Photoshop Practice- Vintage Effect


This week I have been experimenting with Photoshop techniques. I’ve begun editing some images I have taken for my Assignment and applied different layers with different colour fills and changed their opacity and the blend modes of each to create a vintage inspired image. I have the explored the ellipse tools to cut around the image and create an interesting frame that fits the vintage feel. Above is the result.


Assignment Two- Theme Photography


This is a shot I took for my fairy tale theme. Here I am trying to portray a lighter tone rather than reflect the more darker story that is reminiscent of the Brother’s Grimm versions of the tales.  I like the movement in the picture created by the blurs from the hair and skirt. The image has not yet been edited in Photoshop but I think I would like to create a vignette around the edges of the image and brighten up the colours to heighten the ambience.

Tutorial: Portrait Retouching – 15min Makeover

Here is a very useful tutorial I came across that is on how to retouch skin naturally. Its very detailed and goes through many of the techniques we learnt in class on retouching skin, including adding blurs and masking while working non-destructively on an image.

ERIKA GENTRY: Art & Education

In the hallway of CCSF, we stopped a student and asked her if we could give her a 15 minute makeover. Digitally that is. Follow along with us using the steps in the video if you want to learn what we did today in P60B Intermediate Photoshop. -Erika

Download the image file
Additional information and steps and info on the pdf

Digital Retouch (Katrin Eismann)
Carrie NYC (Carrie Beene)

Also check out a similar technique “How to make a post-production glow”.

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Source of Inspiration-“The Book of Lost Things”

Quotes from the book:

“Everything you can image is real”- Pablo Picasso

“Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood that in the truth that is taught by life”- Friedrich Schiller

“For in every adult dwells the child that was, and in every child waits the adult that will be”- John Connolly

I have recently ready John Connolly’s, The Book of Lost Things, and found it a great source of inspiration for my upcoming assignment. The novel adopts a gothic fairy tale style to express ideas about the fragility of childhood and the corruption of innocence as the perplexing transition from child to adult is realised. This reminded me of Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland in which similar themes are explored. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice goes through a variety of strange physical changes. The unease and discomfort she feels towards her fluctuating body size and losing control of specific body parts throughout the story is symbolic of the changes that occur during puberty.

The Book of Lost Things begins with ‘Once upon a time’, creating an allegorical allusion to childhood in its purest form and establishing the innocent image of the central characters’ personae. While the fairy tale style does promote a child-like quality, the intertextual reference to the Brothers Grimm shows a traditional version of the fairy tales, where a dark and furtive nature is portrayed. This inevitably reflects the loss of innocence of the main character.

Characters such as the harpies, the enchantress in the tower, and the huntress in the Book of Lost Things are used to provide a complete contrast to the protagonist. These fairy tale figures have much weighty symbolic significance as they offer a metaphorical reflection of the characters presented in the real world of these texts.  Connolly’s ability to meld aspects of the real world into the fantasy world proves a powerful technique and reflects his own view that ‘Everything you imagine is real’.  David’s misplaced hatred for his step mother Rose is mirrored through characters depicted in the melancholic world of his imagination. Evil characters are often presented as uniquely female in both the real and fictional world. Characters such as the enchantress are portrayed in a sinister light, symbolically conveying David’s dislike of Rose, through powerful imagery describing her, ‘eyes were black, devoid of colour, like lumps of coal set in snow…there was a sibilant undertone to her words, as though a snake had been given the power of speech’. This bold link creates a negative image of Rose and the other female characters in the novel as they too embody David’s hatred towards his step mother. This audience becomes aware of the strong parallels between the real and imagined world. To the same effect, Alice in Wonderland creates strong connections between characters in the real world and the imagined characters in Wonderland.


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Research- Fairy Tales

Through research I explored different perspectives of fairytales and the hidden meanings within them.



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According to Bruno Bettelheim in his book “The Uses of Enchantment: The meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales”, fairytales such as “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Hansel and Gretel” envelop the loss of childhood innocence. In the story “Hansel and Gretel” the two children come from a deprived background and as a result their parents worry about how they will be able to take care of them. Bettelheim believes that a central theme in the story is greed, highlighting that poverty and deprivation do not improve man’s character, but rather make him more selfish, less sensitive to the suffering of the others, and thus prone to embark on evil deeds. Bettelheim also adheres to ideas of oral fixation, when the children come across the gingerbread house it is too attractive to resist, again highlighting ideas of greed and selfishness.

In his book, Bettelheim examines the story of Little Red Riding Hood as she encounters the wolf in the forest, presenting ideas about entering adulthood through her loss of innocents. While there are many interpretations of fairytales, in particular that of “Little Red Riding Hood” Bettelheim focuses on Perrault and The Brother’s Grimm versions of the tale. He presents an in depth analysis of both stories, highlighting that the main theme is her loss of virginity and reaching her sexual maturity and therefore her loss of innocents. The wolf is seen as the predator or antagonist of the story, often interpreted as a petifile, preying upon children because he is the seducer. In Perrault’s version when Little Red Riding Hood says to the wolf “What big arms you have” the wolf replies “All the better to embrace you with” and when she says “What big legs you have” the wolf says, “To be better able to run”. This adheres to the idea of the wolf as the predator. Eventually however, Little Red Riding Hood escapes from the wolf’s stomach and takes revenge on him by filling his stomach with stones to replace herself. In the Brother’s Grimm tale there is a second version where Little Red Riding Hood learns from her experience so that next time she is approached by a wolf she runs to Grannies house and together they kill the wolf by placing a pot of water under the chimney so that when he climbs down he drowns himself.

Common Theme- Fairy Tale Research

This week I have focused on developing ideas for my common theme assignment. This has involved a lot of research into many different versions of fairy tales.  The history of fairy tales has dated back to the late 17th century so there are many different variations. Originally, adults were the indented audience of fairy tales but in the 19th and 20th centuries fairy tales became associated with children literature.


Disney and Brothers Grimm versions:

Fairy tales have provided a rich source of inspiration for Disney.  These versions are more innocent as they are aimed at children. They deal with idealism and imagination that build a positive outlook to life that dreams can come true. While Bothers Grimm versions are much more darker, dealing with sadistic villains abuse, death and neglect.


Disney version defines characters as good and bad. It tells the story of a poor young woman who lives with her evil stepmother and stepsisters after the death of her father. She is kind and has a strong friendship with the animals occupying the house. With the help of her fairy godmother she attends a ball and falls in love with a prince before running home to make her curfew. In the end he rescues her and they live happily ever after. The Brother’s Grimm version is a similar tale but involves much more violence and mistreatment. Cinderella is a slave in the household who endures harsh abuse and cruelly. The stepsisters are punished for mistreatment, having their eyes pecked out by birds at Cinderella’s wedding. 


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Snow White:

Both versions of Snow White are similar but in the Brother’s Grimm version, the Queen orders a Huntsman to kill Snow White and bring back her liver and lungs instead of her heart. In this version, the Huntsman still fails to kill Snow White but instead brings back a boar’s insides that the Queen boils and eats thinking they are Snow Whites. In the Disney version Snow White is brought back to life by a prince who kisses her but in the Brother’s Grimm version the prince finds Snow White dead. He thinks she is beautiful and wants her. Snow White is woken after the glass coffin is knocked moving it to his castle and the poison apple is dislodged from her throat. The Brother’s Grimm version the Queen is punished by waring red hot ion shoes at Snow Whites wedding. She is forced to dance in the shoes until she eventually dies.


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