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The makings of a vampire

This being October, the month of one of my favorite holidays, I thought I’d share a little Photoshop magic with you. Most everyone pretty much knows what Photoshop is; a mainstream program used by graphic designers to create and manipulate images. I use Photoshop extensively for retouching pictures and creating my own graphics. I also use Photoshop to create a variety of graphics and do photo restorations, but that’s an article for another day.

In this article, I would like to showcase my infamous vampire pictures that seem to get mixed reviews from people who see it. Some people think it’s cool photoshopping, and I thank them, and others think it’s down right creepy, and I thank them too. So how is it done? Well, you first start off with a photograph. For my vampire, I used a simple picture that my daughter Laurel took of me at the Kubota Gardens in Seattle a couple of summers ago. It’s hard to get a regular, straight picture of me, as was the case in this picture.

(Click on the images to see a larger image)

When I saw the picture Laurel took of me, I thought “hmm, I wonder how I’d look with fangs?” So, I went to my Photoshop, and created fangs. I use layers when I work in Photoshop so I can have complete control of what ever element I am working with. After I made my fangs, I created a couple other layers. One to remove all but the black and white tones from my skin, one for my eyes, and one for my mouth. When I was done, this is what I had.

Cool, but why stop there? A few more layers, and I have snake eyes, bloody gums, a new background, and some shading to intensify my inner evil child.  I’m just kidding about the inner child part, or am I?

Alternative Graphic Editors

As you can see, Photoshop gives the ability to create just about anything the imagination can conceive. The only drawback to Photoshop is that it is an expensive piece of software, and it is a complex program to learn to use. If you are interested in trying your hand at creating graphics or retouching photographs, there are free alternatives, that will give you enough capabilities to explore your creative side.

Gimp – This open source Photoshop alternative can do most of what Photoshop can do, such as working with layers and masks, and creating special effects. Like Photoshop, Gimp requires some time and dedication to learn, but it is free, and there are great forums on the web with tons of how-to tutorials to help you get going.

Paint.net – This is one of the best free programs for beginners. Paint.net offers a huge selection of special effects and it is fairly easy to use.

Of course, if you’d rather not spend your time and resources learning how to create your own photographic retouches, you can always drop me a line. My rates are reasonable and my work is guaranteed to satisfy.




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