aspect and opted for portrait mode where the gradient fill worked so much better, and left enough space at the top of the image to add text.

I search countless website and trawlled my Adobe Typekit for fonts that would give the image an extra dimension, eventually settling of a script style font for the majority of my images and a san serif subtitle.

Now that my technique for creating these images has been fine-tuned, I want to travel again to take more photos and created more flat-detailed imagery.

Thanks to Frank Henry Mason and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park for the inspiration.

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