Sunday, October 14, 2007

Energy montage

Alternative energy is one of my passions- hence the montage. I started with a photo of a strip mine from Photo Exchange, I placed the geyser (geo-thermal) on top of the strip-mine photo and picked the color of the sky which I painted the rest of the top of the strip-mine photo photo to add some continuity to the photo. The color was slightly off and there was a noticeable line, so I smudged the line and then placed a windmill copy on the line to try to hide it a little. The windmill photo is one I took a couple years ago when we were driving by Madison, NY. I also tried to incorporate the geyser photo into the strip-mine photo by erasing with varying degrees of opacity. I did the same with the tidal turbine photo which is below the solar panel. I tried to think of different ways to incorporate the solar panels into the montage, ranging from the equipment carrying them to making them part of the landscape. In the end, I just left them as sort of free flowing. The grenade looking thing is actually a methane digester with a couple of compact fluorescent bulbs sticking out of them. The tops of the digesters suggested themselves as receptacles of the lightbulbs. One could probably come up with a couple of analogies for the methane digesters as grenades. (The original photos can be found at the links). I had a couple other photos I was intending to incorporate into the montage - sunflowers with an old gas tank for bio-diesel and a solar hotpot, but in the end did not use them.

colorizing the photo

Here is a photo of my brother and I in 1968. He is turning 40 next month, and I scanned a bunch of different photos. This lesson was to learn how to colorize photos.

A comic attempt

Well, as predicted, I can neither draw, nor am I terribly funny. The last screen says "I have got to get out more." The point of this exercise was to get a story flowing as well as practicing using the different Fireworks tools.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Learning to color the picture

I did a search for black and white drawings and found a website which offered the pictures free for coloring- since that was my intent, I copied the image from here: The first is the original, the second is the inverted and the third is the one I colored. I used many of the different brush types, colors, brush sizes and the magic eraser.

Blog changes

I tend to like simple designs. Although I know that a black background is more environmentally friendly, I don't really care for it. I also don't really want L O U D colors- though I do like bright colors! I changed all the fonts to Georgia, some were Georgia before, changed the template, changed font colors, added some links of various websites I work on, refrained from adding Google adsense, I think that was about it.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Layer Blending modes

Each time I was trying to do this exercise before, I was missing a step and thus wasn't able to do what I needed to do. It was a little frustrating. However, while working on my collage earlier this evening, I discovered how to do this lesson. Sometimes I have to work backwards. This lesson was to get us used to the different layer blending modes. I started with a photo of my niece Charlotte, which she took of herself.Charlotte by Charlotte (original)

Difference blend mode

Linear Light Blend Mode

Soft Dodge blend mode

Luminosity blend mode

The Collage

I'll admit it, I like collage's. I sometimes use that technique when I am creating marketing materials for work. So, I was looking forward to this assignment. Initially I was thinking about trying to create a politically based collage of some sorts- try to make a statement. In the end, I decided to create a collage about travel. In this assignment, we had the chance to layer several pictures together and individually manipulate the layers. Also, we should add text and manipulate that a bit as well.

Usually when we think of travel, we might picture a jet or car - some type of fast travel. I wanted to incorporate images invoking a different, slower sort of travel - maybe travel where the destination was not quite as defined as travel usually is - hence "all other destinations".

My first layer was a map of Paris which I initially brightened in Photoshop and then distorted a little in Fireworks. I wanted the map to be apparent, but not overbearing. With each new layer/photo addition, I did something a little different to it. The Amish buggy and the camel shadow were cut using the lasso tool, the compass with the elipse marquee and the other images with the rectangular marquee. The old Lufthansa plane was slightly distorted, "All Other Destinations" is somewhat transparent and the Difference blend mode was used on it, the sailboat image was transformed using soft dodge, the hot air balloon with exclusion blend mode, the word "Travel" was moved with free transform and has a drop shadow.

All photos were downloaded from the Stock Xchng website (There are many photos available for free on this site).

Friday, October 5, 2007

Learning to draw in Fireworks

This is a map of my hometown, Oneonta. The original image was a screen capture from Mapquest. I traced the streets in gray, using the vector pen tool, used shapes to create the three large masses of Hartwick College, SUNY Oneonta and Wilber Park. And yes, blue and white are Hartwick's colors and Oneonta's are red and white. And well, a park is green.

The point of this exercise was to get used to drawing in Fireworks. My hand is a bit shaky, but I think I like the free handedness better than just using straight lines. I really like all the creative choices that Fireworks gives us. My shapes are only solid fill, but I could have given them a design or even just given the border a design.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

More layer manipulation, jpegs vs gifs

This image of sunflowers is a jpg and the file size is 18.44 k. Had I saved it as a gif, the file size would have been 28.83 k. So I saved you a second or two. Spend it wisely. (so, this image works better as a jpg for a website)

More layer manipulation for this assignment, but this time I added the layers, rather than working with what was there. First the image was cropped - technically only the background was cropped. I added a layer of text- "Sunflowers" in Arial narrow, 24 p and red, if you couldn't tell. A box was also added - filled with green and then an elipse with no fill- only outline in orange. Sunflowers are such great flowers, aren't they?

Fireworks at last

I can't believe it has been so long since I've worked on my assignments. That is really terrible. A huge part of that is because I have been difficulty with the first assignment in Fireworks, so I finally decided to skip to assignment two. Unfortunately, I managed to lose the fall photo part of this collage. I must have accidentally deleted it. The purpose of this exercise was to get us used to working with layers- moving them around, changing the properties of one of the layers, etc. It is somewhat mindboggling to think of all of the possibilities one can do with programs like Fireworks.