OK, one more Photoshop montage (for now) and I'll try to move back to photography. I have no idea where this burst of Photoshop energy came from, but I haven't been shooting much lately and so I guess the fire to create something still burns and so I turn to existing images. Combining old images in this way is actually a lot of fun (and I have no idea whatsoever what these images mean) and, as I said in a previous posting, it gives you a lot of editing practice. Creating montages is a nice way to spend a cold winter's evening, too.
One of the more interesting aspects of doing this kind of work for me is that I have no idea where I'm going when I begin. When it comes to taking straight photos, of course, I know exactly what I'm after and I know how to get there. With these montages, on the other hand, I just start with one image, then keep adding more and doing things like changing the sizes, the shapes, the colors and, most fun, the layer blending modes. Another fun thing is that these images come from all different times and places. The montage here, for example, includes the shot of the pharaoh (taken in an antiques store in Connecticut), the water lilies (shot at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia) and the peacock tail (shot in southern Florida). How could I have any idea they would end up together in one image? Interestingly too, I have a writer friend that wrote a very pretty and insightful poem based on this montage.
So, when you start meandering down a creative path, you never know where you'll end up. Also, I've learned that I need to take some advanced classes in Photoshop. While I've been working with the program a long time (since 1993) and I'm pretty good at it, there are some things I need to learn about montage work--like creating gradients between layers/images and refining selections. But every time you work an image you learn more about Photoshop--and about your own imagination--and so while it might seem you're wasting time, you're really not. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.