Jellyfish Reference from the movie "Avatar" by James Cameron
While I enjoyed
many of the other assignments this semester, “Mystirical” was my favorite.I believe that this is mostly because I enjoy manipulating images in
photoshop to create something original and new. So, of course, when I first heard about
this assignment my excitement mounted.
To start the assignment, I began
by looking for various stock images on the internet so that I could start by
creating the background (I had permission to use each of them).After finding the photos I needed (I used
three total), I implemented layer masks in order to help hide and blend the
background layers together in a convincing manner.After this step was finished, I created several new layers and added the
lighting and atmospheric effects I needed to set the mood.These effects included mist coming off of the
water, the light emitting off of the jellyfish creatures, and darkening a good
portion of the background near the sky.
Feeling satisfied with the
background, I again searched for stock photos, however, this time I was looking
for a suitable horse.Because I wanted
the horse to be looking upwards curiously at the jellyfish, I needed a pose
that would be similar to the idea I had in mind. Finding the right pose was
difficult, yet not impossible, so after finding it, I began working on the horse I was using.This horse, however, didn’t
last long.Because I am an
equestrian major, I felt as if his conformation was horrible, and so, since I
became tired of looking at it, I spent a lot more time looking for a “prettier”
horse.After finding a better horse, the real
To edit the horse, and to make
him appear convincingly within the background, I cut him out very carefully
with the polygonal lasso tool and pasted him as a seperate layer on the background.This being finished, I adjusted the
hue/saturation, and colorized him to the lovely blue color he is now.Though he was blue, there were
many other things that needed adjustment, and the first priority was the lighting – he was
much to brightly lit, and he lacked shadows and highlights in the right
places.This, though it appeared
difficult at first, was actually quite simple. All I had to do was paint different light effects on multiple
layers with different presets and opacities to blend him more subtlety to the
background.After the shading was
finished, I realized his shadows were much too dark and so I reduced the
opacity of the layers I used for shadows.I also added the stripes on its back and face with a soft brush and
smudged them in in the direction of the hair.
Light and shadows done, there
were still many things I needed to fix in order to achieve the look and feel I
was trying to accomplish. Since the horse had no mane, this was next on my
to-do list.To paint the mane I used a
small soft round brush, and after tracing the general flow of the hair with hot
pink (so that it would stand out), I used a variety of shadows and highlights
on the blue end of the color spectrum to paint the hair.Once this was done, I created another layer
and added the shadow of the mane against the horse’s neck, and painted another
layer with the bands holding the bunches of mane together.
Though my picture was getting
closer to being done, I still needed jellyfish creatures for the horse to look at.Though I had one
previously, it looked awkward, so I deleted it -- deciding instead to draw my own
jellyfish.This took quite a bit of
time, and though I used reference from the movie "Avatar" off of the internet,
I still feel like there is something slightly wrong with them.After creating the two base models, I
duplicated their layers, resized and rotated the duplicates, and then placed them
randomly around the image, yet trying to draw the eye to the largest one.After this was finished, there were just a few
touches I needed to complete before I felt the manipulation would be done.
This last step, was simple, yet
it proved to be slightly difficult considering that I wanted to draw a cat tail
on the horse.The reason that it was
difficult, was because I needed to be able to accurately match the colors and
values of the horse to the tail that I wanted to paint.Fortunately, though, since what I was doing
was digital, all I had to do was select multiple values within the horse and
use those to paint the tail. I then erased what I was unhappy with, and built upon
what I liked.After the tail was
finished, I saved the image as a jpeg file, and sharpened it slightly.This being done, I could officially say I was
Overall, I really enjoyed doing
this picture, and while it was very time consuming, and detail intensive, I feel like it was
successful, and the best photo-manipulation I have ever done. While I enjoy photography, I can say I prefer heavily photoshopped images much more.
Homelessness is a huge epidemic
around the world, and even in America, the homeless population is out of control.Because of this growing epidemic, caused by a
down economy, drug and alcohol abuse, or simply because one has chosen to leave
an abusive household, many more people are homeless in America than there used
to be.Because of this, and the fact
that my family was also homeless several years ago, I chose this as my social
After deciding what I wanted to do, I knew that there were several options to take pictures of the
homeless throughout Billings. Some examples of this include, homeless shelters, the HUB, and even people panhandling
on street corners throughout the day.I
was excited to act on my idea, but finding the right time and place to take
pictures of these people was difficult.Leaving the assignment unfinished for a couple of weeks, I heard a rumor
that a homeless man passed away during the night outside of the place I work.This made me feel sorry for the
poor man – knowing that he froze to death because nobody cared enough about him
to give him a warm place to stay, or even just a blanket to keep him from freezing.
couple days after hearing about the man’s death, I decided to go to the target in
the heights to take pictures of the homeless people that frequently visit the
area.Sadly, upon stopping at the light
I realized that the homeless man was gone, and only his belongings were left sitting on
the corner.Knowing that I only had a
little bit of time left before I had to go, I saw that this might instead make a better, more
meaningful picture.So as I sat waiting
for the light to turn green, I rolled down my window and snapped several
pictures of his stuff; trying to pay careful attention to the composition and
angle of the photo.
I took several photos, I went to class and edited a couple of my favorites.I did this by enhancing the color of the man’s
belongings, and almost completely de-saturating the background.The reason I muted the background was to represent the
dreary life they live, but I left their stuff saturated to show that homelessness is very real and can happen to almost anybody.
this photo isn’t exactly the way I imagined it would be, I believe that the circumstances that presented themselves lent to a picture that achieves a better purpose than the one I originally had in mind.Overall I feel very satisfied with
it, and am glad that I had the opportunity to go out into the community and
make a statement for the homeless.
Other Comments: I achieved this effect by putting the camera on my tripod and slowly rotating it as the shutter was open.
Title: Like Stars
Date taken: 11/20/12
Camera: Panasonic Lumix
Shutter speed: 15 seconds
Focal length: 9mm
Other Comments: I retook this picture after the first one showed some shaking. I also reduced saturation on photoshop to add a more calming effect.
I am naturally a night owl, the night project was the easiest and most convenient
for me to finish.The first night I
started taking pictures, I was inspired by the full moon which
appeared to be much larger than usual in the sky.Trying to find a spot on the rims, I pulled
over and set up my camera and tripod.However, because of the time it took me to prepare I missed taking a good picture of the moon. Though I didn't take a good picture of the moon, I
drove a few more miles to the spot where the flashing tower for the airplanes is located. After reaching this place, I
took several shots of the surrounding night landscape as well as the tower behind me.
capturing these pictures I was surprised at the clarity of the shots, but there
was a faint jitter in the one overlooking the city.Wanting to fix this, I went back to the same spot a couple of
nights later, and tried to recreate the composition and location as closely as
possible.I also used the same 15 second
shutter speed and ISO settings -- but this time I used the self-timer instead of manually clicking the shutter so that I could reduce the shaking.Once several more pictures were taken, I then
uploaded them to my computer and was much more satisfied with the results.With the image overlooking Billings I lowered
the saturation and cropped some extra space off of the edges to finish it.
I wanted a beautiful shot of Billings, I also wanted something experimental as
well.While moving lights were one of the suggestions, I wanted something completely different, yet similar. Because I felt this way I decided to move my tripod slowly in a circle while I was overlooking Billings during a 15 second shutter
speed.While this was a fun idea, I also
put quite a bit of thought into it, and picked my favorite example out of the many pictures I took.
While this was a fun and easy assignment, it was also one that made me think and try, try again. I enjoyed it, but I also believe that I learned a great deal from it, and to consider shutter speed, ISO, and exposure bias. Though I can't manually adjust many of the settings on my camera, I was able to learn how to manipulate the various pre-settings as well as work with what I had access to. Overall I'm please with what I learned and the pictures I took, and I plan to continue experimenting with night photography in the future.
When I first heard about the portrait
assignment, I was excited to get started.This was not only because I had never really tried portraiture before,
but also because I discovered that I have access to a photography studio at
Rocky.Sadly, however, because I was
unable to use the studio due to schedule conflicts and my own
absent-mindedness, I decided that my next best option would be setting up a mini-studio
in my family’s dining room.
I am a busy person, the only time I had available to take these portraits was
at night with the absence of all natural light.To aid this, I moved furniture around in order to make room to set up my
tripod and the additional lights needed to take the sharp pictures I wanted.
my little studio was set up, I had my little sister put on some makeup and nice
clothes.I also had my little brother
get dressed up, letting him choose his own outfit while I told him to grab his
plastic sword as a prop. After both of
my siblings were ready to go, I began with taking pictures of my sister – experimenting
with one of the lamps I used as a light source, and trying a variety of angles
and distances to achieve different effects.Immediately after finishing with my sister, I had my little brother take
his turn.While my sister generally
stood still and tried to look as pretty as possible, my little brother was a
fountain of energy and expression.Because of his energy, and his inability to stand still, I had a
difficult time getting crisp clear pictures of him, though his expressions
where very interesting and amusing.
taking many, many pictures, I uploaded them to my computer and sorted through
them one by one – discarding the bad ones, and editing the good ones in
photoshop.While I left several of them
alone, my two favorites (one of my sister, and one of my brother), where
adjusted using levels, brightness/contrast, and my sister’s face was touched up
slightly with the clone tool.
I feel like my journey into portraiture was successful, and I enjoyed taking
shots of my siblings.While using a
professional studio would have been a wonderful experience, I feel as if using
the dining room was an even better place because it allowed my siblings to be
in a surrounding where they felt most comfortable and at-ease, allowing me to
take a greater variety of pictures.Altogether, I enjoyed the project and hope that sometime in the near future
I will be able to take a greater variety of portraits – not only of my family
but of other people as well.