I haven’t worked with photographs much when I create illustrations. I use them occasionally when I need to understand certain poses better or if I’m drawing an animal that I’m not familiar with. (I should use photos more often even with animals I think I’m familiar with! I’ve gotten some pretty obvious things wrong.) In the course of our discussions, that writer friend (who I’ve been discussing creating a graphic novel with) suggested that I use photos to create more detailed backgrounds. In this case we were discussing doing a period story and using photos that were in public domain.
I’m willing to try (almost) anything once (assuming I’ve got the time and resources (digress much?)). So he sent me some photos of early 1920s Los Angeles. I liked this one and worked up an illustration using it as the base.
I like the composition but the results are flatter than I intended. Practice, practice.