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Imaginify - A dream world by Anna Shaw


Small (18.5" x 16.4")

Available to buy on…

Imaginify – A dreamworld

(The Imaginary Kingdom series)

Designed specifically for the redbubble “Imaginify’ CS5 Challenge”.

The rules of the challenge were to create a fantastical image of reality-defying proportions utilizing the powerful new features of Photoshop CS5. Either by modifying an existing photo or creating an image from scratch. “We’re looking for the absurd, the astonishing and the downright whimsical.”

The challenge was designed to encourage us to use CS5 – and explore its new features, so I thought it would be fun to create an image which utilised some of these features to their best and which stretched my own imagination.

One of the most pleasing new features for me, is the new ‘refine edge’ tools, which enable you to select and cut out images faster than the speed of light ( well, almost!) If you look closely at the animals here in this image, you will see that I have been able to capture the very fine hairs around the edges of the bodies and in particular of the bee-lion. Using older versions of Photoshop this took forever, but the new edge detection with Smart Radius does a better job of working out what you’re actually trying to select and with content like fur and hair it makes the job much easier. Added to this is the Decontaminate colours option with a slider to really fine tune edge selections. It is fabulous.

Another time-saving new addition is the the Content Aware feature within the spot healing brush, which allows you to paint over any content you don’t want and fill the chosen area with matching pixels automatically sampled from multiple areas around to give an intelligent seamless heal. I used this and the patch tool to create the lizard skin on the elephant body. I had previously created the elelizard in an earlier version of PS, but I recreated it in CS5 to see what the difference would be. It is huge!!

I could wax lyrical about the new brushes, – the most exciting for me being a tablet pressure control that overrides brush settings and tunes in with your graphics tablet. The tablet pressure brush appears on any tool that has brush characteristics and can be controlled with a graphics tablet. Some brushes also have a tablet pressure control for opacity too. Here, the tree was completely painted from scratch, using only brushes and brush textures.

So, although this image did take a long time to create, it was completed in far less time, and with much less frustration, than it would have taken in earlier versions of Photoshop.

Image Creation & Stock

The start image of Sydney Skies was taken with a Nikon D200, 18-200mm lens, F22 1/80 ISO 200

All background images from my own stock

Lion 1
Lion 2

Elephant: My stock.
Water Lizard

Bird Of Paradise flower – own stock


Painted in Photoshop




There was only one song that I wanted to attach to this – John Lennon with ‘Imagine’

Anna and Robert have only recently moved to Kent, having spent six years living France where they first embarked on wedding photography. They are passionate about photography, and have a real love for shooting weddings, gaining so much pleasure and fun from these special days.

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  • Stuart Chapman
    Stuart Chapmanalmost 4 years ago

    Once again so beautifully crafted and put together Anna. The combination of all the elements works so very well together and the lion / bee is very unusual. A very dream like world indeed, very mystical and the more you look, the more you see.

  • What a fabulous comment to start me off here Stuart. I am thrilled that you like it.

    – Anna Shaw

  • linaji
    linajialmost 4 years ago

    Oh my .. you’ve done it.. that lion bee is incredible…!!!! wow this is a good idea for a movie…
    I shall read your mini tutorial later.. tis morning and I had to comment on the image alone.. Brava darling Anna.. wow!!!

  • Dearest Lina – my heartfelt thanks. It has been so long since I have created anything that I feel proud of – so I am so pleased that you like it.

    – Anna Shaw

  • LoneAngel
    LoneAngelalmost 4 years ago

    ooohh wow .. a simply enchanting image .. so full of magic .. love it .. an instant fav.

  • How lovely of you – thanks so much my friend, and especially for the fave.
    It means a lot to me.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...almost 4 years ago

    what a lovely imagination you have dear Anna, and the treatment works great,so well done.Good luck with the challenge. x

  • So lovely to see you here Catherine and huge thanks for your lovely comment.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Marie Brown ©
    Marie Brown ©almost 4 years ago

    lovely image

  • Thanks so much Marie, – it was such fun to create.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Vanessa Barklay
    Vanessa Barklayalmost 4 years ago

    An amazing work of art Anna, speechless on it’s wonderment!! :O)

  • What a lovely comment – thank you so much Vanessa.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Bob Culshaw
    Bob Culshawalmost 4 years ago

    Brilliant work yet again Anna – you have an incredible imagination and a talent for blending different components so competently. Just shows what CS5 can do – when you know how to use it! Best of luck with the Challenge. xx

  • Thanks so much my wonderful Bob. I do appreciate your support so much.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Bob Culshaw
    Bob Culshawalmost 4 years ago
    Forgot to add Anna – it must be viewed larger to fully appreciate!
  • xx

    – Anna Shaw

  • Ina Mar
    Ina Maralmost 4 years ago

    you’ve created some brilliant creatures!

  • Thanks so much Ina.

    – Anna Shaw

  • Geoff Carpenter
    Geoff Carpenteralmost 4 years ago

    Amazing work Anna! :-)

  • Thanks so much Geoff, that is really kind.

    – Anna Shaw

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