Brick Building with Gas Lettering
Brick Building with Gas Lettering

Found this great brick building with the lettering on the outside of the building that spelled GAS. I’m sure it had been there a long time. This image has been enhanced using Photoshop.

I looked up where I think this was taken and I think it was in a historical old town – almost a ghost town – Virginia City, Montana. This was taken during the same time as when I was at the Rodeo in the same area. A wonderful trip and lots of good memories.

Reflections along the boat docks on Lake Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho are a stunning array as the shades of blue colorize the water.  This picture was taken with my first digital camera, a Minolta DiMage, and though I like it would not be suitable for a larger print format due to the limitations of the camera.

Boat Dock at Coeur d’Alene Idaho

While I love this shot I always wish that I had taken it in later years when I had a good digital camera with a much higher resolution instead of that old Minolta Digital that was my first.   That camera was light and easy to use but the resolution was so low that I quickly grew tired of it.

Dragonfly in Amber
Dragonfly in Amber

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In 2011 I was in my home state of Idaho up in the Northern Panhandle just south of Cour de’ Alene for a family gathering. This is some of the most beautiful country in America with its magestic mountains, richly colored forests and lush meadows. If not for the winter cold and snow, I would still be there. Visiting during the summer and fall months can sometimes make me wish to return.  This rainbow was a vivid surprise just after a sprinkling rain.  This picture is dedicated to my dear brother, David.

Camping After the Rain
Camping After the Rain

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This image was one of my first attempts at creating what is called a compilation using Photoshop. It’s done by combining multiple images with layers and masking.  It took many hours and is of at least 5 separate photos taken during the early fall season as we drove along an Idaho highway or while visiting with friends in the Idaho Panhandle.

The sky is an image that probably did not occur in Idaho but I liked the heavy clouds and deep blue sky.  I think it’s probably from the Caribbean. When altering the sky, it was important to keep in mind that there would be shadowing based on the cloud coverage that had to be added to the landscape. This was done by using a method called burning.

The hay field was another image that was adjusted in size to fit the compilation.  I was amazed as we drove along the highway from northern Idaho to west central Idaho that all of the hay fields showed distinct patterns of where they had cut the hay.  The evening sun made the hay glitter in a shimmering golden color. The hay field in the base image was so dull and boring that it had to go. It was replaced with the another hay field that had the effect I wanted to show.

The two little fawns in the foreground were from different shots that were taken right in the front yard of a friends home just north of Coure d’ Alene, Idaho.  They have a cabin (home) that is in a golf community where the deer roam free and are so tame that I was able to get within 15 feet of the little critters.  Momma deer was not too far away but didn’t seem concerned.

The smaller barn to the upper right came from a different image and was added just for fun and to give some additional movement to the final picture.


The primary image that made up the base was a dull field of hay, a bland skyline but the white farm house and the bigger red barn were what was wanted to build upon.  The big red barn was not nearly as colorful as shown in the compilation and the hay field was too boring and didn’t show what I had seen along the highway at sunset.  The barn was colorized to make it more vibrant.  The barn color was enhanced with a deeper red, the window frames were redrawn to make them more distinct and the window frames colors were changed, too.  The field was changed out with a new shape of field that had more color scale and brightness of pre-sunset.

Along the front fenced field in the final image where the deer are eating, extra vegetation was added and the foreground grass was enhanced by using the burn tool in Photoshop.

Many years ago, I dabbled in art; drawing and painting, but now use Photoshop to satisfy that old craving.  The advantage to Photo-Art is that you can correct your errors several times over.  Well it does take some training and learned skill but I still find it easier than painting with a brush.

Here are the images that were used to create the compilation.  The first is the primary image and the others were layered in. The primary image was masked in certain areas to allow the other layers to show through. Take a Photoshop class at your local community college to learn how to manipulate your pictures. It’s a lot of fun.