Sunday, April 26, 2009

Relections On The Cost Of Design

OMG! The cost of Adobe's Creative Suite graphic design package is just too much, or is it? No, actually it isn't, because what you obtain is a whole integrated package which will enable a graphic designer, web master, photographer, and videographer to create absolutely amazing work sometimes with a push of a few buttons.

I made the commitment this weekend and bought the Master Package... ouch! And along with it bought packages from Topaz and Photomatrix. The images below are from outside my studio today. It is raining so I knew the wet ground and car would make an excellent subject. The reflections are great.

You can see the out-of-the-camera image (top) and the lower one after just a few minutes in the Topaz products. The latter has much more graphic impact and was accomplished in just a few minutes. If it were to be used in a Subaru ad I would have made the logo more prominent, toned down the purpleness of the building, and would do a little vignetting.

Product shots like cars are all about reflections and using light to mold the form of the car. In this case it was a cloudy and rainy day and perfect for creating the type reflections needed to bring contrast and detailing together. It isn't real intuitive, but some subjects actually look better on an overcast day. If you ever visit a photographer's studio you'll see that their lights are covered by large things called softboxes. These 'boxes' soften the light, and significantly change the characteristics of the highlights, just like clouds do to the sun. You'll learn that in lighting 101 classes. Then you add in the magic of your image editing software and then you have an image worth some money..... to someone.

It was a reflective day for me. It is a cold rainy spring day in Savage Minnesota. Sitting within the screened porch, covered with a blanket, a cat on top of that, and a cup of coffee warming my chilled hands.... I sat letting thoughts drift. While listening to the seemingly wistful spring call of chickadees and morning doves in the distance I felt the soft soaking rain in the air around me.

A mist of heat rose from my coffee cup which warmed my cold and stiffened fingers, and I wondered what exactly was I going to use these expensive tools for. My problem has always been that I think in terms too large for my own good. Like the project that Brian and I are discussing for example (see prior posts).

I have a few ideas for Designs For Good which are too new to even post about. It will be good, good for me and whatever good comes to others through my meandering and wanderings of how to best apply the skills given to me.

It is very rare I thought.... as I heard a call of a Loon coming from our creek below. The call echoed about the step hillsides framing the creek's valley, and faded back again into the sound of gentle rain. It must be on its way from the southern home to one of Minnesota's ten thousand lakes I thought. And yesterday I saw a Cedar Waxwing for the first time in over tens years of living here. It too on its way up north to replenish itself. The travel north is one of the most dangerous times for migratory birds.

We must invest ourselves to be replenished.

And tomorrow is Monday and back to reality in my 9 to 5.

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