One thing that I have recently been getting into is using photo manipulation to glue human body parts onto one another. I've done two pieces so far, (one is a picture of several body parts including arms, mouths, eyes, faces and flesh thrown together, and the other one is handsome hands).
Photoshop Time lapse of "Handsome Hands", 40 minutes boild down into 1:
I would like to do an online art collaboration with several people, each adding their own body parts into a massive piece of jumbled up flesh. Leave a comment if you are up to it 😉
Tips for this type of photo manipulation:
Use the same amount of light, white balance, exposure, and F Stop in all shots to make all the photographs the same color; use layer masks with big, soft brushes to gradually blend the arm into the finger. Another thing I did was I shot this on a white background to make it easier.
You can easily use photo manipulation to make very trippy, surreal, drugged out, distorted faces. All you have to do is open your image up and select the face using the standard Rectangle Marquee tool. Then, go to Edit > Content-Aware Scale. Grab one of the points on the edge the selection and move it around. I like to shrink the face together rather than expand it, but feel free to experiment. The higher the resolution your original image is, the better quality it will be.
If you want to protect certain areas of your image (areas that will not be scaled) simply go to the Channels tab and create a new channel (Alpha 1). Then use a white brush to fill in the areas you want to protect. After you've done that, select your image using the Rectangle Marquee tool and then click Edit > Content Aware Scale in the menu.
Now, Below the main menu at the top there will be a toolbar, at the right of the toolbar there is a drop down box that is labeled "Protect:". Select Alpha 1, and then scale your image like normal. Keep in mind that none of the images on here were scaled using the Protect function.
Another awesome way to make weird faces is to scan your face!
Having a wide angle lens is very nice, but if you don't have enough money for one, there are other alternatives, like has taking panoramas. With panoramas, you are taking several shots and then stitching them together like a quilt. You can have as many pictures as you want, and the more you have, the better.
The more you're able to zoom in, the higher count of megapixels you can achieve. Gerard Maynard went extreme with this idea, and shot a 13 GIGAPIXEL image of a city. That's 2,045 individual shots (taken with a 300mm lens), 12 megapixels each, 21GB word of data, and a whole lot of optimization and rendering time done with his software, Autopano Pro. Massive.
Pros to using stitched images instead of a single frame:
- Much more resolution, instead of taking one picture, you are literally taking several and putting them into one big one. This increases the resolution.
- Able to obtain wider angles than having to pay for an expensive wide angle lens.
Cons to using stitched images:
- More post processing time
- Usually cannot be used when taking pictures of moving objects
When shooting panos, remember to have your camera on MANUAL mode, and have a set white balance. This will make all your images have the same settings. There are probably tons of how-to guides on the internet and youtube explaining this. Also, it's a very good idea to use a tripod, but isn't required.
Once you have taken your images, you can use Photoshop to stitch your images (File > Automate > Photomerge), or Hugin. I like using Hugin because it has maximum control on what you want your final pano to look like. It is also better at stitching images that were not overlapped as much, Photoshop CS4 sometimes has a hard time doing that. If you are just getting started in panoramas and have Photoshop, I would recommend using that for the first few you do because it is simple to use compared to Hugin. Once you feel ready to step it up though, by all means, embrace Hugin.
Here is a video tutorial, which includes a tutorial on how to take close up macro panoramas: