Photoshop CS2: Build a Fantasy Landscape, Part I of II

In the previous Photoshop CS2 articles, Linda illustrated how to use a variety of selection tools to select portions of images to remove them, to move them, or to alter them with filters. In this first of a two-part series, Linda begins to build a fantasy landscape with images extracted from several photographs. She then alters the resultant layers with filters and blending modes. Not only will you learn about some Photoshop CS2 tricks, but you’ll use some composition guidelines to build this fantasy land. The photographs with the images already extracted are included at the end of this article so that you can play along.

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How to Select Images for Fantasy Landscapes

If I were commissioned to design a book cover or a poster, I would need to select images to fit a theme. Book covers, posters, and the like all are designed as composites – “collages” of type and images – intended to entice a viewer to read a book or to learn about an event. Other images, such as artistic collages, might focus on the theme like “sexuality” or “war” to pull various components together.  And, still other composites are designed simply for impact or shock value, as the juxtaposition is geared to jar viewers’ senses (re: Surrealism, Dada).

The composite shown above doesn’t carry a theme, as I created it for this tutorial – one that will illustrate how to use several Photoshop CS2 tools, ordinary tools that will complete extraordinary tasks. Still, I want to choose photos for this image that contain interesting textures, perspectives, and contrasts to create a compelling visual composition. The photos that I chose for this article contain ideal conditions for extraction, because their outlines are clear, the lighting is interesting, and the details – for the most part – are fairly crisp.

Linda Goin

Linda GoinLinda Goin carries an A.A. in graphic design, a B.F.A. in visual communications with a minor in business and marketing and an M.A. in American History with a minor in the Reformation. While the latter degree doesn't seem to fit with the first two educational experiences, Linda used her 25-year design expertise on archaeological digs and in the study of material culture. Now she uses her education and experiences in social media experiments.

Accolades for her work include fifteen first-place Colorado Press Association awards, numerous fine art and graphic design awards, and interviews about content development with The Wall St. Journal, Chicago Tribune, Psychology Today, and L.A. Times.

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