Computer modeling is an integral part of landscape architecture. My Computer Methods class is organized around exploring the Adobe Creative Suite to prepare us for continuing studies into such software as AutoCAD. While I have had a lot of experience in editing photographs, it mostly has involved dank darkrooms, volatile chemicals, and countless attempts at burning and dodging to make a photo look how I wanted. Now, for the first time, I’m learning about the simple magic of Photoshop.
My assignment this week involved importing a base image that demonstrated some sort of landscape perspective. While we were free to appropriate images from the web, I chose to start with one of my own drawings. The above image is a sketch of the Erg Chebbi dunes I made in 2009 while visiting southern Morocco. We were then required to make at least seven transformations to that image as a landscape architect might when submitting a design proposal. Generally, those graphics should transmit the new feeling of a place once a design is complete. Landscape architects often add vegetation and people engaging in activities to an existing background so that the client will gain a feeling for what the place might look like once the design is in place.
Here I placed what is referred to as entourage into my image to enliven the space and to give it a more human feel. I chose humans from my personal image library and then found vegetation, wind turbines, clouds, and geese from online sources. It is common that designers will make the additions slightly transparent so that it is clear that these are suggestions and ideas rather than realities. Shadows are added to give a sense of depth and time. This project required about four hours. I’m beginning to enjoy my experiments in Computer Methods and can really see how digital manipulation can be a useful tool.