In Photoshop, if you know what you’re doing (which I don’t) there is the potential for all kinds of manipulation tempting even as straight a photographer as I thought I was, over to The Dark Side.
While learning how to display two images close together, I discovered they could be positioned so they could actually touch and if one was “flipped over,” the mirror image could then be merged with the original creating something new and different and often intriguing, depending on choice of subject matter and how it was cropped.
So now I only needed a name to describe these hybrids: The vanity of my last name provided the first letter along with bits and pieces from “construction,” “fabricate,” etc.
Certainly this process existed before I stumbled upon it as is evident when you Google and come up with such offerings as: “Flip, Rotate and Mirror Designs and Patterns in Photoshop,” but that involves 18! steps that I’ve never gotten completely through. My simplified procedure only requires about 4. So I may not be doing it the “officially approved” way, which I’m sure allows for more options and control, but I believe it’s the results that count and keep in mind that “all is fair in Love and Photography.”
Certain kinds of subject matter seem to lend themselves to this transformation more than others: Trees are an obvious choice along with “spiky” flowers. Most recently I’ve been applying it to buildings, but really, anything goes: one guy is doing a lot of work with “sky-scapes.” Imagine the weirdness that would result from applying this technique to the human face & form. And of course, don’t forget to consider what would happen by Konfabulating a pre-existing Konfabulation.
Besides working with existing material, I now consider whether new subject matter is suitable for Konfabulating. Another instance where it might make sense is where you have a subject that’s only “half good.” Go ahead and take your picture and then work with the “good”side.
Step #1: Prepare Your Chosen Image
For what it’s worth I’m using Photoshop CS3
Once I’ve selected the image I want to Konfabulate, a duplicate is made and THAT’S what I work with. First crop it keeping in mind that that’s only HALF the final image. Sharpen.
Step #2: Create Mirror Image
Create a duplicate of THAT and go to Image > Rotate Canvas > Flip Canvas Horizontal. Position the two images next to each other and make sure that’s where you want them to merge; if not , ditch copy 2 and re-crop copy 1 until you’ve got it right.
Step #3: Preparing To Merge
Go to File > Save As > Desktop. Repeat for copy 2. Create a file for your image and it’s mirror twin. Place images in file.
Step #4: Merging
Photoshop > File > Automate > Picture Package. Choose the file you’ve created, select copy 1 and open. Now you should have two of the same image appearing in “Picture Package.” Assuming Document Page Size is 8 x 10 and Layout is (2)5 x7, next click Edit Layout. Click on lower image. If “Position Y” is 5” change to 4.98. Leave “Position X” alone. Save. Click Edit Layout again and this time click on upper image and change “Position Y” to .02 and save. Click on image that’s “facing” the wrong way. Select copy 2. Now you should have the two images meeting up separated by a thin black line (if it’s white, they won’t quite meet). If they don’t meet, experiment and see what’s the least you need to move them. Hit ok, and approximately one-dozen quick window changes later, Presto-Chango, There It Is! Do your final crop and put it back on it’s side if you want ultimate symmetry or leave it vertical; your choice. It also seems like additional sharpening may be in order.
Now that wasn’t so difficult, was it? And look at the amazing thing you’ve created!
More from Warren Krupsaw
Warren Krupsaw, a one-time student (and house guest) of Ansel Adams is a nature photographer concentrating on landscape & detail. After participating in the first year of a new graduate program in Photography at M.I.T. with Minor White, he earned his M.F.A. in Photography under Harry Callahan at the R.I.S.D. in 1968.
Book: Portraits of Passion and Other Dalliances