Postcard

Alta is a ski resort in Utah and is one of the favorites of my family. We love to hike there in the summer, ski in the winter, it was the first place we went to when we moved out west, and this is where I taught my boyfriend how to ski. I chose images that I took from all around the mountain and chose the orange because it complimented the blues of the other images and also because this is the shade of orange worn by ski school instructors, so it’s seen all the time. The phrase “ski Alta” is one of the tag lines, similar to “ski Utah” which is like a state motto. The background image was chosen because it has a good balance of the mountain and the sky with the sun shining brilliantly which adds nice emphasis in the top of the image.

The first step taken was adding the text “ALTA” and adjusted the tracking to make the letters closer together. Then using the Warp effect, I adjusted the shape of the text with the Rise option and a low bend percentage. Next I selected the text and used the 3D effect Extrude & Bevel with the x and y rotations set to 10* and z to 0* and the color changed to a gray temporarily. Next I created a copy of the text without the shadows and moved those above the image so that I could create a clipping mask for each letter with it’s own image. Each letter has a unique image so I added the images to the file and resized them to the size of the letters, sent the image behind the letter, and created the clipping mask. Once these four were done, the letters were aligned on top of the letters with shadows. The last steps taken in Illustrator were to add the background image, chose a color for the shadow, added and rotated the text “Ski”, and added a rectangle border around the image. Once completed, the file was exported into Photoshop so as to preserve image resolution. Within that file another image with old postcard texture was added and frequency separation was performed on it in order to isolate that texture information. The texture layer was transformed and rotated from portrait to landscape and resized to fit the postcard image I created.

Final Photoshop Project

Principles of Design and Elements of Art:

The most powerful principle of design I used was contrast by positioning a young picture of myself alongside a more recent picture of myself. This image is balanced like a Cartesian grid with the most visual weight in the center (vertically and horizontally) where the girls are centered, as is the bright green of the shoreline. The visual weight decreases as the eye radiates outward which helps emphasize the subjects I put into the photo. The element of art line can be seen in this with the horizontal lines of the shore and the trunk of the boat, both providing stability to the image, and this is juxtaposed with the vertical lines of the girls. I felt as if this unified the the image by keeping things simple enough so as to not be distracting and kept the focus on how natural the scene looks. I took advantage of the negative space of the original image to add in the little girl and fit in the new shoreline, again in order to keep things natural looking and keep the focus on the girls.

Tools and Techniques:

The first thing I worked on was getting the images to roughly be the same color, so I decided that sampling the color of the skies would be a good start. For both pictures I used the Rectangular Marquee tool to select a sample of the sky, made this selection into a layer, and averaged the color of the samples to get one solid color for each rectangle. Next I created a Curves layer to get the color information of the sky sample of the primary picture and altered the other rectangle’s RGB values to match this. The color changed for the whole picture and next I started selecting the little girl from her picture so it could be placed on the background layer. I used the Marquee tool to select a rough outline of the subject and made a layer mask of it. From here, I deleted the background of that image and put this layer into the main page so the image could be resized (using the Transform tool while holding shift) appropriately in proportion to the older version. From here, within the layer mask of the little girl, I erased the remaining background from it’s original image using the Eraser tool with a very soft brush. Once the little girl was in place, I did various adjustments to her Saturation, Brightness, Intensity, Vibrancy, and Exposure to get the colors of the girls to match. With every adjustment made I would Merge Down that adjustment layer into the little girl so only her layer was changed, not the whole image. Next I repeated the selection process described here to select a portion of the shoreline from another photograph as well as the outline of the older girl and made them into layers. The colors already matched so I did not have to change any color data. I added two copies of this shoreline layer to the work space and flipped one so it would fit across the whole image and still be realistically proportioned. I created layer masks for each of these new layers, aligned them with the original shoreline, and then used the Eraser tool on the layer masks to blend in the skies and water. I used the Spot Healing Brush Tool to remove a strand of hair from the shoreline layers and then added the layer of just the older girl on top of the shoreline layer (since the older girl is part of the background image which the shoreline is covering). From here it was just spot touches using the Burn and Dodge tools to get the lighting on the faces to better match and to more clearly define where the sun was hitting them.

Meaning and Ideation:

For this project, I knew I wanted to do it on the topic of change, but more specifically, continuity over time. This topic interested me because I’m graduating soon, and with everything happening and changing so fast, it’s comforting to look back at the things that have stayed the same. This has helped me realize that those are the things that truly matter, and with this explanation given with the picture, I hope that a viewer can take this away as well. Other people should care about this topic because everyone goes through periods in their life when things feel as if they are changing too fast and they can find comfort, like I have, in reflecting on these things. Cliche images associated with change include the procession of the seasons, the changing of the leaves, and the growth of a plant, so in order to avoid cliche imagery, I used my own pictures which are me at different ages (roughly 5 and 18) in similar settings and situations.

Critique:

At first people didn’t really see that I had done anything with the picture which is something I take as a compliment because I was working to get a natural looking final product. Someone suggested that I adjust the exposure of one of the layers in order to make the little girl’s color fit in better, and this comment was very useful because I hadn’t used that tool but it ended up being just the thing to get the color adjustments to my liking.

 

Portrait Edits

For this project, Jeff and I took each other’s picture outside in the morning when the light was still indirect but bright enough that the shadows weren’t too dark. For each photo, I began with frequency separation which starts with making two copies of the original photo and labeling them “texture” and “color”. I blurred the color layer using the Gaussian Blur tool to eliminate the minute details. I used the apply image feature in Photoshop on the texture layer and subtracted the color layer from it, and once processed, I changed the lighting on it to Linear Light. From here, I used the Lasso tool to select and blur some of the texture on my face, but for Jeff I used the Spot Correction tool to eliminate his blemish and stubble. Next I did brighten and hue/saturation adjustments to the eyes, but Jeff’s eyes are pretty squinty so it’s harder to notice than on my picture. With the eyes enhanced, I used the dodge and burn tools to play with how the light hit both of our faces and to make the lighting more flattering. Once the subject of the image was fully edited, I selected the subject roughly with the Lasso tool and then more precisely within the Select and Mask window, inversed the selection, and then blurred the background and also brightened Jeff’s background to best showcase our pictures.

Portrait Edit – Self

Original Portrait – Self

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portrait Edit – Jeff

Original Portrait – Jeff

Final Project Brainstorming

I will be doing my final project on the topic of change, but more specifically, continuity over time. This topic interests me because I’m graduating soon and with everything happening and changing so fast, it’s comforting to look back at the things that have stayed the same and realizing that those are the things that truly matter. As far as learning about this topic, I look forward to working with these two pictures I have of me getting ready to water ski up in northern Michigan and picking up on the minute similarities between tiny Amber and Amber from a few years ago. Cliche images associated with change include the procession of the seasons, the changing of the leaves, the growth of a plant. Other people should care about this topic because everyone goes through periods in their life when things feel as if they are changing too fast and can find comfort, like I have, in reflecting on the things that have remained the same. To avoid using cliche imagery I plan on using pictures that are from the same season in similar settings and with Photoshop I will attempt to make it look like tiny Amber is standing next to larger Amber. I hope to get people interested in this topic by making the final product look seamless and they’re kind of candid pictures so they’re cute.

Group Joiner Project

For our group, one of the hardest things for us was to decide what to document, so instead we focused on finding a backdrop found interesting. Because we didn’t go into the project with a very clear idea, starting either of the manual collages was difficult but we found some meaning part way through the process. For me, the most interesting thing was looking back on the collages and interpreting what they could mean. For instance, the physical collage we put together starts out very linear as it progresses from top to bottom, but when it gets closer, she starts to move off to the left and he falters but then follows suit, and this could go off and tell an interesting story about their relationship (if they had one).

Of our three, I find the Photoshop manual collage is most appealing and best documents the original photo shoot where he stopped to tie his shoes. Photoshop was not capable of making artistic decisions for our set of photographs, perhaps because we had only one perspective and an identical backdrop for each one. For some groups it was successful, but overall people didn’t seem as happy with how it turned out compared to the pieces they created.

Hockney is not thrilled with the advances made in Photoshop because he feels that the long labor of love that went into chemical photography does not translate to the computer. I feel that Photoshop as a tool is really interesting in creating Hockney-inspired work, but I do not think that an algorithm that assists in the production of this is worthy of being noted as a co-creator. If a piece is fully generated by AI or similar programs, it is still guided by the input of a human and in this scenario, I would say that the AI should be noted as a co-creator unless the human who input the information was also the creator of the computer program.

Photomerge Function on Photoshop

Physical Collage

Manual Collage in Photoshop

 

 

 

 

 

Composite Landscapes

The images combined here are the mountain with the clouds, the whale, and the sunset. I inserted the whale in such a way as to make it look like it was jumping out of the clouds. With the addition of the sunset, I changed the color of the whale and cloud image to make them more red since the sunset would cast a red glow.

 

 

Progress on Face Swap Picture

The painting I worked with was “Young Girl Listening to a Conversation Between Two Lovers” by Michel Garnier. I was drawn to this painting because I feel I put myself on the sidelines in life, listening to the excitement of other people’s lives instead of pursuing it myself. Once a .jpg of the painting and a .jpg of my face in Photoshop, I used the transform tools to resize the photo to fit on the painting and then took a color swatch of the subject’s face so I could match the skin tones. To do this, I used the marquee tool to make a rectangular selection, made this its own layer, used the blur-average tool to get a single tone, copied it into the page with the photo, and repeated these steps with the photo of my face. I used the curve tool to find the color metadata of the painting rectangle and entered those RGB values as the output for the photo rectangle. I embedded this new color metadata into the photo and copied a selection of the photo into the painting’s workspace. From there I moved, transformed, and erased the edges of the photo to make it fit better with the face in the painting. To make it blend in better with the artist’s style, I made a selection of the painting’s rosy cheeks, made it a layer, and placed it above the photo’s layer where I then transformed the cheek selection to better fit the face in the photo.

Color

This image was created by first converting to greyscale, thus erasing all color metadata, and then to the duotone option in photoshop. From here, the intensity of the light is filtered only through one color, a dark forest green I chose, resulting in the image being of only one tone.

This image was manipulated through the channel mixing function in photoshop. This function changes the values associated with the colors red, green, and blue throughout the whole image.

This image was converted to greyscale meaning the RGB metadata was erased and all that remains is information on the lightness and darkness of the image.

This image was completely desaturated of all color meaning the intensity of the colors was reduced as low as possible while preserving the RGB metadata.

Elements & Principles

Welcome to my first blog post! Below I will discuss the elements and principles of design alongside photos that exemplify each topic. Enjoy!

 

Line

This picture is divided up into three sections: white clouds, green trees, and the gray stone. These strati balance the picture’s visual interest and guide your eye across the page as you follow the color as well as down as you move on to the next color.

Photo taken at Stone Mountain State Park, North Carolina.

 

Shape

The rectangles in this picture are very strong and guide the eye up the grand staircase. The ceilings are very tall and the thick, rectangular pillars help anchor the rotunda and stairway and the use of similar shapes at the top of the stairs are continued onto the ceiling, tying the wing together. The hard angles of the rectangles give a sense of power and strength to the room which is ideal for this space as it is where state representatives meet to make policy decisions.

Photo taken at the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda, Columbus Ohio.

 

Color

This photo is unedited and yet the pink of the plant is so vibrant it appears to be glowing. The edges of the petals are white which accentuates the shape of each individual petal but also makes the pink pop further.

Picture taken at the Botanic Gardens in Washington, D.C.

 

Value

This summer sunset exemplifies value in that you can see the gradation of light reflected off the clouds. The gradient need not be black to white: with the colors ranging from yellow, meaning high sun light, to orange to blue, meaning no sun light, it is clear where the sun is hitting and where it is not.

Photo taken in Orem, Utah.

 

Form

The petals on this plant were thick and waxy, making its physical form very easily captured. The plant grows in half-sphere bundles and this form can be seen by the radiating of the petals from the center point continued all the way around and petals in the back appearing darker than the ones in the front, showing depth due to the difference in light.

Picture taken at the Botanic Gardens in Washington, D.C.

 

Texture

The focus of this picture is of the rippling water and the boulders along the shore. The rough texture of the water and the coarse texture of the rocks are captured, adding interest to an otherwise subject-less picture. Below the surface you can also see the water-worn rocks that appear to have a much smoother texture.

Picture taken in Little Traverse Bay, Traverse City Michigan.

 

Space

This picture exemplifies space because the background is not perceptible which makes the subject, the socks, the uncontested subject. By having the negative space white and presenting it on a white page, the positive space appears to be the only thing captured.

Picture taken in my old family home in Utah.

 

Balance

This picture is well balanced in that it is visually symmetrical: I am posing to be shorter like my like little brother, the background is a canyon which brings the focus down to the middle, and the mountains in the back are balanced with the clouds. On top of that, the trail of clouds from the top left corner pull the eye to the center of the picture and then to radiate out from there in either direction because either way you see basically the same thing. Neither side draws the eye more than another and the natural landscape further makes this staged photo harmonious.

Picture taken in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.

 

Contrast

This picture shows contrast in color with the blue and white sky and shadows alongside my dad’s orange coat and the dark shadows and posts around him. Orange and blue are complementary and therefore make each other visually pop. The side of the posts we are on is Alta and the other is Snowbird’s Mineral Basin. The dark shadows and orange directly contrast the bright white and light blue of Snowbird.

 

Emphasis

The emphasis of this picture is obviously on the little blue flowers and this was done by isolating the flowers, enhancing the focus on the subject, making the negative space of the picture all the same color, and blurring out the background details. All together, this makes the little blue flowers visually pop and the green backdrop provides unity throughout because of its natural color scheme.

Picture taken in American Fork Canyon, Utah.

 

Movement

This picture captures the instant my boyfriend fell while trying to get up on skis and thus sent the rope into recoil. The spiral pattern of the recoil shows the force with which it is moving and the white water around the skier shows his movement into the water. This motion also draws your eye from the top left corner down to the skier, who is otherwise hard to see, and once you reach the water your eye goes onto the beach and treeline, but also back to the rope.

Picture taken in Topinabee, Michigan.

 

Pattern

This is my roommate’s family log-of-a-dog walking along the brick path in our backyard. The brick pattern adds interest to the picture and shows exactly where the dog is heading: towards you along the path.

Picture taken in Columbus, Ohio.

 

Proportion

The juxtaposition of the boat, normally seen as a large object, alongside the walls highlights the shear height of the reservoir’s walls.

Picture taken at Lake Powell, Utah.

 

Alignment

The flowers on this plant have grown in a straight line with the repetition of the same little flower pattern. This principle is accentuated in part due to the contrast in colors emphasizing the bright orange and yellow against the dark backdrop.

Picture taken the Botanic Gardens in Washington, D.C.

 

Unity

This picture is unified thanks to the natural color scheme consisting of whites, blues, browns, grays, and greens alongside only pops of terracotta orange. The elements are all logically placed with more visually in the bottom left and right corners which are connected by the dock. A majority of the space is taken up by the cloud arrangement which radiates from a single loci which makes none of the edges or corners crowded with white.

Picture taken in Topinabee, Michigan.