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Altered Reality? What's that?

November 22, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

OMG!OMG!They're not coming in here, are they?
This image is a digital composition.

Altered Reality? What’s that?

Altered - change or cause to change in character or composition, to make different in some particular, to modify.

When it comes to photography, creative alteration of an image, or combining more than one image into a single element, is referred to as “Altered Reality”.

From their website: The PSA (Photographic Society of America) definition of Creative is “Altered Reality.” The image must obviously display a change in natural color, form, shape, or any combination of these three. Creative images are often montages (a blending or composite of multiple images).

In other words, an image that fits the creative or altered reality guidelines as set by PSA might appear realistic in a very unrealistic way, or not look realistic at all. The original images used are taken, the final image is created.

To compete in the Creative Division of PSA, the maker of the image must have adhered to these principles.

The image of the elephants and cows (above), OMG!, are a good example of what I’m talking about. Is it a likely scenario? Not so much.  The image is a composite of elements taken from three different photos; the barn, (in eastern Colorado), the cows, (on a ranch), and the elephants, (at the zoo), are combined to tell a story. An unlikely story, but then, that’s the point.

From conceptualizing the idea, to putting the pieces together, the process allows me to set my imagination free to create. I have no talent for painting, but I’m sure my artist friends feel much the same way when they approach a canvas. You can do whatever you want here! I’m limited only by my own imagination. I love this stuff!

The second example (below), Music of the Night, combines a Milky Way shot from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, giraffes from the zoo, and a vulture from a trip to Mesa Verde.

Some of the altered reality images on my website feature planets, a recurring theme, that I create in Photoshop. While it’s not apparent to everyone, many hours can be spent creating a single, credible image. For me, the hours are well spent.

Visit the Altered Reality page on my website here.

Debi Boucher



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