What’s better than this composite image of a pirate airship battle? The awesome time-lapse showing how it was created.

Photography is an undoubtedly complex art-form. On the one hand, you have photojournalists who strive to create single images that capture life events accurately as they happen, and on the other hand you have digital artists that retouch, manipulate and blend their photographs to create amazing fabricated realities.

California-based artist Alexander Koshelkov falls into the latter group. He spends hours, if not days, using Adobe Photoshop to merge and tweak photographs into composite artworks. His latest project, born out of a desire to create an image of a fantasy airship battle that can be used as a desktop wallpaper, consists of 284 layers – that’s a lot if you’re not familiar with Photoshop.

Luckily for us, Alexander recorded his workflow, illustrating the whole process from start to finish. Here is more than seven hours of Photoshop work condensed into a nine minute time-lapse:

Incredible stuff, right? Even if you prefer a more documentary or instant snapshot aesthetic when it comes to photography, you can still appreciate the dedication and skill that goes into producing composite images. You can download the final wallpaper here.

If you enjoyed that, be sure to watch this similar workflow video, recorded in 2009 by Australian photographer Alexia Sinclair, which demonstrates her equally impressive post production skill.

View more of Alexander’s work on Behance and DeviantArt, and more of Alexia’s work on her website.

Reminder: If you’d like to learn more about Adobe Photoshop, The Cape Town School Of Photography has two new courses starting soon.

Alexander Koshelkov video via PetaPixel.

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