Comment on Elizabeth’s Image Assignment

Elizabeth’s Portfolio Web Page

This week’s blog required an evaluation of a fellow student’s Image Assignment Web page.  I was assigned to evaluate Elizabeth Moore’s image work by identifying three areas of strength and three areas for possible improvement.  Here is my feedback on her Web page:

Areas of strength:

1. Elizabeth’s ability to matte an engraved image onto a clean background is nothing less than remarkable.  I would rate her results in this endeavor as the strongest skill she demonstrated for the assignment. She took an extremely difficult image; pulled it from a scrapbook; re-sized it; and eliminated, with impeccable attention to detail, all vestiges of the old, foxed, and water-stained background. Not only did she re-matte an engraving with near perfection, but she did it with a color image — a difficult task. I re-matted a color image for my assignment, and it was much more difficult than re-matting a black-and-white image. Wow.

2.  Another strength of Elizabeth’s re-matted image was her ability to maintain the original texture in the colored areas and, more importantly, in the shadows at the soldier’s feet.  She could have taken the easy way out and erased those shadows to avoid having to clean up (or restore) that area for re-matting, but she took the harder path and created a better outcome. Terrific!

3. Elizabeth’s colorized photograph brought out some great background details, particularly the frieze bordering the large poster behind the seated man.  Elizabeth’s color choice in this case was superb and really brought out both the details in the porcelain and the type of bright colors one might expect to see in 1940s Paris masonry. Very nice!

Areas for possible improvement

1. The colorized image of the seated man was good, but the details in his jacket became lost in the heavy application of blue color. I learned the hard way that the lighter touch is best, and Elizabeth certainly has that skill as evidenced by the excellent coloring job on the frieze. I would recommend re-coloring the man’s jacket using a lighter opacity and a judicious use of the Burn Tool.  A lighter color might have also allowed Elizabeth to bring out in starker relief the blood stains on the man’s jacket. More red to signify blood from the man’s injury might have given the image greater visual impact.

2. I understand fully that the shadows at the feet of the seated man precluded a clear picture of his left foot, but I recommend that, in the absence of such detail, Elizabeth use some freestyle coloring to draw at least an outline of where the shoe should be. She did it for the right foot, and it worked reasonably well.

3.  The vignetted photographed is perhaps the one thing that needs the most attention. Frankly, I had trouble seeing the difference in both images. Elizabeth described how she darkened the area surrounding the two men to make them stand out, but I did not see the effect all that well. I would recommend a less opaque darkening effort to achieve the intended effect.

Overall, Elizabeth did an excellent job and has demonstrated an impressive grasp of Photoshop and her ability to include “Photoshopped” products in a highly attractive and engaging Web page.  My thanks to Elizabeth for the privilege of providing feedback on her excellent work.

Steve Rusiecki

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