Week 8: Collecting & Sourcing Images

This is quite a new process for me as I tend to enjoy working in Photoshop in an abstract way without sketching out my process much beforehand (I’ve been told I’m an outstanding layout artist). However, I have found this process has narrowed my focus on which items I will photograph and use (items that exist in reality, not in my imagination only) and given me some firm paths to follow when exploring (ie tower or landscape of macaron?) I played with colour a bit, but have not yet firmly set items in certain colours, just in a general feel palette. I am not using restricted palettes for this project due to wanting extreme dramatics provided by showering my splash screens in many colours.

The sketches are very basic compared to what I plan to do. As I tend to work with the base ideas and add, add, add lots of detail it would be extremely time consuming to note it all. Though I’ve put down some concrete ideas here, I’m leaning towards getting excited about an abstract look. I’ve sketched some basic building starter points only. Unlike Illustrator, I find Photoshop a great platform for being abstract and I’m planning for this by retaining separate libraries of originals, clipped originals and drafts to prevent mucking up the original resolutions of photographs.

Overdressed Macaron

Couldn’t sleep due to overexcitement to match the overfanciness of the macaron, so scribbled down some more last minute ideas. Will run out of time to do elaborate colour sketch of this angled idea, but at least have it noted here. I’ll have to give myself more time on this first one, so I can play a bit and see what works best (angled or not?) Most of the items are front on, it’s only the macaron, box and tractor that may be angled…then again, this may be a dream for tonight only, and I’d probably be best off sticking with a mad macaron landscape (with or without tower) with front on shots to make it easier for myself (I have a tendency to get carried away – too many possibilities). The background is yet unknown (apart from cake doilies) and will be found out when composition starts.


Fast Fashion Ring

The Fast Fashion Ring will make use of lots of giant gaudy gemstones and rocks I have lying around the house. Unfortunately, I was not able to get hold of any peacock feathers, but I believe I have enough scarves, buttons and items to make it look recent. I may or may not add eyes, teeth, scissors and broken fingers, depending on how these sharp things look in the overall effect. The main idea is to make the ring look very over the top. I will be photographing my own arm with marked sections on a table with a camera timer function. Maybe I’ll drape the scarves too, or else I’ll drape them over another item and cut them out separately to warp onto my arm in Photoshop.

The background will be black, with transparent spirograph vectors in bright colours created by wingding and other circular patterns in Illustrator. There may even be a nice glow behind it all too.

Ultimate Cocktail

For the cocktail sub-theme, I plan to take two glasses I already own (one with nice frilly AB coating on the top) and merge them into a shaped glass. I will use food dye coloured blue water mixed with dishwashing liquid for foam and cut out all my party decorations and orchids (providing they are still in flower in my front yard at time of photography, or substitute flowers). I’m confident the local pet shop will be happy to take $10 for me getting a photo shoot of their tropical fish (without flash). Have used them before. Not sure about the background on this one, it could be a glow, vector spirographs or something else, but the aim is to make the cocktail leap out with all its “tropical” style bits.

There will be lots of tinting and hueing in this sub-theme as many of the items will need to fit into the blue water and they might also be a bit transparent.

Source Images

Regarding the collection of source images, I plan to do this within my process of building the splash screens. I can clip up to 30 images a day, so speed won’t be a problem, but I often find that photographing items beforehand can result in strange angles and lighting, so would prefer to photograph them in one all day session per splash screen as the project develops. I have listed all of the basic items required for the shoot and all are easy enough to access quickly. I have a nagging feeling that I will be adding far more items than planned as I go due to being excited about possibilities opening up around me as I create the compositions (this happens a lot and makes the final item so much better looking than it would otherwise have been).

***Note: I will have a source page in the workbook for each sub-theme showing my photos of the objects, so you can see the origin was mine.

I plan to start photography early next week, however with kids home on school holidays we will have to see how that can occur concurrently.

Photoshop Techniques

I will use a large variety of techniques. Gradient masking, pathing/clipping, blurring edges, blending, potential drop shadows, glowing edges, layer blending options, transparency in layers, vector warping, hue, tint and saturation and many more. I am quite familiar with Photoshop.

What I plan to do next is take these sketches as a reference starting point, photograph/obtain the main objects and put them into a draft, manipulate them around a bit to find a pleasing stack, then work on creating a background mood, then detailing all the smaller items/vector work later. All of my photos/artwork will be sourced by me and none of it will be stock photos or found images.

One thing I will do consistently when working in what appears to be such a haphazard way of building, is to make sure the lighting is consistently non-dramatic. To keep it easy, I may work with mostly front-on shots, however if I was to go off on a tangent with angles, it would be Escher-style, reducing highlighting and shadows as much as possible so it doesn’t look too wrong. After all, I can always add lighting and shadows in Photoshop to the entire composition later. It might be time for me to get out my photo tent shortly!




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