On this warm April afternoon, my friend Charles Needle and I had just finished teaching an exhilarating Callaway Gardens workshop.  During workshops, I like to be completely present with the students, so I make it a policy not to photograph.  By the end of a workshop, this self-denial usually results in a surplus of creative energy.  When I finally open the floodgates, exciting ideas gush out.

The azaleas this year were phenomenal!  I’ve never seen such density of color.  I seem to recall exclaiming to Charles that we had an “azalea emergency” on our hands—the flowers needed immediate attention.  In every direction, there was a beautiful composition.  I found it difficult to know where to begin.

Before discovering the intimate scene that you see here, I focused my attention on the cluster of azaleas between the trees.  To convey the feeling of exploding springtime colors, I attempted a series of long-exposure rotate and zoom compositions.  The swirling flowers were beautiful, but I knew this area had more to offer, so I stepped back and framed the scene to include the three trees.  I carefully composed to create separation between the trunks.  With the idea of the long-exposure rotate and zoom compositions still lingering in my mind, I devised a plan.  I would use Photoshop’s incredible masking capabilities to swirl the azaleas while keeping the trees stationary.

Learn how to create a multiple-exposure rotate-and-zoom montage with Photoshop!


About The Author

Adobe Photoshop Luminary

Mark S. Johnson is an Adobe Photoshop luminary, a photographer, an author, and one of the most passionate instructors you will ever encounter. Through the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, The Radiant Vista, and Boulder Digital Arts, he has lectured in front of and worked side-by-side with countless individuals, including Adobe’s Chief Executive Officers, Jane Goodall, the U.S. Ambassador to Finland, and Academy Award winning director, Louie Psihoyos. Mark’s tutorials appear regularly on the KelbyOne and Planet Photoshop websites, and his imagery and articles have been featured in Photoshop User, Photo Techniques, Nature’s Best, and After Capture magazines. He is a contributor to Dewitt Jones’ heartwarming Healing Images campaign and a Trey Ratcliff Flatbooks author.