Fishy Tales

My latest images are just a bit of silliness in Photoshop. I decided to make some fantasy pictures based on a theme of “fish”. People often ask me where I get my ideas from, but mostly my images are built up as I go along and always from bits and pieces in my back catalogue…rarely do I go out and take pictures specifically for a composition. Having a large back catalogue requires some basic logical structure and key-wording so that pictures can be found easily in Lightroom and I do try to be organised in that respect. The idea of using fish came originally from some French April Fools Day postcards that I have been viewing on Ebay. Apparently the French try to stick paper fish to people’s backs on April 1st…hey ho, I digress.

First, I decided to put a cat in a boat, out at sea, using a familiar “split water” technique that I learned many moons ago…the natural accompaniment would be an owl….and then it becomes “The Owl and the Pussy-cat”, but that has been done many times before and, anyway, we have two cats and I wanted them both in the boat. Lastly the cats needed some luggage for the trip and the British flag to fly.

My first attempt featured a fish that was copied from a drawing and then “painted” in Photoshop. However, I remembered I had a mackerel photograph from when I did a series of still life pictures some years ago, so I decided to use that instead. The mackerel needed quite a bit of work to exaggerate or “cartoonify” it and I changed its blue colour to gold, so that it would contrast with the blue sea and sky, though I retained its lovely markings and original lighting.

I have never used “puppet warp” other than a quick play when it first came out (sticking with the liquefy filter for the type of distortions I usually make), so I had to do a bit of reading up on how to use it to bend my fish. I found it quite easy to use, but the positioning of the control pins is crucial. Then I remade the picture using the mackerel, which didn’t take long because all my layers were intact, so all I had to do was to replace the fishes.

Here it is…”Pepper and Toby go to Sea”…

Pepper and Toby go to Sea

…and this is “Washday Cats and a Curious Fish”…

Washday Cats and a Curious Fish

The next image is “Fish Supper”…

Fish Supper

The last image features a friend whom I photographed at a goth event. Some work was required to make changes to her clothing before deciding to make her into a fish juggler. All I needed was a basket of fish and a background to complete my idea, again evolving as I went along. It’s called “Flippin’ Fish”…

Flippin’ Fish
© Christine Widdall