Monthly Archives: May 2015

Friday Challenges – On the Wing & Amnesty

Here it is, what you’ve all been waiting for! Finally, another Friday Challenge post. If you’re new to the blog, you can view some previous ones to come up to speed. Otherwise, without further adieu, let’s dive in.

On the Wing
For Caplin’s 511th Friday Challenge he gave HotChiPs forum members this picture to work on: wingman

The narrative and his instructions were:

I’m indebted to Vibeke for this week’s image, which features a tourist sitting on the wing of a plane. He looks very relaxed here – but how laid-back would he be if the plane were up in the air? Can you make this plane fly?

I have to admit I received considerable direction from Gordon Bain, who not only is a forum member but also a pilot and photographer.  He gave me tips on how the propeller would look if it were photographed while spinning.  I have to say my image wouldn’t have come out as well if not for his advice.

OnTheWingMy caption for the image:

Clement always felt like his late mechanic, George, was with him whenever he flew and disapproving, as always, on how he was handling the plane.

Here is what Caplin had to say about my submission:

A great spin from srawland, and a very neatly inserted background. I like the way you’ve turned the man into a ghost sitting on the wing – subtly achieved, a clever idea.

The hardest part about this image was getting the propeller to look as if it had been photographed spinning.  I used the motion filter but had to run it several times at different settings until the image finally looked right.  Thank you, again, Gordon!

Friday Amnesty – A Fountain Revisited
The 512th Friday Challenged coincided with the 10th anniversary of Caplin issuing his first Friday Challenge. Here’s what he had to say:

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Friday Challenge, which posed its first puzzler on 2nd July 2004. Sadly, a move to a different server means most of the entries for that Challenge have now gone the way of all websites, although the original image still remains.

I’m indebted to Deborah Morley for coming up with this week’s Challenge idea: a global amnesty. She reckons there’s always at least one Challenge everyone thinks they should have entered but missed, or which they did enter but feel they could have done better.

So now’s your chance to revisit any Challenge from the last 10 years, and show us what you can do. Note: please provide a link to the original Challenge in your entry, so I can remind myself of the original image and entries!

Have fun with this one.

I went back  and looked at every Friday Challenge.  I kept coming upon ones where I thought, “Yes, I can do this one!” But, then I’d realize the reason for my enthusiasm was because Caplin had turned the Challenge into a tutorial in his book,   How to Cheat in Photoshop, 6th ed., so I’d completed them as an exercise.  Turns out Caplin sure got a lot of ideas from those Challenges and they weren’t just exercises for us. Very clever.  My only regret was not finding his book and joining the forum sooner.  And, I will never see one of my submissions as an example in one of his books because Caplin says the latest edition is his last. So much for my nanosecond of fame.

After visiting all of the Challenges, I decided to just work on one I had regretted not doing better or trying harder.  I came up with two entries. The first one was from Fill the Fountain.  At the time I had not tried making  spray.  It turned out to be remarkably easy. I should have tried it in the first place!

ChallengeAmnestyFountain I included images from four Friday Challenges that were before my time.  See if you can spot them.

Here is what Caplin had to say:

A fine revisiting of the recent Fountain challenge from srawland, with a neatly cut out spray bursting into the air. And is that someone playing the guitar behind it? I can’t see evidence of the other two Challenges you refer to.

Friday Amnesty – Creative Female Builder Redux
Not satisfied with one entry, I decided to work on another one.  In this case, Caplin had been underwhelmed by my original submission to Challenge 510: Creative female builder which featured an image of a woman standing next to a van that said “Kim Can, Creative Female Builder.” Caplin asked what a female creative builder was and what did she create?

For my original submission, I’d created a back story for Ms. Can. Then, I placed it in an image of on open magazine, subtly modeled after a noted U.S. thought leadership publication, The Atlantic, which I named The Pacific. If you need a magazine layout designer, I’m your woman.

But, it wasn’t what Caplin was looking for. It should be noted the Caplin is also a sculptor. Anyway, here is the explanation for my  second Amnesty submission:

While I didn’t actually miss the “Creative female builder” Challenge, the magazine wasn’t my original idea. The image below was. When I told my sister my idea, she said it was sexist and suggested I come up with something else. I worked hard at making that magazine look realistic, but it used words to tell how Kim was a creative female builder, instead of showing it. I did put this in the Reader’s gallery but it really deserved being here.

ChallengeAmnestyMuseumMy caption for this image was:

We’re all set for the opening on Tuesday, Ms. Can.

Here is Caplin’s Critique:

I’m interested in your second entry, creating a piano and what appears to be an artist out of some sort of shiny plastic material. Good old Plastic Wrap, eh?

Just knowing that I, as such a newbie to Photoshop by comparison, could cause Caplin to wonder how I did something was a huge thrill for me.   I did use the Plastic Wrap filter, but it was the next to the last step in creating the “statues.”  What really gives them that solid acrylic plastic look is the Chrome filter, set to a lowered opacity.

Well, I’ve had so much fun revisiting these that I think next time I’ll cover another set of Friday Challenges.  See you then!

Next: A Desk, A Comedian, and The French Resistance.