Chest 79; Fragments

17 Jul

Chest 79; Fragments

I have been having an interesting conversation about using layers and filters in Photoshop to modify those below and achieve a particular effect in an image. This picture was inspired by posters and paste-ups after someone has left fragments on the wall when trying to remove them. I was moved to try and achieve the same effect. This shows both a close-up of torn fragments at the same time as the poster on the wall behind.

The base layer, a palm-leaf roof, was covered with a second layer, a stained concrete wall using a Difference blending filter, the X-ray placed between them using the same filter with bevel, emboss and glow effects. It appears as the paste-up on the wall. Colours were enhanced using the Curves tool. Over the lot was a top layer – a tapas pattern – with segments cut using a wand selection tool and modified with the Lighten filter. Parts of the underlying layers are therefore blended once only and others modified twice.

I chose to build this picture using two pieces of Papuan culture (the palm-leaf roof and the painted tapas) because the original chest X-ray was from a child, a Papua New Guinean immigrant, with infected pleurisy known as a pyothorax. It had been operated upon and drained.

Outward marks such as accent, dress, body habitus and skin colour sometimes make assimilation more difficult for immigrants in a new country. They necessarily must adapt to the new culture and put much of the old custom, language and practice behind them. Nevertheless much remains – fragments that both enrich their lives and seem strangely out of place, like the torn shreds of paper on the wall.

5 Responses to “Chest 79; Fragments”

  1. leecleland July 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Thank you for this image and the explanation of how you achieved the overall effect. Some of it is very subtle. Did you really use the bevel, emboss and glow effects on the one filter? Amazing, must try myself. It all does work well together to give a wonderful image.

    • Xraypics July 17, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      That is technically an interesting picture. If you cut it up into smaller pieces almost every segment has artistic merit on it’s own. These pictures never fail to amaze me. Thanks for the comment, and for visiting. You are most encouraging. I hope you find your experiments as fulfilling as I do. Tony

  2. elmediat July 19, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    Wonderful composition. 🙂

  3. MikeP July 22, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    This comp has a lot of explosive movement for me… I also relate very well to the poster concept as i live between Philadelphia and NYC and this post …rip down… overlay is very prevalent.

    • Xraypics July 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Thankyou Mike. It is interesting how unintended art can often be intriguing and sometimes quite beautiful. I have always been fascinated by what lies beneath the surface of things, and perhaps that is coming out there. Tony

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