Friday, June 25, 2010

Aboard The Summer Reader

As I mentioned the other day, we just got back from vacation. Vacations, whether it’s our typical cruise in January or out shooting in spring or fall is usually a time for relaxing and cranking through a few books in the evenings. This last vacation had too much “stuff” going on in the evenings until the last two days to get through several books. I did pickup one titled “Over the Edge of the World” by Laurence Bergreen. It has a subtitle of “Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe”. It’s a really good account of what they went through to explore in the 1500’s. Today’s image is sort of a tribute to the book. I went for making it look a little “old” by applying a sepia tone and making the edges somewhat raggy. The contrast was bumped up and some highlights allowed to be blown out. The rope work is actually from the Charles Morgan, berthed at Mystic Seaport in southeastern Connecticut. It’s one of those things where you say, oh well, it’s really a nothing shot and tuck it away. Reading the book jogged my memory of shooting at the seaport and I flipped through the shots to see if there was anything that could be representative of the narrative being told. There are a couple shots up through the masts, with the rigging and a few more of the boats at anchor, but this simple view of the rope seems to relate to the book’s story. Exploration, whenever it takes place, exacts a toll. I have a “tribute” I did to the Columbia astronauts. We were in Florida on January 16, 2003 and I’ve always wanted to experience a Space Shuttle liftoff. We went over and were one of the thousands lining the beach as it launched. I got a few shots of the vapor trail against the blue morning sky and was okay with the result. It was a picture of Columbia’s last launch. On February 1st, as it was returning to earth it disintegrated over Texas. Seven lives gone in the name of exploration. Magellan started out with five ships and a crew of more than 260. One ship made it, with eighteen crewmen still alive. The Columbia disaster was known within minutes. I dare say, most people don’t know the extent of loss in the first trip around the world. In schools the mention is “Magellan was the first to sail around the world”. I know I was never taught anything about what happened along the way. Be that as it may, to find out about what was done to today’s image, hit the “read more”.
The big thing to talk about today is the edge treatment. A couple of years ago Scott Kelby offered some triptych templates to his readers. I grabbed the set and have used them from time to time since. The set had a fairly large variety of shapes and designs. Today’s edge treatment comes from one that has a, irregular edge. The triptych was much larger than the image. I used the already converted for web and devices copy of the image to apply the edge. After copying the triptych over to the image I brought up the Free Transform (CTRL - T) function and then hit CTRL 0 to expand the view to “see” the entire picture. Because the triptych was so much bigger I got the edges of the triptych. Using the handles I brought the size down until one of the frames filled the area of the image. If you use the Free Transform function to resize something and leave it with some “spillage” over the sides of your image you’ll have a bigger file than you might be aware of. That’s because PS is looking at the largest image (in this case the triptych) even though you can’t see it. To bring the file down to the size you think you’re working with you have to Crop (C) off the extra area of the over laid layer.

Once the single frame of the triptych was in place it was just a case of changing the Blend Mode to give the desired effect. Highlighting the “Normal” Blend Mode and using the down and up keys is a simple way to explore the various Bland Modes to find the one the works for your image. I could have gone with a black border as easily as I did the white border.

That’s a little about using existing components, the Free Transform Function and Blend modes. Hope it helps.


Levonne said...

Interesting experiment with the FTF and blend modes!