By Jim Zuckerman
I recently returned from Santorini, Greece. A client of mine has asked for pictures from this beautiful island, and I’d never been there so I decided to go. This client sells my photos on canvas to many chain stores across the U.S., so I thought it would be a good investment in my time. I was asked, though, to add color to the blue and white island-scapes. The fine art market loves color, and the typical blue and white color scheme doesn’t have enough punch for the mass market.
In addition to shooting architecture, I spent a lot of time photographing individual flower pots, window boxes, and gardens. Before I arrived in Greece, I was in Switzerland and I took pictures of a lot of the beautiful flowers on display there, too. The picture you see reproduced here is one example of where I cut and pasted flowers into the typical blue and white Santorini architectural theme. It took a lot of time in Photoshop to select the bougainvilla flowers from their original background. I used the lesso tool and the pen tool, and once that was done I saved the selection with Select > save selection so I could easily load it again and then paste it into a different background.
To make the vase look like it was really there, I also used the burn tool to add some shading at the bottom of the ceramic piece. Even on an overcast day, shadows are cast. They are subtle, but they make or break a composite. Finally, I added a brooding sky because I thought that added more interest than a straight blue sky.