I recently attended a seminar by André Gallant in which he described some of the simple Photoshop techniques he uses to create what he calls Dreamscapes and Moonscapes. To create a Dreamscape, position a layer consisting of a blurred version of a photograph over the original and use the “multiply” blend mode. The effect can be adjusted by lightening either or both layers. For a Moonscape the top layer is a solarized, Black and White version of the original. The solarized layer will need to be drastically lightened.
I found the effects so interesting, I decided to experiment with variations on these techniques. Here are some of the results.
Flowers past the prime present some interesting colors and textures. The photo above enhances those values by applying the classic Dreamscape formula. However, many different interpretations are possible.
Here I tried something a little more complicated. I started with the classic Dreamscape, then added a layer consisting of a solarized, B&W version of the original. This top layer was blended with the rest using the “multiply” mode. Here the flowers almost look as if they were made of silk.
For the final (for now) variation, I added yet another layer containing a copy of the original and use the “difference” blending mode. I like the satin sheen to the flower petals.
Red roses seem to fair particularly well under this treatment, so I used it on a close-up of two of the roses.
Although this breaks the “rule of three”, I still find the composition compelling. This may be because the roses form a diagonal element, with one rose seeming to point toward the other.
In the following image, I again combined blurring and solarization. I love the way it makes the leaves “glow”.
I ended this round of experimentation with a classic Dreamscape treatment of a backlit flower.
I hope you enjoyed these photos and, perhaps, found some inspiration for your own explorations!