Revenge of the MelaModster: Experiences with Photoshop

“Would you just shut up about this photoshop assignment and F@#$in do it”, said the Devil when I offered him my soul in exchange for super-photoshop-strength (he caught me at my weakest, what was I to do?). Then, as the little devil on my left shoulder disappeared in a cloud of smoke, mumbling that super-photoshop-skills were too much even for him, my mother popped up on the right shoulder to share one of her tried and true pieces of homemade wisdom: “Reduce, Re-use and Recycle”, she said. Hmmmmm….. Well, this got me thinking… Why stress myself out about having to take shots. Maybe I CAN recycle some pics I already have and give them a new life.

I will be transformed into the mod, 1960’s pop-art beauty that I really am at heart. Groovy baby!!!!!!!!!! I will even have a gang of hipsters to admire me (I am beginning to understand the allure of Blowup)

I started with a self portrait I took at the Espace Sono exhibit. I liked the fact that I was wearing my beret (one of the few fashionable fall pieces in my wardrobe) and the redness of the background. I opened the file in photoshop.

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In the same Espace Sono article, I had also taken a picture of the Paralèle exhibit brochure. Hmmm….. ideas started taking shape. I opened the second picture in photoshop as well. So I now had two layers. I have always liked being the center of attention, so I of course would need to be center stage in this production. I chose the magnetic lasso tool to cut out the images of the modern dancers on the brochure. The first cutout, my layer number one dancers, were conveniently looking to their left.

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I moved the image onto my background (self-portrait) giving the impression that they are looking at me. I wanted the layers to be somewhat transparent so reduced their opacity. My second layer, another one of the modern dancers, was harder to cut out because I had to move the magnetic lasso around her legs. The cutout was imperfect, but I decided to go the trial and error route and moved it onto the background anyways. Luckily, it looked pretty good. As my created image progressed, it took on a life of its own. The dancers seemed to be coming out of thin air and gave me a feeling of multiplicity, so I naturally duplicated my layer (duplicate layer in the layer menu). I made a total of four copies of my second layer, arranging them in such a way for it to appear as if they were multiplying and marching straight out of my photo, looking to me like the cover illustration of an old copy of Valley of the Dolls that my mom had in the basement when I was a kid (thanks again Mom!!). Hmmmm…. Still too plain! I then cut out some of the print from my second picture, the brochure, changed the opacity to 30% and pasted it onto my self portrait, careful not to cover up my natural beauty (hey, it is my Blog after all!!). I made another two layers using the rectangular marquee tool to cut them out and then the move tool to drag and drop onto the background. This gave me an unexpected, but very welcomed shadow effect. Since I had some free time on my hand and felt encouraged by the results so far, I played around with my background. I used the eyedrop tool to first select different colours already present in the image and then painted the background using the paint bucket tool. When I tried black, I knew I was done. As the finishing touch, I used the transparent red spray paint brush to create that nice red sparkle in my eye.

Voila………

Not only did I manage to finish my assignment and not loose my mojo, but I also have a cool new pic to put on my facebook profile.

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