Jan Handman  

A Bird in the Hand by Jan Handman

June 2020 - A Bird in the Hand

June 2020 - Jan Handman

Original 1

June 2020 - Jan Handman

Original 2

About the Image(s)

I went totally cuckoo with my starting background images (Original 1). I didn't have much of a plan except to experiment with Blending Modes and see what happened. I've played with Difference mode many times and usually like the effect it gives, but it always seems to be too intense and busy for a background. This time, however, I decided to stick with it and see what I could put in the foreground to complement it. A few failed tries later I found this image of a young woman reaching for a bridal bouquet and figured I'd strengthen her by giving her a quirky Steampunk outfit. She needed something in her hand and the bird seemed as good as anything else I was thinking about using, so I went with that. The birdhouse was a logical third element. To ramp up the quirky factor, I added the topknot on the bird using a decorative typeface character; at first I used black, but it looked disconnected, so I used the eyedropper tool to pick color from his head so it would blend in. She needed a quirky topknot too, so I did the same on her hat. Then it was on to PS Filters to blend everything together: Oil Paint, Rough Pastels, and Watercolor. Finally into On1 for Glow and Vignette. I guess I could have tamped down the saturation of the background or blurred it, but I decided I liked it as it was. What do you think?

This round’s discussion is now closed!
9 comments posted

Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
The hard part about creating a fantasy is blurring the fine line between reality and fantasy. The colors, the young woman, the bird house, the sky, and the landscape are a rich blend of reality and fantasy. However, there are a couple of aspects that are too fantastic and need a bit more reality mixed in. The hat sits uncomfortably on the woman's head, and the feathers on the bird's head look cut and pasted. Aside from these two aspects this is rich blend of color, fantasy, and reality.   Posted: 06/04/2020 19:24:04
Jan Handman   Jan Handman
Thanks for your observations Alan. Frequently the Steampunk ladies don a small hat on the side of their head (but way too small to fit over their head) and secure it with a headband or hairpins. That was the look I was going for, but I obviously didn't do a very good job. As for the top knot on the bird, I didn't really intend for it to look realistic. That's why I used a decorative typeface letter rather than a real feather. I think my intended effect might have been more obvious if I had added several more unrealistic (quirky) elements throughout the image. Oh well, back to the drawing board.   Posted: 06/05/2020 18:03:38
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
If you go back to the drawing board make it a short visit. The color, fantasy, and reality for the most part mix really well.   Posted: 06/05/2020 19:05:09

Steve Estill   Steve Estill
I love this image. You've worked it so well.
I like the diagonal you've created to give the leading line. For me, everything works in the image - even the light direction on the robin has been made to fir with the line of light in the young woman. You've dressed her so well and the 'quirky' topknots are right for the image.
Thanks for putting a smile on my face again!   Posted: 06/09/2020 15:28:34

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Again, you have outdone yourself. The line followed by the eye goes from the women, to the bird, to the bird house. There it is stopped by the bird house and tree limbs, while it lingers on the light spots in the sky, so one is not led completely out of the picture.
My only suggestion is to put a few lighter spots above the lady, to bring the eye back into the image in a circle. here is what I mean.

Love your image!   Posted: 06/09/2020 21:29:17
Comment Image
Jan Handman   Jan Handman
Good suggestion Georgianne. Thanks for your enhancement!   Posted: 06/13/2020 13:36:41

Candy Childrey   Candy Childrey
Love this Jan, the final part of the leading line (the brightest part of the image with the tree branches) the blue sky surrounding the birdhouse is perfect. I see three birds that set up a triangle with the last on one a branch at the birdhouse. It just flows so perfectly. Your background was a good choice for a starting point.   Posted: 06/14/2020 17:16:23

Helen Sweet   Helen Sweet
As always, Jan, I am in awe of your imagination, creativity, stick-to-it-ivness, and skill in compositing disparate elements into a fascinating picture.   Posted: 06/15/2020 18:29:00
Jan Handman   Jan Handman
What kind words. Thank you Helen.   Posted: 06/16/2020 14:16:59