I recently crafted a picture for one of my articles.
Making it was pretty simple so I thought I would share my process with anyone who might be interested.
I already knew the theme I wanted (a stylized picture of me gazing into a crystal ball), so I gathered up a couple of props to help: a balloon and a torn sleeve from a tie-dyed T-shirt.
My bathroom is my favorite studio. I can set my camera on the shelf in the medicine cabinet, close the door and use the mirror to decide on the proper pose, then open the door and set the camera's timer.
I use an old Photoshop version, 5.5
Since Gather's listing method tends to square our pictures when on the lists of articles, I pre-squared it so it wouldn't appear warped or distended.
I usually size my images with a width of 550 pixels. This makes for a fairly small JPG file (faster downloading) without causing them to pixilate horribly if people want to view a large size.
The first thing I have to do is clear the background of non-essential items (the bathroom door, the coat hooks and anything that might be hanging on them. I use a combination of the magic wand tool and my unsteady hand to get tight erasing. (eraser and magic wand tool)
To make the balloon into a crystal ball I used the magic wand tool to select all the orange areas then used the eraser tool to make it white. I left a little orange along the upper edges for effect. (magic wand tool, eraser)
Then I separated the image from the background and placed it on its own layer. I achieved this by magic wanding the white space over my shoulders, inverting the selection then selecting 'new layer via cut'.
I then placed a second layer of the image by selecting 'new layer via copy'. (magic wand tool, selection inverse, new layer via cut, new layer via copy)
working with the top layer, I used the artistic filter 'poster edges' then used ctrl-u to heavily saturate the colors, and the 'adjust brightness/contrast' to make them strikingly vibrant, then I applied a radial (zoom) blur..
To fill in the white spaces over my shoulders I used the lasso tool to select the left half of the top layer, copied and pasted it, moved the new layer below the top layer then positioned it where I wanted it. I then pasted another copy of the selection and placed it into position; then I repeated those steps with the right side of my top layer.
Once I had the background that I wanted, I merged all those pieces together.
My backdrop now complete I brought my untouched layer to the top.
I added poster edges, color saturation and contrast increase until I liked what I saw; and then faded the layer a little (layer options - transparency) so I would have some bleed through.
Then I flattened the whole image (merged all the layers) and saved it as a .jpg file.
If anyone has any questions I'll be glad to answer them, but I won't be able to respond to them until tomorrow. Donna and I will be out for dinner with her daughter, son-in-law, and our grand baby.
06 September 2007
Bill's Spirit is an Artist, Writer, Poet, Philosopher currently wordsmithing from a humble forge in small town Ohio.
The works of the man behind Bill's Spirit have been published in small alternative and amateur presses since 1986. Before that, they just filled notebooks, took up space on walls and gathered dust in piles and boxes.