Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Juggling Wineglasses

I thought I would share another how-did-I-do-that with you.

Last summer I created a picture I called Happy Hour. I had just done another piece called Blue Plate Special, and I was still in the mood for blue. I thought it might be fun to have a pair of hands juggling wine glasses.

When I'm taking pictures for a new idea, I take a lot of photos. I don't have a fancy photo studio, and the best lighting I've found at my place is the outside deck. I took several pictures of the blue goblet. Below are just a few.

I found the best way to take its picture was to hold it up in the air with the sky as the background. This makes it easier to remove the background by having less clutter behind it. I tilted it at different angles because I wanted it to look like there were several wineglasses, and I'm always conscious of highlights and shadows. I knew that later I would have to erase the hand from the picture.

I picked out two that I saved and cut them out, but of course there were still remnants of the fingertips. That's okay. there is nothing in Photoshop you can't cure with a little clone stamping and smudging. You do whatever it takes.

I also had other things to gather up. I have an image I created and re-use for my tile floors called checkerboard, a picture I took at the beach, and some shots I took of my hands.

The floor had to be colored (levels work the best to turn black into color), turned 45°, and then given the proper perspective. I've found just using the Perspective transformation in Photoshop gives a bit of a bowling alley effect to it, so solve this by applying  the Perspective transformation, then I squash it in the Scale transformation, and keep going back and forth until it looks right.

I had to do some fixes with the water. The file was small and had to be enlarged. The Golden Rule of graphics is never to enlarge an image, but sometimes with a little trickery and some artistic filters, you can get away with it. I also had to straighten the horizon, which was curved because of the wide-angle shot.

I piled them all up in their own layers, including the shadows and highlights. I didn't do it here (because I'm lazy sometimes), but it's good practice to name each layer. I can easily accumulate up to twenty layers in one scene, and sometimes I start losing track of what they are. Note that each wineglass has its own layer, as well as each hand. That gives me more flexibility to move things about.

So, there you have it--easy as pie!


  1. Well, it is Pi day but I don't think I would find this process easy, at all! Thanks for showing how you did it. All that work paid off in a super bit of art, Deborah.xx

  2. Thanks for posting this happy piece on Digital Whisper. I love what you did with your photographs and enjoyed reading how you created your piece.

  3. I love reading your process and I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't realise just how much work goes into your clever and beautiful pictures. Brilliant art, Deborah and thanks for sharing.


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