Next to simply learning the ins and outs of Photoshop my biggest hurdle for the Images assignment was finding material that checked all the assignment’s boxes and applied to my overall project. Lack of scanners are a true problem in today’s society. I chose to focus on Admiral David Foote Sellers, USN, 30th Superintendent of the US Naval Academy, Navy Cross recipient, and representative of the class of 1894 in the Class Ring case. I couldn’t find a good example of a damaged photo for Admiral Sellers, so I used a very damaged photograph of the USS Maine post-explosion – which can be used with the 1895 graduate representative, Darwin Merritt, killed aboard the Maine.
For the recoloring portion, I chose I black and white image of Sellers while Superintendent from the yearbook. First I tried lessening the paper texture through the 4-pronged scanning/combining layers process. Then, I thought I should start easy and chose the background with the polygonal tool and filled it in a grey-blue. Aside from trying to be as deliberate as possible with the lasso, I think the opacity level is extremely helpful to create a soft/not too harsh color balance. My progress has reached a stand still, however, as I try to accurately colorize Seller’s ribbon rack. I’ve had to dig out the Museum’s books on military medals and I can’t seem to find a full list of his decorations.
Here is my progress so far:
Up until now I have only been using the polygonal tool and fill but I think I need to shift to using the brush to get the more detailed parts like his eyes and hair.
I commented on Tam and Amy’s blog.
I left Monday’s class feeling pretty good about the mysteries of Photoshop, but I realize now I was a little too optimistic. Does anyone else feel like it be nice if they could work a whole lot the night after a class so it all sinks in? This week I decided to tackle the engravings tutorial. I got my image from the Alumni Association’s 1945 published history, “A Century of Naval Academy Life.” The original image was this terrible mustard/brown color. The black color helped with the definition but seemed a bit harsh.
The second go-around I followed Paula’s steps under Elements and I think it looks more natural, keeping the paper texture and a nice blue.
I’m assuming we’ll go over it in class soon, but I’d like to know how to take the background away and have a floating image that can take on the webpage background.
After taking stock of images already scanned from last semester’s work on the project I realized a couple things. First, most of my images are from books or at least have the paper texture. After watching the paper texture section of Lynda.com’s tutorial I may need to scan 4 different directions of a number of images in order to create a softened texture. Second, everything is scanned as a JPG, which will be fine for the modern images, but for the older images, it would have been nice to get to the TIFF level and then save them for the web.
I made four scans of a couple paper textured images and went to work. I think I can see a difference, but for the extra time involved, I’m not so sure it’s worth it. I rotated, cropped, and combined multiple layers to reduce paper texture. Here is the before and after:
Perhaps I did it wrong because I do not see a discernible difference. I plan to play with it more this week. My biggest issue now is finding good photographs/images to use that both help my final project and fall under the image project guidelines. I’m hoping I can find some at work this week!
I commented on Amy’s Blog
Choice is an absolute. Much like the difference between archives and collections there is an element of choice involved to focus the subject matter towards the questions you want to answer. Photographers employed to document the plight of the Dust Bowl and Depression in rural America had to do just that. As an extension of what they saw, a camera’s lens and the photographs it produces are at the core how a photographer views the world. Most would assume the image is an objective truth, but as we read in The Case of the Inappropriate Alarm Clock, it isn’t always black and white. Not only do photographers have some level of bias omnipresent but photo manipulation, original intent, captions, and viewer beliefs play a huge role in how an image is perceived.
Photographic manipulation at any stage mars its documentary and historical status. I’m not saying that staged photos are not historical – if taken during the event, then there is value, but without proper explanation it may be misconstrued as straight fact. The movement of items or coaching of subjects in supposedly documentary photographs give a false perception of truth. Like the short quiz shows if the intent is propaganda, photojournalism, or art – the viewer takes that into account and that colors their interpretation.
Once something comes out as doctored it is hard to change. The FSA manipulation disputes actually reminded me of the initial reports of the images of the Marine flag raisings on Iwo Jima. AP photographer Joe Rosenthal took the now famous image (in photo and statue form) of the second flag raising and sent it off. Everyone just assumed it was the first cheered flag raising (the one that actually meant something) and it took a long time for people to recognize it as such.
I posted on Kater’s blog.