Motion Sequence Tutorial

I am taking a leap by posting my first, ever, computer tutorial! I have shied away from attempting to share a photoshop or blogger how-to in the past, but this may be the start of something new...
This semester I am taking a photography class because I need major help with certain skills. When we were challenged with an assignment that deals with 'motion', I was excited to use my beautiful sister-in-law as my model. She is an amazing dancer so I knew she would be perfect to show off some leaps and kicks for me. We shot at twilight at the end of a rainstorm, so the lighting is darker and the road is sparkling.
My objective was to layer these photos into one so that it created a motion sequence. This would be easier if her movements didn't overlap, but there is a way around that! Scroll to the bottom of the post to see the end results.
ISO: 3200
SS: 1/320s
Aperture: f/3.5
Lense: 18-55mm
The first step is to select the 4 photos in Adobe Bridge in order to quickly layer them in Photoshop. (You can totally do this manually and skip using Bridge altogether, but I like to use it for some quick organizing and editing anyways.)
Once you have all of photos layered in photoshop, lock one layer as the base in which all others will reference their perspective to.

Make sure that your background is lined up by using the Auto-Align feature under Edit.

After aligning layers, quickly check to make sure that they are undeed lined up. Then simply use the Auto-Blend feature under Edit. If the main focus of your photos (ie, the dancer) do not overlap, choose the 'panorama' option. However, if they are overlapping like mine, choose 'stack images'.
The process to stack layers may take a bit of time, but once it's done you will be a left with a collage of your photos that looks similar to the one above. Sometimes Photoshop is unsure about your needs and cuts out the wrong areas. As you can see, Sarah's coat is ghosty, her feet have disappeared and her leaping-leg is coming out of the middle of her body. 
It actually looks kindof cool, but we can fix them!
(I have labeled the rest of the tools you will need in order to complete this tutorial. They are probably obvious, but I hate when I am left searching for hours, trying to find the mentioned button in a how-to!)
Try hiding all of the layers except for the first one by toggling between the eye icons next to each layer. This will show you what a single photo looks like after being auto-blended. The black and white boxes next to each layer are called 'layer masks'. These are tools that Photoshop uses to  erase certain parts of each layer so that the whole project is accurately stacked. Although Photoshop messed up in some areas, we can go back through each photo and manually erase or add certain areas to get the desired effect.
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Start by only looking at the first layer. You can tell that Sarah's stomach is erased and her legs are gone.  Select the layer mask of this layer to make sure that you are working on right canvas.
With layer masks you erase and add by using the paint tool. For this tutorial you only need two colors: black and white. Black erases parts of the photo and white adds to the layer.
First, using the paint tool with white selected, fill in every part of your first layer that was cut out. This is the easy part.
Second, view the second layer and select it's layer mask. Continue adding and subtracted between the two layers until they are cohesive. Once you get the hang of it, the rest of the editing will be a piece of cake.
Continue erasing and adding by going through each layer mask. There may be a few layers at the beginning that are covering up the last layers so make sure you take note and erase the right areas.
By the end, your photo will be complete! You can continue on if you want by doing a few basic edits afterwards to get the right effect.
I hope this tutorial was simple enough. I decided to try my own how-to because when I was searching for a similar tutorial, I couldn't find one I liked. So, I made my own. Let me know what you think!


Golden Rocks

While working on an awesome project at my internship this summer, I found myself painting a giant curtain with this delicious gold paint. It shimmered and sparkled and made me want to become King Midas so that I could turn everything gold! I ended up 'accidentally' dropping a few splatters on my shoes hoping it would leave a sparkling circle as a souvenir. 
When we finished painting both sides of the sheet and lett it dry we still had some gold left over - and we couldn't let that go to waste, right!? Luckily there was a tub of gravel laying around, waiting to be glitter-ized. I carefully dipped a few in the paint can and let them dry. By the end I had a whole handful of handmade jewels.


Inspired by Kirsten Hassenfeld

I know its been a while since I've posted an 'inspired by' tutorial. Ofcourse, this doesn't mean that I've run out of artists to drool over. Sometimes I realize how much free time I had on my hands this summer - school is taking up all of my spare crafting minutes! Kirsten's work is the type that demands attention... so I agree to give her what she deserves and I hope you do too.
We all know phrase, 'all that glitters is not gold'. It's true! Although gold can be very appealing, sometimes wire and vellum can glitter just as brightly. These are the materials that Kirsten uses to create her diamand installations. Because of their translucent materials, they sparkle and shine, especially near a light source. 
I felt like I had to try and capture this beauty for myself, so for an afternoon I cut and glued and tried my hardest to recreate her diamond theme. It wasn't easy! Infact, geometry alluded my dreams of perfect corners and simple angles. 
I was going to add a template so you could create your own diamond... but mine didn't turn out as perfectly as I hoped and I don't want to share mediocrity. Please try your own and  enjoy the simple photos I managed to get!

Can you imagine all of the little pieces I had to design and cut out? My table was littered with parts that I dreamed would come together in perfect symmetry...
At this point, I was happy. If the diamond didn't need a top, it would have been complete and beautiful. This is where the easy point ends!
Also, I used Krazy glue. Sure, it made my left a stain on the paper and ripped my fingerprints off when they got too close... but without a glue this strong, I don't know if the delicate joints would have made it.
I ended up making two in order to try and fix the mistakes I came in contact with. However, each method left me with gaps and uneven surfaces. Well played, Kirsten... you won this round! If I didn't admire her work so much I might be left frustrated...
... but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up!


September/October Sponsor Spots

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