Sunday, June 7, 2015

Water Issues In A New Stock Image

Water issues such as recycling, conservation and management are illustrated in this photo of a recycling symbol, created from water splashes, hovering over a vast expanse of dry, cracked earth.
Water issues such as recycling, conservation and allocation are a growing area of need for stock photo producers.

Water Issues
Water issues, such as water recycling, water management, and water allocations are huge and getting bigger. Think about the money spent to ship bottled water. Think of the issues surrounding the droughts that are only worsening with global climate change. Think of the need for water in agriculture and industry. Think of the shortage of potable water throughout the world. The need for images that can add visual impact to the issues surrounding water and for the advertising and promotion of products and services that help us deal with our desires, wants and needs surrounding water, has got to be in a strong growth mode…or at least that is what I am thinking.

This has all been brought to mind by the historically significant drought we are experiencing in California, and has gotten me off my butt and creating some stock images that can not only serve this need but perhaps has the further positive effect of motivating people to conserve water and become part of the solution rather than the problem.

Stock Images And Water Issues
The result is an ongoing series of stock imagery dealing with water issues. I expect to be adding to this category for quite some time, but thought I would share my first such image in this blog post. That image is one aimed at promoting the recycling of water with an ancillary message of conservation.

Water Splashes And The Recycling Symbol
The idea originated when I first began to think about how I could illustrate water issues. I liked the idea of creating something out of water splashes. My first thought was to create the word “water” from water splashes…something I may yet do. I don’t remember exactly what brought the recycling symbol to mind, but when it came to me it seemed like a great way to start. I did some Internet searching to see if the idea had already been done (yes…it has) and to what extent. Luckily for me the ones that have been done left room for new versions. I felt that by adding a background of cracked, dry earth I could impart a greater sense of urgency and an emotional connection with the viewer.

Creating Water Splashes
To create my water splash recycling image I had my partner, Stephanie, use a plastic cup to toss water splashes up in my studio that I photographed with my Nikon D800. After about forty or so splash efforts I brought the captures into Photoshop, made selections using the pen tool to create clipping paths, and creating layers that I shaped and merged and colored using the warp tool, the liquify filter, layer masks and adjustment layers.

Dry Cracked Earth And Rice Paddies
The parched earth image was in reality a drained rice paddy I photographed in Myanmar. When I photographed it the mud was shin deep…but had the appearance of dry cracked earth…and as all photographers know…appearances can be more important than reality! I pasted the earth image beneath my recycle splash, used a duplicate layer of the recycle symbol, along with Hue and Saturation, to create a shadow. I positioned it, played with the opacity and with the shape of the logo until I was happy with it. The sky is from a photograph I took in Mongolia of all places. Truly this is, at least in one sense, a global water image! I am providing the image to Blend Images for distribution, but have not yet decided whether it should be a Rights Managed image or Royalty Free. Any thoughts?