Trying out Posterisation Techniques

I like the illustrations from the 1930’s and 40s that show posterisation – this is the sort technique used, for example, in the railway posters of the time. There are also many book covers and illustrations of that era by the artist Brian Cooke.

Recently I have been developing my skills in Photoshop by trying different posterisation techniques to develop an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. I find the default way it works in Photoshop shows too much detail and not the large slabs of colour I was aiming for. Many photos that I hoped would work well didn’t turn out as expected, but that is all part of the learning process.

Below are 4 of my recent attempts, both good and bad, using existing photographs. This first image was taken at the gardens of East Ruston Old Vicarage and shows a vintage car in their private entrance. I think this one works reasonably well:

Posterised view of a vintage car at East Ruston Old Vicarage

This is a comparison of the original against the posterised view:

This second image was also taken at East Ruston Old Vicarage and shows the view called ‘Kings Walk’ looking back to the vicarage. I have tried to put back a little texture – which may be visible depending on the device and screen used to view this:

View along the ‘Kings Walk’ back to the vicarage – a posterised version

Next is a posterised version of a tree against the evening sky. I am quite pleased how this has turned out

Posterised view of a tree against a deep evening sky

Finally, this one didn’t work out too well even though it is the same scene as the previous image:

A posterised view of the same scene as earlier but doesn’t look so good!

I do like trying things out and a getting different perspective. I also like learning!

Author: Paul L.G. Morris

I am an amateur photographer whose photography is mostly of gardens, nature and the rural environment. My specialities are close-ups, panoramic views, or a combination of both that I call 'Nearscapes'. I work mostly for my own interest having closed my business PM Studios Ltd.

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