Thursday, February 7, 2013

Photoshop Composite Project After a Day of Disc Golf

A fun compositing project in Photoshop that followed a fun day of playin' disc golf!!!


I took photos with my three-year-old Sanyo flip phone
of the 5 individuals
I was playing with
as they were teeing off
on the 14th Teepad
When shooting the pictures I tried to stand in the same place while these individuals teed off. Photographing the players from the same location provided a background and foreground that was much the same throughout all the images. Problem with my flip phone is I couldn't see the screen very well and was almost shooting blind. Oh to have had a good DSLR, iPhone or other quality smartphone!!!

Then I sent the pictures to my email account.

A day or two after the outing I opened the images in Photoshop.

I selected one of the images to be my base image and duplicated it by dragging it to the "create a new layer" icon (see red outlined icon in image above) at the bottom of the Layers Pallete.

Next, I copied each of the other four player's photos into the file chosen to be the base image for compositing.

With all the players' photos in the same file, I selected one of the players image layers (a layer turns blue when selected) and clicked on the "Add Layer Mask" icon (see red outlined icon in image below) at the bottom of the Layers palette.

This action adds a white rectangle next to the photo icon in the Layers palette (see red outlined icon in image above).

The Paintbrush tool was then selected from the Tool palette (see red outlined brush icon in image to the right).

Then I made sure that Black was the Foreground color and White was the Background color in the color squares at the bottom of the Tool palette (see red outlined icon at the bottom of the image to the right). Those are the colors that appear in the Color squares when the mask rectangle in a layer is selected.

Painting with the color Black will hide or "mask" areas of an image. Painting with the color White will reveal the "masked" areas of an image.

With the layer mask selected in one of the player's photos and Black as the foreground color, I began "painting" that photo with the paintbrush, "masking" the parts around the player I didn't want to show.

When the four players photos were "masked" to my satisfaction, I moved them around so they were on different parts of the teepad to make it look like there were five people teeing off at the same time.

There was a bit of a problem with the player in the red, white, and yellow jacket at the far right of the picture. When photographed the sun was not behind clouds as it was with the other four players. This caused him to be over saturated meaning he appeared brighter than the rest of the players.

This was corrected by making an adjustment to his layer's Levels (another subject for another post). The adjustment was to knock back that saturation or brightness enough that it looked about the same as the rest of the players.

Once the image was completed to my satisfaction, I saved the Photoshop file as a PSD document. Then I saved it as a flattened TIFF document. I could have saved it as a JPEG file but that is a compression that takes compresses or takes away some of the image information or pixels, colors, etc. A TIFF file compresses a file but leaves more image information than a JPEG compression.

Had I been thinking ahead at the time of shooting the players, I would've turned my flip phone sideways so I would have shot in a "landscape" format. But the idea of compositing these images didn't come to mind until two days later when I tried loading the individual images on the players' Facebook pages. I could only load one up. It was shortly after several attempts to load the individual images that the concept of compositing the players together into one composite photo occurred.

Finally, I cropped the image with the crop tool (red outlined icon in image to the right). I shot the original images in a "Portrait" format where an image is taller than wide. This cropping left the image in a "Landscape" format where an image is wider than it is tall. The final image is shown below.

The compositing process that I used and described is just one way to composite images. Compositing can be accomplished with any image editing software such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Gimp, PaintShop Pro, etc. One thing is certain as a graphic designer, just like disc golf, I'm still learning.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Mitterhoff

Got to see one of my favorite bands, Hot Tuna, this past March in Iowa City. Then, last night I got to see Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Mitterhoff, 2/3s of Hot Tuna, at the Redstone Room in Davenport, IA. It's not the same without Jack Cassady on electric bass, but, the quality of musicianship, stage presence, performance level, and pure enjoyment was DEFINITELY present!!!

The passion, cohesiveness, dynamics, command of their instruments, and interaction between Jorma and Barry is awesome and inspiring. Awesome to see the cohesiveness that these two individuals have developed together over the years. Inspiring to keep playing music and searching for a musical partner to develop along the same or similar lines.

And, small miracles still happen as longtime friend and awesome musician, Mike Wallace, who attended both concerts with me, stated "We need to do a similar musical venture, Joe." I'm humbled, thrilled and greatly looking forward to working up a duo, or any ensemble, with Mike, playing the music that excites us and we are passionate about!

For those readers unfamiliar with the work of Jorma and Barry, the clip below should spark an interest or fulfill a curiosity. Enjoy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Small Stones

Yesterday was Writing Our Way Home's Mindful Writing Day.

This was an online event that encouraged individuals to write "Small Stones" or short observations on any aspect of life they chose. A fun exercise that jump started writing for me. It's a delightful little practice that I hope to continue. The couple that started Writing Our Way Home have several digital presences as you can see by opening any of the links on this posts.

My Small Stone submission for the event was the following: Summer's fire burns the leaves blood red until Fall's cool simmers the fire to golds, golden browns, umbers and ambers exciting the senses and causing yearning for Spring in my heart and soul.

The next challenge posted by Writing Our Way Home is to "notice something properly every day during January" and write it down in a journal or one can start a journal or practice daily writing now with any sort of book, notebook, journal dedicated to the practice. I've been wanting to start a creative journal and this looks to be a promising practice to develop and get me going on just such a daily habit. I write a "small stone" every day and fill the blankness with doodles, collages, color, or anything that appeals to me or relates to the words written. I've got several a journal or sketchbook to put down the words and will get started with that project.

Many thanks to Marty Reger for "inviting" me to the Mindful Writing Day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disc Golfing and a Disc Flight Guide

Over the past year I've really become hooked on disc golf. The immediate Quad City area where I live is blessed with 11 disc golf courses. It's also blessed by Iron Lion Disc Golf Supply the only locally owned shop.
Owners, Chase Roberts and Jessica Argyle are personable, helpful, experienced players, and their shop provides a variety of discs, really fine locally designed and produced clothing by Hippie Golf Wear as well as other disc golf items for sale.

Myself and Felix Castro, a co-worker and friend, started a disc golf league at work this past spring. It's grown from just me and Felix meeting up to play once a week after work to at times 5 or 6 co-workers playing on a Thursday evening. Life's busy and many of the 30 or so folks on our mailing list are busy with their lives. In September I thought of putting together an Ace Race to raise some funds for charity as part of our employee annual fund drive. Lot of logistics such as no money to finance the project and no liability insurance for the event put the brakes on that idea. But, Chase suggested putting on an Discraft Ace Race. In so many ways it turned out to be the best solution, not to mention a fun event for the players! Discraft is one of the major golf disc manufacturers as well as freestyle and ultimate discs. The Discraft Ace Race has grown to over 300 events taking place around the world with more than 16,000 participants. That's been a bit of an undertaking for me this year but it wouldn't have happened had it not been for support from Iron Lion Disc Golf Supply, The Friends of Credit Island, Tom Lafrenz, John Kinser, Felix Castro, and Heather Nobiling.

Probably the greatest benefit of participating in a Discraft Ace Race is the Player Pack provides a pre-registered player with two proto-type discs that are the only discs to be used for the Ace Race. These discs are different from year-to-year and most, but not all, make it into retail outlets. This often does not occur until way after the Ace Race the discs were featured in has taken place.

There are many manufacturers of disc golf discs these days. The disc golf disc traces its origin to the Wham-O Frisbee and has been highly engineered to create at least three classes of discs: distance driver, mid-range driver, and putt and approach disc. Each disc has a different name, stability and flight characteristics as well as color, weight, and plastics.

When visiting a Disc Golf Supply shop, or visiting online shops, a disc golfer can find flight charts showing the various characteristics of a manufacturer's golf discs. This can be a bit overwhelming especially to the new player. That's a good reason to shop at a locally owned and operated disc golf supply shop that is staffed by knowledgable players and/or owners as they can direct an interested customer/newbie towards a disc that will be right for them.

Recently, I've found a blog, Rattlin' Chains, that had a post about inbounds Disc Golf. inbound Disc Golf was started by a new disc golfer, Brian Rogers, out in southern Pennsylvania who is a IT person or at least trained, and, I think, employed in that field. (You can read that blogpost here) As such he does a lot of analysis. As a new disc golfer he started questioning the differences in the nature of disc golf disc flight characteristics. As the various manufacturers don't seem to rate their discs with a universal standard, this individual developed a flight guide in as objective a manner as he could by averaging the various flight rating systems.
It has resulted in a golf disc flight guide that is available online or in hardcopy. The concept and development seems solid enough to warrant this a worthwhile addition to all levels of disc golfers resources.

The inflight guide is not inbounds Disc Golf only offering as a visit to their website will bear out. Their organization is multifaceted in that they sponsor several events and promote disc golf in various ways throughout their geographic locale and via the internet with their web presence.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Innovative Metronome Usage by Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten, bassist for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, presents innovative ways to utilize the metronome in the video below. Well worth the ten minute viewing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Killarney Boys of Pleasure

An Irish fiddle tune I'm currently enamored with enough to have learned it and will attempt it with others at a monthly session Thursday night (Oct. 11, 2012). The version below by Lunasa, from their 2001 album, The Merry Sisters of Fate, is not performed in the traditional AABB dance format which makes it more interesting to me and the listener. Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Knicoma Frederick

Josh shared a link about Knicoma intriguing artist, perspective and outlook.

Worth a looksee at the video below.