The three images above (all photographed by Alexander Lewis) are the original forms of the pictures I chose for my blog’s header or featured image. The theme of this blog is to teach beginners about photography so I wanted to show that your tools don’t matter, whether they are a DSLR or an old-school Polaroid camera.
I created this header with Photoshop, but I first experimented with Canva and Pixlr, which have similar, albeit more limited tools built-in. Beginners do not need to be afraid of photo editing and compositing or be stopped by the entry cost of using Photoshop.
These images were sourced from my own archive or photos and from Pixabay. I decided to use them because a generic DSLR next to a Polaroid photo shows that this site for many levels of photographers. The shutter image is meant to show that even those that use smartphones can use this blog to understand more about photography. I used the image of the woman because of the contrast and the warmth of her skin matches the theme of the blog. It was also from my first portrait night shoot so it shows that I am also a beginner myself somewhat, but can still create beautiful images.
The first thing I did was create the background. To do that I created a blank layer in Photoshop by going to the layers menu and clicking new layer (Manovich, 2011). I then took a screenshot of my blog page, opened the screenshot in Photoshop, used the eyedropper tool to sample the color of the font in my theme and used a lighter version of that for the background. I then opened a photo I took of one of my DSLR cameras (7D Mark II) and opened it in Photoshop. I then used the magic selection tool to delete the white background and then used the paintbrush to delete the leftovers of the background near the camera, which is similar to the paintbrush tool in MS Paint (Davidson, 2015, p. 286). I copied the DSLR image and pasted it into the background layer. I then used the effects tab and added a blur effect.
Next I created a new layer and used the rectangular tool to create a white rectangle, which is the back of the Polaroid picture. I then adjusted the angle by using the move tool. I opened the image I wanted to use for the Polaroid and used the crop tool to adjust the dimensions. I then pasted it as a layer and placed it on top the white rectangle. I used the typewriter tool to create my blog headline on top of the header and changed to font to one I liked. I then added another layer, which was my logo image. I originally created it using Adobe Illustrator using a file from Pixabay “1296797” by OpenClipart-Vectors / 27425 images is licensed under CCO 1.0, Public Domain Dedication.
After everything was saved I uploaded it to WordPress. My template does not have a header image so I am using the header for a featured large image post. I somewhat regret using Photoshop, as I am still a novice at it. If I had used Pixlr or Canva it would have taken me far less time to create the final image. If I had taken the time to learn Canva or Pixlr, I could have created almost the same image. I hope this header helps people see that your tools to do matter, what you do with them does.
Lewis, A. (2019). Night PC 9.26.19 – no WM-4 [photo].
Lewis, A. (2019). 7D Mark II-1 [photo].
Lewis, A. (2019). New Watermark NEW 1-2 [photo].
“1296797” (CC0 1.0) by OpenClipart-Vectors / 27425 images, Pixabay.
Davidson, P. (2015) ““Because of the Pixels: On the History, Form, and Influence of MS Paint.” Journal of Visual Culture 13(3), page 275-297. (PDF)
Sinnreich, A. (2019) “The Origins of Intellectual Property.” The Essential Guide to Intellectual Property. Chapter 1, page 1-17. (PDF)
Manovich, L. (2011, November 1). Inside Photoshop. Retrieved October 1, 2019, from http://computationalculture.net/article/inside-photoshop.
I was able to use these photos since, as Aram Sinnreich (2019) points out in “The Origins of Intellectual Property,” “only the owner of a copyright can reproduce a work,” and I am the owner of my photos (p. 4)