Coronation Blue | Post Production

My Coronation Blue Project has taken a little twist and a turn, which i was honestly freaking out about because i spend so much time focusing on a specific idea the thought of changing it makes me panic but i think this is all part of a creative process. I’m beginning to understand that any piece of art doesn’t have just one ending, it can change and grow along the way and this is what has happened to my project.

As i began to put my new images together in Photoshop i instantly felt awake because my creative juices were flowing, i had that spark that this was going to work and that i could make something of it.

There isn’t lots of screenshots because my laptop is running on very limited space at the moment and every time i did one Photoshop seemed to freeze up for a few minutes so i’ve had to keep them to a minimum! (I do have a brand new 5K Imac waiting for me to use but i have only just paid for the software and still need to install it as well as all my presets etc so its is just having to sit and look pretty for now until i have a spare few hours to devote to it)

I began by choosing one of the images of Sophie from the blue dress shoot that worked well within the glass. I also had to use a separate shot of the jug pouring so that i could have it come from higher up and from the opposite side.

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Once i was happy with the basic alignment of those parts i then chose an image with the stem which i altered to make it longer (Tower).

I also had to get another image of the glass top with more of the blue liquid in it so that i could blend her dress and make it look as one. The blending was done by laying one image over the other and carefully painting away areas that i did and didn’t want with a layer mask. This was quite time consuming and took almost 2 hours to get right, it was difficult to make her look like she was inside the glass, i had to make a copy layer of the glass and overlay it over the top of her dress and in tiny sections paint away what i didn’t want whilst leaving enough so that it looked like the edge of the glass.

The ink images that i had weren’t going to work like Mark Mawson’s, i hadn’t managed to capture any that looked the way i wanted them to for this dress so i had to come up with another use of the ink…. splashes.

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I needed to separate the ink from the background so again i did this using a method from PHLEARN 

You use the Colour Channels to choose which is the most contrasting layer, make a copy of that and turn it into a selection. You have to use Levels and paint in some areas that the selection misses but it gets quite an accurate selection doing it this way. Below i added a black background behind my ink selection to get an idea of how it would look on the black background.

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Next, i played around using lots of different parts of the ink to see what worked within the glass, once that was done i needed to cute Sophie out properly from her background. The hair was especially tricky, i used the same method as cutting out the ink but there wasn’t as much contrast in colour to make the selection easy and i kept getting left smudgy bits as you can see in the image below.

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In the end i just carefully hand painted those out whilst zoomed in really close.


For the next part i somehow needed to try and get her arm to wrap around the pouring ink liquid…this took lots of experimenting and trying things that didn’t end up working (which is where most editing time is spent). I ended up using her arm from another image which was wrapped around material and piecing that in over the top.

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I don’t have anymore screenshots after this point, but what followed was more editing of Sophie’s arm with the liquid which i eventually settled on removing her fingers and making her arm become the liquid rather than her holding onto it which make so much more sense.

There was lots of cloning, healing stamp, curves, colour edits – hue/saturation, matching all the blues to the ink, adding contrast, clarity & sharpening etc.

Until i got to here … ( My almost finished piece, i’ve gone all Picasso with the background but it just took shape that way and i actually was quite intrigued with the play on arrangement whilst still keeping the correct light directions.

Coronation Blue Glass PRINT sml

How do i feel about the change of direction?

At first i was gutted because i’ve had this vision of the dress in the river for a while now and to not be able to bring it to fruition (yet) was disheartening, but it just shows that things don’t always go as you plan them and you need to be willing to take a new route and try something else.

This might not be the Fine Art type image that i was aiming for but it just wasn’t meant to be and it had it’s own agenda and ended up being a much more commercial image, i could see this in an advert….perhaps for a new Blue Gin like Bombay Sapphire 😀

But if i didn’t have to order the print today then i think i would definitely have another attempt at the edit, just to make sure i have explored more possibilities with it.

EDIT TIME: 8pm – 3am, 6am – 8am = 9 hours