Yes, I’m finally back home, despite the painfully long “Murphy’s” journey to get back (yes, the setbacks that could go wrong did – at least we didn’t crash). I guess it’s back to reality where life is wrought with distractions and things to take up your time: family, pets, home upkeep, etc. Anyway it is good to be back with those distractions. I figured I would reserve a post (this post) to throw up some of the Photoshop stuff I learned while at my Middle Eastern vacation home.
While deployed, I was quickly forced to adjust to a time-consuming schedule with very little sleep. For the most part, my job would take anywhere from 14 to 20 hours of my day, 7 days a week. I filled the remaining time with my most ambitious semester of grad school yet: 8 credit-hours worth of classes (which by the way, I played catch-up on, too, with 3-4 weeks of procrastination because I avoided working on it while home). Luckily in typical Snakeye fashion, I managed to kick-in last minute (if you wait til last minute, it only takes a minute to do, right?) and pull two A’s and a B out of my ass – something I’d prefer not to try again for this Spring semester. With my second semester of grad school complete, I found myself extremely bored trying to figure out what to do with my new-found free time. Sure I could catch up on sleep (and I did!), but after a week or so I guess I felt well enough rested.
Pam sent me a few Photoshop magazines with ideas and tutorials in them. Since I typically like to doctor up photos, I figured I’d take the opportunity to learn a little something new.
If you hold your mouse over any of the pictures, you can see the original that I started with to compare.
Below is “session #1.” We took this picture with our “party” camera (because unlike our DSLR, this one fits in a pocket to take to parties, etc.) while my parents were in town to see their new grandson. If you mouse over the doctored picture (below), you can tell that the camera didn’t do the best job; it seems over-exposed and is just kinda blah. I figured I’d take the first challenge and see if I could jazz it up a little bit with a sunset (yeah, so what if they’re facing west with the east behind them). Though I’m somewhat happy with the results, I think I overdid the coloring of the sky itself and made it too rich; Pam says the sun needs to be oranger and not as bright too. Regardless, I still think it’s a pretty decent first attempt for hand-painting everything with no cutting and pasting of existing pictures.
Next is “session #2,” my attempt to create a disaster out of Cleveland (after all, the city is jokingly called “the mistake on the lake”). I started with a downloaded shot of Cleveland from Lake Erie (again, hold the mouse over to see the original). For this one, the only thing I downloaded was the extra boats in the scene. I actually think the final result turned out to be very convincing. I love the weather effects that you can easily do in Photoshop. The waves were semi-hand done as well as the whirlpool, but all the rest was hand painted from scratch (the clouds, lightning, darkening the skyline, etc).
In the meantime, as I was showing a few of the people I work with around the camp the doctored up pics, one of them gave me a picture of her kids to jazz up. Though the castle wall was downloaded, I created the moon and lighting effects from scratch. This picture just turned out to be huge lesson in lighting: making the blue moonlight realistically fade into the warmer candle-type lighting from the castle. I think it looks convincing enough.
“Session #3″ brought me into a few more weather effects, as well as painting greenery. I really liked the way this one turned out representing the four seasons. I toyed about doing a Savannah version, but then realized it’d just be green on one side and brown on the other since there’s no snow or leave-changes.
Anyhow, I enjoyed passing what little time I did have on learning the Photoshop program. It helped the time go by a little bit faster between my grad school semesters. I’m sure I’ll have more creations at some point, but right now I’m tackling yet another semester of Grad School (only a year to go!). May this semester bring with it less procrastination than the last one!