Bosque County, Texas, USA
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AUGUST 31, 2010 8:32PM

Poster Girl

Rate: 51 Flag

poster girl banner 

     Taylor is the daughter of the lady who works in the shop next door. She needed a poster for her part in a talent show on the last day of school. Taylor's original idea was to copy the art  from the music CD.  I had other ideas, and asked her if she would allow me to make new art, like it was her own CD cover. So, she stood in front of a plain background, and I asked her to try to look sad, and I got this photo:



     Since early 2001, my photo manipulation software of choice is Adobe Photoshop. I learn something new almost every day, and there are entire areas of operation I have not even begun to learn yet. I have many years of work ahead of me.

     For this project, I first desaturated the image, making it look  like black and white. Then I added sepia tones. Using multiple layers with different levels of richness of tone, I chose different areas of the image  to show particular layers. Once I had made those choices, I grabbed a merged copy of the entire image, and that layer became the image below.



    Next,  grain was added, fading with an overlay, until the texture was what I was looking for. The last step was to add the text. The only colors existing in the background image are brown, white, and some grades between. I used a toned-down orange in the title for the one additional color.  This is the finished poster:



     I received Taylor's permission (and that of her mother) to use these images in exchange for her poster. I am really happy with the trade. Taylor was mostly pleased, but had no idea she had so many freckles.


(click on images to enlarge)
images © diana ani stokely 2010  

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What talent! I am very impressed! You already knew that, though, right?
I liked the choice of sepia. She's a lovely young girl. I also enjoyed the fact that you played up the dappled backgroud which seems to echo the freckles on her skin. Very nice! So glad you shared it!!! r
This was great. I enjoyed seeing, step by step, how you manipulated the image to create the final poster.
I'd be "most pleased" too. You've framed her perfectly, and the effects enhance the timelessness of her face and her youthful melancholy. Just...great!
You are an artist in so many ways. I bet you could make me look positively gorgeous! ~r
Photoshop is so much fun. You can rescue bad photos and turn good ones into something so much better. It trains your "artistic eye" as well. Very nice job.
Absolutely cool! Some day maybe I'll learn some photoshop skills.
Freckles. Perfect in every way.
hey kit, yep, you told me. thanks!

thanks persistent muse, i saw the background w/freckles growing in contrast and texture - and it pulled me in - thank you for your input, because i respect your eye very much.

oh, hey, cranky - glad it entertained, i was worried it was too technical.

hey bell, timelessness, nice! i will post her show costume pix another day. i think she is fun to work with.

joan - no question about it, it is so easy to make someone look beautiful when they already are! i was seriously thinking of painting the photo of you in MLK day , but the shadow got in my way.

nola! i've missed you! you're so right about the versatility of photoshop, and there are so many ways to use it. show me some stuff you've worked on?

sixtycandles, thanks! do you have the software? if so, pick a project, and if you want, ask me something ...

linnnn: since i also am kinda freckly, i must agree with you!
You are really good dianaani... she is adorable. r
I so much appreciate your explanation of how you make some of these extraordinary pieces. But I can't keep up! I'm still taking in the gourd paintings! This is a poster that is framable....oh yeah!
Fantastic, diana ani!
Really artful rendering of this photo. I am teaching myself how to use Photoshop, and I enjoyed your step-by-step breakdown.
i appreciate your coming by, christine bollerud - the poster makes me smile. i never had such a poster for a talent show when i was in school!

thanks, sheila! it is a combination of lots of practice, and an easy subject.

hugs, me - i took some more photos of taylor, you'll likely see her again, thanks.

hey susan, i put the technical jargon as shortcuts - if you use photoshop, you could likely duplicate the steps - but let the poster speak for itself for all the others who aren't doing photo manipulations. i always appreciate your input! your painting style and mine are worlds apart, but that's what is so cool about it!

thanks, linda! if everyone took as lovely photographs as you do, there wouldn't be a need to photoshop.

hey grace, thanks - i hope you will post some of your projects here, I can always learn something new. there are so many uses for photoshop, it is an ongoing education to learn it.
Exceptionally well done. You've inspired me to go back and use Photoshop again, rather than iPhoto, which gives a few good effects but is just not the same. Thank you, and tell Taylor her freckles are wonderful.
That's really cool! How do you find the time to even learn software such as that? I find computers all so time consuming.
Wow! I'm bookmarking this page . Inspirational.
hey ladyslipper, my first photo manipulating software was iPhoto, it came free with my first scanner. inspiration is good, and i know you always inspire me - this place is really good for that.

david and sweetfeet - THANKS!

patricia k - i've been making art since i could hold a pencil, and making computer generated art since the eighties. after awhile, i changed my career to fit what i love, so now i use it every day in my work. it is a time-consumer, no question, but it is something i love very much.

thank you zul! inspiration flows like a river around here.

tomreedtoon - welcome! I appreciate all you wrote, and you are very right, photoshop is a rocket ship compare to some photo manipulation software like model airplanes. I learned first on a free software that came with my first scanner, but needed more, so i got the photoshop program in 2001. I used that program until 2006 when my son gave me an upgrade, and in may, i bought a newer version. ... still, there is more than i know how to use, and maybe more than i ever will use. for the things i do with it, it is very comfortable. ... about taylor's freckles, we were going for an edgy look about a poor country girl (her song's theme). not quite grunge, but coming pretty close. For her actual performance, she chose a style which was quite the lady, and i took more photos in that style, and may post them later.
Brilliant poster diananni. The tiny flecks of light on her iris and lower lid in contrast to the grain ... work, really work.
Love your typography too - simple, legible, and classy.
I respectfully disagree with the notion that freckles are blemishes that should be somehow manipulated or minimized. To my eye, the freckles enhance her innocence and her beauty.
I have soooo much to learn about Photoshop, heck, I still have much to learn about posting photos on OS. Thanks for showing the step-by-step as well as the finished product.
I am so glad I saw this piece this morning. I need to spend some time thinking about why it moves me so.
Very impressive, dianaani. What Cranky said.
Photoshop and stand-up comedy. The two frontiers I have yet to explore and would like to attempt to master. Well done.
Loving this on the cover!
That's really impressive. I love the amount of thought and work you put into this.
Diana, this is wonderful! And Taylor looks beautiful! Kudos to both of you.
The end-result is extremely good. I never saw photo-editing process before. amazing what you accomplished. A so-so photo became oh-oh!

Really--brilliant editing.
Wonderfully done... I have been working on a series of portraits in black & white and I love the results that one can gently tease out of a photograph my making such subtle adjustments.
The images are striking. She looks like a girl in a Vermeer painting. Impressive.
Love the line: "Taylor was mostly pleased, but had no idea she had so many freckles." Cool picture - good job! :-)
Nice work. Congrats on the Cover!
beautifully done, diana. as one who works with photography stuff nearly every day, I can recognize not just enhanced skills from conception to completion, but the imagination and artistry that drives it and adds depth. It's more than the sum of its parts. Very well done.
How wonderful to be able to participate in Taylor's poster and to give her an image of herself that she will no doubt keep for many years.
This looks like a book jacket for something published by Knopf! Good job there. Totally professional.
Congratulations on the EP too!!!
Good job. This is PS used to its best end. I'm just getting acquainted with Photoshop.
To me, without any artistic skills, this is magic!
You are sooooooooooo good.
wow, you have a great eye!
What I loved about this post was watching an ordinary photo get transformed into a work of art. The final version is both beautiful and interesting.

There are a number of photographers on OS, all the way from amateur to professional. (I am definitely in the former category.) How about this for an Open Call: someone could post a photograph, and then a variety of people could do their own manipulations of the image, with the final versions published in a single post.
This is so fascinating. I thought it was an old picture from the 70's when I saw it on the cover...very cool.
I'm not sure what appeals to me more about this - the actual work or your clear explanation of what you did and how you made your choices. I would read something like this every day about the workings of visual art, if someone would write them for me.
hey Kim, thanks. You know I appreciate your eye on this. My favorite little bit is the shadown under her chin, as it is lighter than other shadows. odd.

kitd, you know, i love freckles, and wish i still had them on my nose.

shutterbug, your photos are absolutely some of the best I've seen here. if you had photoshop under your belt too, watch out!

annaliese, thanks for that, you are a dear.

thanks, Kathy!

cartouche, i know you would master photoshop and stand-up comedy, if you wanted to. I wonder what you will make them do?

me too, Joan!

thanks for visiting, Duane, this particular job went quickly and well, but maybe it was a product of the years of practicing.

Catherine, I told Taylor you said so, she is very pleased.

thanks, Leon, ole pal, ole pal. you make comments into verse, like a little gift here.

hi wordsmith, and welcome! I have seen some of your photos, mission hill, music ghosts, etc. Your photos are very clean and crisp compared to my stuff, and maybe it is the black and white which lends itself to that. thanks for visiting.

oh lea, vermeer! she has a simple beauty which is hard to find untouched like that. that is kind of you to say.

Hi Pavanne! appreciate that!

Hey Matt - amazing, seeing my stuff on the cover, it took my breath! thanks for coming by.

ah barry - long time! you just made my day with that comment. for me, sometimes the art is waiting to be born, and sometimes it isn't there, something about practice, and something about luck too.

you got it, Terry, I printed it on adhesive vinyl and applied it to a 3' x 2' corrugated plastic board, and she had it on the stage when she performed, and now it is in her room at home.

greenheron, you blow me away. I've dreamed of illustrating book covers, maybe that is a step i will take next.

thanks, little Kate! i am happy about the EP!!

Hiya Scarlett - congratulations on beginning your acquaintance with photoshop! it is a rewarding journey.

thanks, Lainey!

Eva, now you know how I feel when I read here on OS!

Pilgrim! you are soooo kind!

Wow, and thanks, Bonnie!

oh Julie, I guess you also must have a great eye, to see this!? ;o)

mishima666, welcome and thanks! I like your open call photo manipulation challenge. Will you write the post? Do you have a photo to use? I'm in.

i'm grateful, roy

hiya bluestocking! maybe i don't know i make art look like 70s, i heard a similar comment on an old post i did about my cat. hmmmm ..... now i must think about it and either keep doing it, or step away and try another. thanks for provoking thought.

I appreciate you, Paul!
Nice work. Great eye, fantastic balance and harmony. Beautiful.
Fantastic! And thanks for explaining your process.
What a great looking kid this Taylor.

very cool to get a glimpse behind the final product. It feels as if the your vision and your handiwork added so much depth to this teen.

Very interesting to see what can be done to turns something from a pic to art.
i appreciate your saying that harry, you and i met over your photos, and i know you are way more skilled than i at getting the good shots, especially architecture.

hey ann, thanks. that sounds like the reasons given for creating the "open call - made" so that these explanations illuminate and educate. i confess i like them very much.

hi maddie, welcome and thanks! i wish i could live up to those complimentary comments. :o)

you're welcome, risa! thanks for coming by to see it.

hiya fernsy! yeah, that's what i hoped to show - steps from a snapshot to graphic art. the stuff i work on every day is not fine art, like goya or modigliani, but graphic like an advertisement. and i like that i can direct the eye, draw it around to read the message, and still be happy to see the whole image. even when i was kinda young, i collected advertisements that i particularly liked. thanks for stopping.
oh, so well done! So well done!
I imagine Taylor will get a kick out of her pic being on the cover. It's so cool to read about your artistic process.
One day, when I am famous (ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!) I'll be able to afford you!
thanks vanessa! you can barter!
wow...very cool. I love art. just really love it.
There's nothing complimentary that I can say that hasn't been said before so I want to point to three different things that distinguish Diana's beautiful work here. Her cropping - in close-cropping like this, she purposefully makes the viewer know that this is something intimate and important. The subject's eye and ear being in the powerful points in the image reinforce the concept.

The use of a low contrast original, added grain and de-sharpening reduce the photo-realistic look and give the look of an older film image, adding to the impression of melancholy intimacy.

The choice of colors for the text and the italic 'e' make the viewer again concentrate on the title within the text and signal its importance.

What a great job, professional and sophisticated without showing it.

(The only question (and it is really trivial) I have is why the left-most picture in the row of small pictures is a clearly different shot. Why not original/desat/desat+grain for the three photos?)

Again, terrific and I'm jealous of Diana's abilities.

oh mime, i am happy to increase your happiness!

the traveler - Now THAT's the way to write a photo critique. I learned from reading it. I made the choices, but hadn't put into words how those choices affected the finished product. This encourages me to work on that aspect. Maybe my comments on your photography will begin to show some of this artistry of comment that you have.

About the left-most snapshot in the title banner, I threw it in to show how she could be silly or girlish in one shot, almost serious in the next one. My photo editing brought out the melancholy and seriousness, I feel. But, if you look at the original photo which based this project, she has a little smile at the corner of her mouth. I didn't want that to show in the final.

Many thanks to all who visited and commented and rated. I appreciate the feedback.
I love what you did with this - she looks like an authentic actress, almost American Honey herself. When you used b&w and then the sepia, I love how it changed what was previously a pretty bland background. I can't wait to learn to use Photoshop better!
I like it a lot, Diana. The concept was cool, and the execution of it was on the money.