I Need Vitamin Sea: Whining and Collage-Making

Summer always worsens my persistent cabin fever and wanderlust, especially for the seaside with its unique charm. I don’t know if I can wait until August for my “Vitamin Sea” after scrolling through all these beautiful pictures on Pinterest! But at the moment I am trapped inside, working on my projects for Digital Storytelling. Which is why I immediately chose the “You In Collage Form” Assignment from the Visual Assignment Bank, thinking of the vacation ideas I was pinning earlier (to see some, check out my travel-themed Pinterest board “Dream Passport”).

I was inspired by the casual layout that Pinterest provides to structure each board, arranging the different sized Pins so that they snap into preset spaces of varying standard sizes. However, after trying five different online collage makers, I could not recreate that effect. So I found that my best approximation was making a “PowerPoint” (actually using the Google Drive software’s Google Slides, free online with a Gmail account) that is sized to be a 3′ x 4′ poster so  I could fit everything in. If printing posters weren’t so expensive, I would actually love to print it. Then I simply added photos via url, which works seamlessly with Google Chrome’s menu option “Copy link address” and probably just as well with other browsers. I resized photos to optimize their clarity, as well as based on the importance they had, and arranged them around the frame of the background. The only involved photo-editing was turning the picture I chose for the center black and white, and cutting it into the shape of a heart, so it would stand out from the rest and break the block-y appearance it had. Finally, to make the background a little more subdued, I increased the transparency of the background image 10%, centered it, and made the slide color dark blue. And voila, a fun collage that tells you something about me.

Still wish I was going to the beach though.

I Am Clearly Jim Groom: Adventures in Old Fashioned Photshopping

My response to the Daily Create challenge to “Morph Into Jim Groom”. At first I thought it was a little bit of an odd challenge, but it grew on me. He’s a pretty cool looking guy. And interesting too. If you’re too lazy to Google who he is, let me just say he sounds pretty darn cool. Even though he doesn’t seem to have his own Wikipedia page, Wikipedia’s page on “edupunk” (yes, that’s a portmanteau “education” and “punk”) credits him with coining the term. Need I say more?

In case you don’t know what he looks like, here’s the picture of him that was used on the page:

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From http://daily.ds106.us/tdc1627/

I loved this photo so much I spent a long time trying to remember where my plaid flannel shirt was and figuring who to borrow a hat from, before I realized the easiest way to become Jim Groom! After all, before Photoshop there was always cutting out faces and pasting them onto your body.

But before I could do that, I had to find the right picture of myself to paste Jim Groom’s face onto, and get them the print approximately the same size (although I wanted Jim’s head to be a little bigger for comical effect, which I think was achieved); I also thought it would be a little funnier (hopefully? maybe?) if I were in a comical position already, like, say, waving a magic wand while a friend stands awkwardly in the background. Like this:

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For this project, I decided to do black and white partly because that cool photo of Jim Groom on the Daily Create page was in black and white, but also because I’m starting to have a thing for the aesthetic of black and white photography in general. It really does accentuate the human figure in my opinion.

To recolor it, I simply re-scanned it in black and white, and chose the black and white version over the colored one.  I would screenshot it for tutorial purposes, but unfortunately this option probably differs between computers, scanners, and software, so its best to avoid the confusion that could bring about. Finally, I cropped the picture, figuring it was unnecessarily large, taking away from the focus on me being Jim Groom.

I know you’re stunned to find out that is not Jim Groom himself, standing next to my bff who is awkwardly smiling and hoping this photo never makes it onto Facebook! Little did she know it would end up on a public blog…oh, and my Twitter

Here’s the beautiful finished product once again, and this time not cut off by WordPress:jimgroom