Design ArticlesDesign Articles

18 Jun

Painted Highlights

with Photoshop Adjustment Layers

Purple Flowers before image
Purple Flowers Original Image

These purple flowers are pretty, but the image is flat. It needs some highlights to bring it to life. I could apply some overall contrast to the image, but I perfer to paint my highlights, giving me more selective, creative control.

This tutorial will take you through the non destructive steps to breathe life into a flat image with light painting. The screen grabs are all done in Photoshop CS6, but this technique will work in older versions of Photoshop.

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02 May

Renewal

Photographic Composited Art

This past January I saw the Digital Darkroom show curated by Russell Brown. The show inspired me to push myself and use my Photoshop skills to create unique imagery.

image of photographic composite, Renewal

Renewal is my first major composited, photographic creation.  I am happy that it is done and proud of the effort. The first 10 hours or so were the most difficult.

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18 Jan

How to remove text from scanned images

Posted in
Almost like magic

I have the privilege of working for a publisher of childrens books for the iPad and iPhone. My job as the graphic artist is to convert the book’s images from their original print format to files for interactive display.

Sometimes the original print files are not available. In this situation the pages of the printed book are scanned and sent to me for color correction and reformatting.

Printed text has to be removed from each scanned page.  When the text goes over the illustration like this example, the editing can be challenging and time consuming. 

illustration with embedded text

The Prince and the Pauper (pg. 11). Copyright Golden Films.

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15 Jan

New direction for a new year

Posted in
Abstracts and composites

A new year brings reflection, goals and some new direction. I turned 50 on the first day of this new year and I wasn't too excited about it.  I don't think of myself as old and 50 has always sounded old to me. I don't want to belabor the point of turning 50 but I do want to say that I am more confident at 50 than I was at 40.  There is a liberation that comes with self confidence.

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05 Dec

Christmas 2011

How I created our Christmas Card image

final image of Holiday Home with lights

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays.
Merry Christmas from our Home to yours.

The Chrismtas image of our home was digitally painted from a series of photographs taken over a two-hour period of time. I set up my camera about half an hour before sunset, while there was still plenty of daylight to compose and focus my image. Once my camera was set in place, I only touched it to change the shutter speed for exposure.

CAPTURING THE PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTENT

Daylight to Night Light

I captured a full range of exposures from daylight to night light. At times I bracketed the shot by capturing three exposures at one time, normal exposure, +2 over, and -2 under. Other times I manually adjusted the exposure to capture either the detail of the lights or the detail of the shadows.

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15 Nov

I Love Art

Posted in
I need art too

image of me at Distinction
© Kurt Lightfoot

Kurt Lightfoot from Deja Vu Photoservices captured this image of me as I was leaving Distinction Gallery on Saturday night. As you can see I was in a pretty happy mood. I saw Kurt set up to take the shot and decided to jump into it. I'm glad he was ready for me.

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11 Aug

Illustrator Multiple Artboards Part 3

Package Design

Illustrator’s multiple artboards are great for print package design. I start with a multiple artboard document to design comps, and stick with that layout until the final design and content have been approved. Everything gets transferred to the package dieline as the final step.

Examine the dieline 

This dieline is for a DVD amaray case. There are 5 sides with printed graphics. One side is open to hold the DVDs. It’s important to understand how the 2D dieline becomes a 3D object before starting your designs.

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07 Jul

Where to find clients

Posted in
What has worked for me

Ask anyone who successfully runs their own business, and they will tell you that building a clientele takes hard work and a little good fortune. My clientele has grown this year for which I am grateful. The truth is, I found most of my clients close to home.

This is what has worked for me.

Neighbors
I consider a neighbor to be anyone in my community, not just the guy next door. My first client was my son’s little league coach. That was over 10 years ago. We still work together weekly.

50% of my clients are either direct neighbors or referred by a neighbor.

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05 Jul

American Sex Symbol

Posted in
Autopia - Jully '11 PAG Show

American Sex Symbol
"American Sex Symbol"

My love affair with a car

I was in love with my car…once. It was a 2001 black Volkswagon Passat. It had black leather interior, triptronic transmission, a great sound system and heated seats. I loved the heated seats the most. I even turned up the heat on summer days.

Unfortunately the Volkswagon service department had a way of making me feel abused, even viloated, especially after the warranty ran out. The day they told me I needed new catalytic converters at a cost of $6,000, was the day I knew my love affair had to end.

I felt small, stupid and cheated. I vowed to never fall in love with a car again and I traded the black beauty in for a boring, metallic blue Hybrid Hylander, a car I wouldn’t care about if the kids trashed, which they did.

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26 Jun

11 SD Fair Photo Exhibit

Architectural Photography

CSUSM Stairs in black and white

This year I have one image hanging in the San Diego County Fair Photography Exhibit. It was selected for the black and white architectural category. There is more than a little irony to this since the majority of my photography is not only in color, but color that usually pushes the edges. I only recently decided to work on my black and white photography as a means to help myself see better, with the hopes of improving my picture taking.

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