Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Altering Digital Images

This is an altered image of two digital photos that I played with in Photoshop. I am just learning this program and this was my first, rough attempt at using the Layers option.

I took an e-class on the Artella website called Digital Altered Books Revealed. I've always wanted to try the traditional form of altered books, where you work with an actual book, and I even have a few used books set aside for that purpose. But, like a majority of my projects, it is still on the back burner. So when I saw the opportunity to learn about altering a book digitally, I thought I would check it out.

All you needed was an image program like Photoshop (which is what I have) to get started. I was hesitant to sign up, though, because the only features I have ever worked with regularly in Photoshop are the image enhancements and a few attempts with the Layers option. Some of those turned out as disasters that I just deleted. In a way, taking the class was a little bit like learning to type before you learn to read; you work with alot of commands that you really aren't familiar with, but you like the results.

The class was great! The instructor showed how to alter the front cover, 8 internal pages that are chosen for you, and the back cover. She showed how you use digital ephemera packs to alter each page, how to change their size and color, and how to add your own text and images to the book. After the class I really wanted to try it for myself. At the Artella site you can purchase ready-made vintage e-books, from a selection of about 30, that you can then alter yourself. You can also purchase the ephemera packets; all of this at a very low cost. Included in the cost is the actual conversion of your book to a format that lets you physically (with your mouse) turn each page like you would if you were reading an actual book. The pages flip over as you turn them and you even hear the page turning. I've never seen anything like it, and there are great examples of finished products on the website.

Needless to say I am excited about this project and I am going to start on my digital book today. I chose to alter a book about dolls. Those looked like fun images to play with. There is a great mix of doll clothes, faces, and some interesting text in the ten pages you get to alter, so when I finish I'll put the link here for you to check out.

In the meantime I am reading Photoshop For Dummies (that's me) and am learning alot. There is so much that the program can do; I am just concentrating on the basics. My husband and I bought a digital camera this past weekend (finally!) and I really want to be able to incorporate my photos into my art. So I have plenty of work to keep me busy and as I make progress I will post the results here. Wish me luck.

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