Sunday, October 30, 2016

Photoshop Review.

Here is an additional review of the Mixer Brush tool.  This will be extremely helpful if you are interested in continuing with digital painting.

And, here is a review of other tools we will go over in class on Wednesday.  Some of this might be review.  PLEASE WATCH.  (remember you can watch them faster if they are slow moving by clicking on the cog)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Corpse_list of body parts

Please have the following on the class server by Friday at 4:00 p.m. 

1. A picture of your head
2. Torso
3. Arm
4. Leg
5. Hand
6. Foot

7. Hair
8. Environment

There will be NO late acceptance of these items because we are relying on one another to complete this assignment.   NO EXCEPTIONS. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Week 9

The following post was taken from the Wiki Digital foundations site: chapter 9 by Xtine Burroughs.
The original post can be found here:

Double Exposures and the Exquisite Corpse

Self Portrait as a Drowned Man, 1840, Hippolyte Bayard, Combination Print.

In the middle of the 1800s, Hippolyte Bayard was one of the earliest photographers to create a combination print, where two separate images are juxtaposed in a single photographic print. Following Bayard’s experiments, there are many combination prints and double exposures that were made as photographic prints throughout the Victorian Era. 

Richard Mansfield as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In the camera, a double-exposure requires releasing the shutter to create one photograph, then carefully rewinding the film back to the same frame, and releasing the shutter again to create another photograph on top of the first one. An example of this process can be seen in Henry Van der Weyde’s image of Richard Mansfield as Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde

Henry Van der Weyde

In the 1920s, Dada and Constructivist artists cut and pasted found photographs, their own imagery, and various printed elements together to form an “anti-aesthetic” collage that challenged the viewer to decipher multiple messages within the final composition. El Lissitzky’s The Constructor (seen below/to the right/left) is an example of this type of work. Lissitzky’s self portrait combines his own head with fragments of machinery along with a hand that is interpreted as “THE HAND OF GOD” (use small caps to get out of the do-we-capitalize-god-question) passing over his face.

In Class exercise: Using layers to create a double-exposure

In Photoshop, the double exposure can be made by putting two images on separate layers, then adjust the blending mode of the top layer.

1. Create a New Document using File > New. Set the width and height to 12 by 10 inches (notice the units of measurement pull-down menus as 10 pixels results in a much smaller document than 10 inches). Set the resolution to 72 DPI and leave the color space in RGB mode. Name it "lastname_double_exposure".

2. Open Hand01.jpg (downloaded from above). The file will open as a new tab in the main window. Click on the tab and pull down and away from the toolbar so the image is opened in its own window. There are many ways to copy the hand into the new document we are using to assemble the double-exposure. One method is to use the Move Tool to drag the hand layer (in this case, the background layer is the hand layer) into a different document. Click on the Move Tool in the Tool Palette, then click on the hand and drag it to the center of the double-exposure document that we left open.

3. Notice that when the hand is dragged into the double-exposure document it appears very large. The hand file contains more pixels than the double-exposure file.  In the Layer Palette, double-click on the name “Layer 2” to rename it “hand01.” Notice "Layer 1" beneath the layer, "hand01". Layer 1 is completely transparent. It was the first layer that PhotoShop generated when the new document was created. By moving the hand into the new document, we created a new layer. Click once on Layer 1 and then click on the trash can icon in the bottom right corner of the Layer Palette.  Now the layer hand01 is active (indicated by a blue highlight). To scale the hand so that it fits into the document, click Edit > Free Transform.

4. When the image to be transformed does not run off the edges of the file document (as this one does), it is easy to transform it by using the arrows at one of the four corners of the transformation box to click and drag towards the center of the image.  In this situation, it is easier to use the transform tools in the Options Palette at the top of the document because we cannot see the edges of the transformation box. First click on the link icon between the width and height percentage boxes to maintain the aspect ratios (or proportions). Now enter 65% into either the width or height box and notice that the other box also takes on the 65% value. Press “Return” or “Enter” on your keypad to finalize the transformation.

5. Open Hand02.jpg and use the Move Tool or another method to bring the image of the second hand into the double-exposure document. Notice that it has already been scaled for you. While the second hand is still active in the Layer Palette, click Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.  Press "enter" or click the "check" mark to accept the transformation. In the Layer Palette, double-click on the name of Layer2 to rename it, “hand02.”

6. Use the Move Tool to move the separate layers into position so they are overlapping each other. Clicking one time in the Layer Palette activates a layer. Notice that whichever layer is active can be moved with the Move Tool. Once both layers are named and positioned, use the Layer Blending Modes pull-down menu in the top left area of the Layer Palette to choose “Multiply” on the top layer, “hand02”. Leave the hand01 layer in Normal mode. Blending modes define how layers interact. We will continue to explore these in our Exquisite Corpse Assignment.

The double-exposure happens in the area where the two images overlap. Multiply blending mode allows us to see the two images together, as if they were photographed on the same piece of film. In the next exercise we will crop the image so that only the double-exposure remains.

Cropping and adjusting the hue

1. Click on the Crop Tool in the Tool Palette and notice the options for this tool in the Options Palette beneath the PhotoShop menu items. Enter “6 in” into the crop Width box, “9 in” into the Height box, and "72" into the Resolution box. Drag a crop box around the area of the document where the two layers overlap. Notice that the crop tool will only create a rectangular shape in the aspect ratio of 6:9 as you are dragging. Finalize the crop by pressing Return or Enter on your keypad or by clicking the check-mark icon in the top right area of the Options Palette.

2. Add “Hue/Saturation.” Adjustment Layer above the layers palette. 

3. In the Hue/Saturation Dialog box, check the “Colorize” button and then use the Hue slider to create a cyan wash over the image. Click OK when you are satisfied with the colorization.   I moved sliders to Hue 196, Saturation 41, and lightness was left at 0

Here was my final result before I cropped the image.

Exquisite Corpse

Exquisite corpse” (in French, cadaver exquis) is a parlor game that the Surrealists developed in 1925. In this game, each player submits images (drawings, paintings, photographs) of heads, torsos and legs which are combined to produce surprising bodily results. We will be playing this game using images of each other that we captured in class on a digital camera as well as by using images from pop culture, found on the web. In the past, we have placed Lindsay Lohan’s head on John Goodman’s body, George W. Bush’s head on Paris Hilton’s body (with the dog), and so on. It's more fun to try this with pictures of your friends or family!

Creating and manipulating layers

1. We’ll work on top of the double-exposure file that we just created, so save the file as “exquisite-corpse.psd.” 

2. Keep exquisite-corpse.psd open and use File > Open in PhotoShop to open all of the documents used in this exercise (on the disk, the files are: arm.psd, back.psd, ear.psd, head.psd, shoes.psd, and torso.psd). The files will open as tabs in the main window.

3. Move all of the body parts into the exquisite-corpse document, just as we moved the hands into the double-exposure document in the double exposure exercise. Use the eyeball icon in the Layer Palette to hide and show the layer to quickly assess which image is on the layer. 

4. Click on a layer and drag it above or below another layer. The order of the layers in the Layer Palette is referred to as the “stacking order”. This determines which image appears in the foreground or closer to the viewer’s eyes and which images fall to the background. Organize the layers so that they appear like the stacking order in the Image below. 

Notice that the layer palette has a left and right arm! Name the first arm, “right arm” then use the Layer Menu > Duplicate Layer… and name the duplicate layer, “left arm.” Use Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical to flip each arm (be sure to activate the layer first) and then Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal to distinguish one from the other. Name the second arm "right arm."  

5. Click on each layer to activate it, then use the Move Tool to reposition the layer and Edit > Free Transform in order to scale it. Some of the layers will need to be scaled.  Also, it is always safe to scale an image down in PhotoShop; however, it is usually not a good idea to scale an image up (or to make an image larger than it is) as this could cause pixellation.  Pixellation=bad (in most cases)

6. Once each layer is renamed, repositioned and scaled, click on the top layer once to activate it, then hold SHFT, and click on the last layer in the stacking order above the adjustment layer from Exercise 2. Click on the Layer Palette Pull-Down Menu in the top right corner of the palette and choose “Create Group From Layers…” In the dialog box, name the new group, “corpse.” This will make a new folder in the Layer Palette for all of the body parts. Layer Groups are used to organize the PhotoShop Layer Palette.

Adding an adjustment to some layers

We want to add an adjustment layer to the top of the Layer Palette, except there is one major problem: doing so would cancel out the adjustment layer in use towards the bottom of the palette. This is a little tricky, but one way to make an adjustment layer act on only some layers is to merge all parts of the image that should respond to the adjustment, add the adjustment on top of that layer, and then use a clipping group to clip the adjustment to that layer.  Okay.  How do we do that you ask? 

1. Expand the “corpse” group (click the sideways arrow on the left side of the name) so that you can see all of the layers within the group. Click once on the top-most layer to activate it, then SHFT+Click on the last body layer in the group (ours is “torso”) so that all of the body parts are highlighted. 

2. There is one trick here: we never merge layers without keeping our individual layers in tact somewhere else. That is to say, we never simply choose “merge layers.” Now this part is important, hold the Option (OPT) key on your keypad before you click on the Layer Palette Pull-Down Menu (top right of the Layer Palette) and choose, “Merge Layers.”

Adding the Option Key results in a new layer above those that were activated containing all of the activated layers flattened together. Notice that ear was at the top of the list, so the new layer “ear (merged)” is the merged layer. Use the eyeball icon to turn this layer on and off and notice that while you have a layer that has merged all of the body parts, you also have each body part on a different layer. This will give you flexibility if you need to make revisions after merging the layers.

3. Drag the merged layer outside of the group so that it is on top of the stacking order in the Layer Palette. Close the “corpse” group folder and turn off its eyeball icon.

4. Click on the merged layer to activate it then add an adjustment layer for Hue/Saturation. Use the “Colorize” button again and add a wash of orange. Notice that this will colorize the entire document.

5. Hold the OPT key while clicking on the line between the adjustment layer and the merged layer. You will see the cursor change to an icon that looks like a square next to an arrow. When you see this cursor change, click the mouse. This will create a clipping group between the adjustment layer and the merged layer. Now the adjustment layer will only affect the merged layer. The background images should appear cyan again.

6. Use the Blending Mode Pull-Down Menu in the Layer Palette to set the mode to Linear Light and enter 50% for the layer opacity (to the right of the Blending Mode Pull-Down Menu). A decreased opacity enables the viewer to see through the image on this layer, and helps to blend the two layers. Sometimes these methods can create a murky image where the foreground and background are hard to decipher. Remember that every image communicates a message.

If your image doesn't look like the image above, that's okay.   The point was really for you to experiment with blending modes and clipping groups, creating groups and applying adjustment layers, etc.  Moving on to the good stuff!!!! 

Exquisite Corpse: Outside Assignment

You will be creating body parts from a list I have drawn up.  Each of us is responsible for placing an image of body parts on the server.   You may take images of the "body parts," or you may "steal" images of body parts from the internet.  

 Be advised that we can interpret the body part loosely.  Meaning: YES,  use a bull's horn for ears if you like.  But, the body part must be something that is feasible and not too far fetched to act as that body part.  Remember:  we are all picking and choosing from the images to create our new exquisite corpse.   Please place something on there that is feasible and capable of producing a decent result. 

STEP 1: After finding/creating images for use, you will place it on the shared files, label it "lastname_bodypart" (if you don't label it with your last name, i cannot give you credit.  If you don't label it with the body part name, your teammates are going to have difficulty using the part in their exquisite corpse--and again, I won't give you credit) You will have a body part for all of the following.  


You will also place 2 images into the folder marked "environment"...two of these should be authored by yourself, one can be stolen from the internet. 

Two of your images must come from a non-human object/animal.  

YOU will also be responsible for creating your own "face" or "head" image.   You may use someone famous or (preferably) yourself to place into the image.   You may also blend your face into the head of an animal if you like, or make yourself into a machine or robot. The sky is the limit!  But, remember to place files on the server for your teammates by no later than Monday night at 11:59 P.M. so we can put our corpses together in time for critique on Friday. You will be graded on this (half your grade) , no late entries, no exceptions.  Failure to do so will result in a zero for half the project.  

Additional notes:  Your project should be 11x17 in either portrait or landscape mode and 300 dpi.   It is important for you to find good quality large images to steal from the internet.   



Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Tonal Scale

Common problems that are addressed by adjusting the tonal scale are as follows:
1. The image is too hot when the white areas are “blown out”, or there are no image details in the highlights.
2. The image is murky when there is not enough contrast between the darkest black value and the lightest white value.
3. The image displays a colorcast when there is evidence of a hue in areas that should be neutral gray or white.
4. The middle gray area of the image is too dark or too light, which usually corresponds (especially) to the skin tones being too dark or light.

Examine this first photo from 1826 entitledView from the Window at Le Gras, Nicéphore Niépce
Exposure times were a LOT longer in the early days of photography.  Silver halide crystals that constrict to create an "exposure" hand't fully been developed.  People would have to sit still for very long amounts of time to have a portrait made.   This particular photo took 8 hours to expose.  It exhibits a very high contrast and limited tonal range. 

Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lange, 1936. Silver gelatin print.
This photograph was commissioned by the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Florence Owens Thompson looks towards the future with worry, as her children bury their heads into her shoulders. The FSA was part of The New Deal, a set of programs initiated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to stimulate and revitalize weak economies from 1933 – 1938. The FSA hired photographers, such as Lange, Walker Evans and Marion Post Wolcott to document America after the Great Depression. Notice how the range of tonal values expresses the details in Florence’s face and the blanket on her lap.

Part 1--Downloading images to the computer. 
To send the images from the storage device within the camera to the computer, the camera is connected to the computer via a USB cable. Alternatively, a card reader can be used to connect the memory card to the computer and read it like a small hard drive (similar to a jump drive).
If you connect your camera to the computer through the USB cable, then you will use an application to read the images. On a Mac, iPhoto may automatically launch.  It will read the images and place them in a folder.  Alternatively, you can create folders and drag the files into that folder manually if you prefer.  I, personally, like bringing the photos into folders, which I can open in Bridge (then in camera raw) to edit. Then organize based on size.  I shoot in raw.  You might want to save images into your folder in 300dpi and 72dpi folders for print and for web. 

Part 2--Making minor adjustments 
Download the following image to your desktop:

1. open the a purple flower by Fred Benenson in Photoshop.  Then close the blog and follow along with me. 
2. Whenever an image is scanned or captured digitally, the process of digitizing a three dimensional reality into a two dimensional file results in a loss of contrast. Unsharp Mask is a filter that is commonly used to compensate for this loss. Click Filters > Unsharp Mask. This filter looks at edge areas where there is contrast and increases the contrast of those pixels. Be sure that the preview button in the Unsharp Mask dialog box is checked. 
The larger the file size, the larger you will set the threshold, radius and amount. With smaller file sizes (anything less than 30 megs) you will probably leave the threshold at 0, the radius lower than 1.0 and adjust the percentage by eye between 20 and 250 percent. You will know when you’ve gone too far, the increased contrast will result in an image that looks pixilated and forced. Applying this filter should produce a minor modification.
If the image needs to be rotated or cropped, you can do that now. 
Demo  "Cropping tool" 
Demo "Image Rotation"
it is a good idea to check the Image Size also (Image>Image Size) to evaluate the resolution settings. Ask yourself, at what size do I plan to print this image? If the resolution is too low (many digital cameras record very large images, but the resolution is set at 72 dpi), be sure to uncheck “Resample Image” before adjusting the resolution to a higher number. You should see that as the value of the resolution (measured in dots per inch) increases, the width and height of the file decreases and the amount of pixel information (in the top boxes, which should be grayed-out) remains the same. If all of this is not happening for you, and you are trying to increase the resolution of the file, something is wrong! Our image has a resolution of 240 dpi, so it is unnecessary to change.
Part 3--Understanding the Histogram
1. Click on Image > Mode > Grayscale to convert the image from RGB color mode to Grayscale. (Click OK through the "Discard Color Information" dialog box.) Save the file as flower_gray.psd.
2. Click Window > Histogram. 
The overall graph displays the amount information within the image (y-axis) at the various levels of gray from black (on the left side of the x-axis) to white (the right side of the x-axis). There are 255 levels of gray in any 8-bit image. Consumer scanners and digital cameras capture 8-bit images. There are professional scanners and cameras that capture 16-bit images, yielding more options for adjusting the tonal range; but for the beginning digital media student, we will remain focused on 8-bit images.
Does the histogram start and end at the beginning (dark values) and end (light values) of the x-axis? This would mean that there actually exists image information in the darkest shadow areas and the lightest highlight areas. If the graph seems to end before the edges of the box containing the histogram, the graph is “clipped” and there is no information at one (or both) end(s) of the spectrum. There is probably a noticeable lack of contrast in the image if the graph is clipped.
Where on the x-axis of the graph is most of the image information stored? In other words, where are the spikes in the graph? This should make sense in terms of how dark or light the overall image appears.
 Does the histogram have any gaps where information does not exist? This means that there is no image information in areas where gray values between black and white are expected. This is usually a result of “over-tweaking” an image with tonal adjustments, as opposed to something that will be noticeable from a scan or digital camera capture. Sometimes this is a reasonable result of increasing contrast in an image, especially when certain areas are particularly hot (bright or blown out highlights).
Adjusting the histogram with the use of Levels or Curves
Click Image > Adjustments > Levels, which is used to control tonal adjustments specifically in the shadow and highlight areas, and a histogram dialogue box will appear. 
Tonal manipulations occur as a result of adjusting the numbers associated with each slider. If the objective is to make the image look abstract through high contrast, push the sliders towards each other. If the objective is to make the image seem true to life, the sliders should be used carefully. Adjust the sliders to your taste and click OK. Adjusting with Curves-Click Image > Adjustments > Curves. Once again, the histogram is presented in the Curves dialog box. Curves, like Levels, can be used to adjust the tonal scale within the image.djust each of the red, green, and blue graphs so that there is image information where the deepest shadows and lightest highlights appear. To do this, start by using the pull-down Channel menu from within the Curves dialog box to select “Red” (CMD+1). Use the input sliders on the left and right sides to move the edges of the endpoints of the line graph to the point where image information exists. Use the pull-down Channel menu to select “Green”Use the pull-down Channel menu to select “Blue”, and adjust.   Click OK. Adjusting the Curves (or Levels, either palette could have been used for this last exercise) manually for each color channel produces a better result than simply doing this one time for the composite RGB channel.

Targeting Saturation Levels

Click Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Use the pull-down palette on the word, "Master," to work specifically on the magenta areas of the image.Use the Saturation and Lightness sliders to modify the image.   

Working in Selective color. Image/adjustments/selective color.

Use the Saturation and Lightness sliders to modify the image.


Research an artist that works in Surrealism. This should be an artist that will inspire the project you are creating in some way.  Then, write a short word document (no more than one page) double spaced/12pt. font review discussing their work.  Download several images of their work. Include this research on your blog and add to the research you will be turning in. You may use a contemporary or historical Surrealist artist.   Create several quick sketches in class that we can discuss before you go and make the work. 

Homework- create a surreal image (at least 3 images authored by you--either through scanning or photography). Your final project should be (11x17) (300dpi) -- either landscape or portrait.