Sky as a Kite

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Picture of the week - Kría

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The Kría (Arctic Tern / Sterna paradisaea) is my favourite bird, despite the fact that it is super scary as it is aggressively protective when nesting. They nest in the arctic and spent the winter in the antarctic and are the stunt pilots of the birdlife.


Fun with flags - and gimp

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During one of the many protests this spring I took a picture of our union flag. The following was the result of rainy afternoons.

Background removed

To remove the background you add an alpha layer under "layers". You can use the fuzzy select or colour to alpha / select by colour. Colour to alpha can go wrong (things with the same colour which are not in the background being removed) but here it means that the semi transparent quality of the flag fabric got preserved, which comes in handy in the last picture.

Blurs

I followed this tutorial, but instead of rendering plasma clouds and map -> displace I used a simple horizontal motion blur. I set a black background and added some flare ray gradients.

Threshholds and comics

I followed this tutorial, but used for the last layer I inverted the colours and then set white to alpha, ending up with the black areas seen in the flag. I played around with available patterns until I had the stripes I liked.

Add a sun and blue sky

Here the semi-transparency of the flag comes into play. I used a supernova effect below the flag layer, added a blue background and a radial flare gradient in the corners.


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