Recycling your images
Do you ever stare at your image files on the computer screen and think that while they're "okay", perhaps they could be better? Or do you ever suffer from the photographer's version of Writer's Block and can't find anything to shoot?
This came in handy recently when I'd been at the beach shooting one of my whippets - I had a few decent photos of him running towards me, but I wanted to make an image that could create a little more impact - so I took four of those shots, cut him out of three of them using Topaz Remask, and inserted the extra three into the fourth photo. I wasn't completely sure it would be accepted but I thought I'd at least venture forth and submit it.
To my complete amazement, not only was it accepted, it was given an Editor's Choice!
I have quite a few composites in my Creative gallery now. I find that searching my library for images that will couple together well helps me on those days where I do get the creative blahs and either can't get out to shoot, or don't know where to go to shoot, or really don't feel that much inspiration to shoot. Sometimes it helps to brainstorm a few themes, and dig through my image library to see what elements might be relevant and work well into that theme.
Recycling images means I can still upload, even if I can't get out to shoot. When first studying the images after a shoot, before being too quick with the delete button, I find it's handy to hang onto shots providing the quality is acceptable, because I never know when some element within an image might help me with a composite later on down the track.
Composites aren't for everyone, of course - some folks prefer only working with images straight from the camera...but for those of you who like to dabble a bit with Photoshop, this is a great way to recycle the boring and perhaps create something really special. :)
Photo credits: Tamara Bauer.