Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Photo Linocuts

In the chapter on Photography as Meditation in The Creative Photographer, Exploration 8 (page 140) shows you how to make linocuts using leaves from your garden. 

However, this method can be applied to any of your photographs as well.  This is how I created this black and white linocut of a photo of this Barn Owl using Photoshop Elements:

1.  Open your digital photo in Photoshop and make a duplicate layer.

2.  Go to Enhance > Unsharp Mask.  Set the Amount to 500% and the Threshold to 0.  Try a Radius setting of 8 to start, but also adjust it to see if you like any of the other settings better.

3.  Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius at about one quarter of the value of the Radius setting in Step 2. above.

4.  Repeat the Enhance > Unsharp Mask step in 2. above.

5.  Finally, go to Filter > Adjustments > Threshold and adjust the Threshold level until you create an image that you like.

You now have your black and white linocut! I printed my linocut barn owl out on white paper with my laser printer, then used the packing tape transfer method on page 95 of The Creative Photographer to make a transparent image which I pasted on a green background after cutting around the owl.

This is a great way to use your photographs in art projects.

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