Directly across from the house I grew up in, there was a similar abandoned house--except it wasn't abandoned, and there was a lot of trees and brush around it. An old hermit lived there : Ed Herder. No running water, or electricity. He died there in the 1980s .... You can read a little about my memories of Ed Herder's house here. That's probably why old abandoned houses have always interested me. What stories do they have to tell? Are they best forgotten? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Happy home lives with laughter and family togetherness, or drunkeness, depression, abuse, incest? Even murder? If these walls could talk, what would they say?
There's a whole genre of abandoned houses and buildings. I wish I had the hutzpa to explore more and not worry about getting caught trespassing or injured by a roof falling in on me, or falling through a rotten floor. Fortunately, I can explore these places through the magic of Pinterest and the Internet!
I spent virtually the whole weekend on this one image -- going for perfection, I guess!
I was bothered by the fact that that most of the textures wouldn't hang on that white/gray sky. So I had an idea to start with a texture, and lay my original abandoned image on top. That way, the whites would disappear and the textures would rule.
Here's the recipe layer-by-layer :
Layer 1) My own Stormy Clouds Background Texture [Yeah! for using my own textures!]
Layer 2) 2LO Fairy Tale 15 Texture - Normal Blend Mode 59% opacity
Layer 3) Abandoned House Image - Multiply 85%
Layer 4) Brightness/Contrast Adjustment - Normal 59%
Layer 5) Copy Layer 2 (I LOVE 2LO Fairy Tale Texture set!) - Color 77%
> The pink texture effectively desaturated the greens in the grass, and added some depth to the moody gray sky. I was playing around with that blend mode before I settled on it's application here in the line-up. When I used it earlier, my moody gray cloud texture would take on the exact colors of the fair tale texture, but not the cracked stucco texture--only the colors. There are times that could be really useful, but not here ...
Here are the other work-ups before I settled on the one above :
This is the version I worked up in PhotoShop Elements with several layers of textures.
The sky needed something ... and that green grass needs a little tamping back.
1) Background image
2) Kim Klassen's Flourish Magic Texture - Overlay Blend Mode at 21% opacity
3) Lost & Taken Subtle Grunge 8 Texture - Multiply 100%
4) Levels Adjustment - Brightness / Contrast
5) 2 Lil Owls Bliss 9 Texture - Multiply 100%
6) Copy Layer 4 - Soft Light 30%
7) 2 Lil Owls Bliss 7 Texture - Soft Light 14%
8) Kim Klassen's Light Paper 3 Texture - Multiply 31%
For this de-saturated version, I added 1 final step to the recipe as laid out below :
Picassa's Infrared Filter.
Quite a different feel to it, no? It probably needs some birds flying around there, doesn't?
Here are the original photos I started with, almost straight outta my camera.
I'm always amazed at the transformation that textures can make for creating a mood. It's almost the difference between "Memorex" and Memory. Memory adds all the emotion of internal landscapes, while Memorex records what was. (Remember those old ads from the 1980s : "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" I know, I'm dating myself here ...)