Creative Technique - Pep Ventosa Technique

Creative Photo and Editing Technique – Pep Ventosa Method

The artist and photographer Pep Ventosa’s work is inspiring, alluring, and exciting to try to emulate. His work is a process of walking all-around a subject taking photos, and then combining them in Photoshop or a similar stacking/layer program to create one final image. If he’s photographing a bridge, building, or an old car, he will go along the length of the subject photographing every few steps rather than around 360 degrees. Pep’s works of art are created using 100 images, but you can create images using 5-8 layers or more.

 Here is how to get started: 

Taking the Images: 

·      Have a fixed subject – a lamplight, flower, bridge.

·      As you take the images, you want to keep the subject in the same general position in the frame. I worked on keeping it in the middle of my viewfinder with the same amount of space at the top and bottom of the frame as I photographed the subject. 

·      To shoot the landscape images, I handheld the camera. I found it was easier to keep the subject in the correct position than when I tried to use a tripod. 

·      It would be best to use a tripod for a stationary object like a flower. I set up in my studio, had a flower in a vase, and had my camera on a tripod. I moved the subject as I shot each image by turning the vase a little with each shot. 

·      If you try a landscape scene, remember you can also walk the length of the scene shooting vs. a 360. 

Editing the Images: 

·      To edit the images, you need to use an editing program that works with layers, like Photoshop. Using Photoshop, import all your photos to the same image as layers. If you are in Lightroom, you can go to the menu and click Photo > Edit in > Add as layers in Photoshop. 

·      Load the images in any order. I suggest you start by loading images 1, 2, 3, 4, etc… Once you practice on one image, you could try changing the layers around and adding them in random order. 

·      Work through each layer one image at a time.  Start at the bottom of the layer stack, adjusting the opacity and blend modes. I like to start with 50% opacity, and then as you work up the layers reduce the opacity 5% - 10%  each time. 

·      As you work through the layers, you can use a mask to fix any overlaps or to reveal or hide parts of that layer. 

·      Try different blend modes as you edit. In my images, I used Normal, Multiply, Screen, Light, and Dark. 

·      You will not see the true Pep-style image until you get through at least half your stack of images. 

·      Pep uses over 100 images to create his final image. I used anywhere from 10-15 images for the ones I tested. 

Once you get the hang of it, try moving your layers around. You don’t have to start at image 1, 2, 3, 4…. You can begin with 5, 6,7,8… Try moving the layers around to see how they impact the image. 

Shooting these images in Jpeg vs. Raw is also recommended as the huge files will slow your computer down. 

Once you finish the layer edits, you can take the image into Lightroom or another editing program to make final tweaks. This is when I adjust color, exposure, etc.. 

I hope you will get out and shoot with this method in mind and then enjoy the unveiling as you combine all the images into one final masterpiece. 

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