Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Always What it Appears

Sometimes things "look" okay, but, if studied, have flaws. I needed an image of a simple machine. There are categories of "simple machines" such as a lever, an inclined plane, a wedge and a screw (or helix). The simple machine shown here is an example of a screw.

The "machine" is simple, but the image is a bit more complex, and flawed. The proper name of the tool shown is a Stilson wrench. A picture of a single wrench would probably been pretty boring. Unfortunately, I didn't have multiple wrenches. Even if I did, having two that were identical was, most likely, not going to happen.
The answer would be to composite one image to look like two tools. If you know what you're doing this shouldn't be a problem. Only problem was, at the time, I didn't know what I was doing. This image goes back to the first year I was using Photoshop in a serious manner. The drop shadow between the wrenches? Today, piece of cake. A layer style. Then, a copy of the wrench, converted to B&W and colored black. It's a third layer, between the two layers of the wrenches. It worked, but compared to the techniques I know today, pretty wacked.

What I'm trying to get to is the fact that the learning curve for Photoshop is extremely steep, and methods of accomplishing a look or effect evolve as we (all of us) become more proficient. No one should be discouraged by what they see others doing. We need to learn and grow. The greatest impetus for learning is charging someone for the work we do. If it takes four times longer than the next person to finish a job, that doesn't mean we can charge four times as much. The work is worth a finite amount and your skill determines what you are paid per hour. If it's a $100.00 job and it takes 10 minutes to do, it's reasonable money. If that job takes 4 hours to do, either improve your skills or look for a new line of work.

BTW: The shot of the wrenches is impossible. The knurled rings intersect each other. Two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time.


Kathy Marciante said...

Cool shot! Always something new to learn....that's what I love about Photoshop.