Digital Images Created in Photoshop

The advent of Adobe Photoshop unleashed the ability to create and manipulate images in an almost infinite number of different ways. In this manner, Photoshop can be said to have changed the world’s perspective on reality. So much so, that people may no longer automatically “believe what they see”, since it’s now possible to alter images in ways that are almost impossible to detect.

If you are not familiar with Photoshop, it is a program designed to allow people to create and edit all types of images on their computers. Its original, and still for many its principal function, is to enable you to perform touch-ups on pictures before printing or posting online. Naturally, each subsequent version of Photoshop included more sophisticated tools which allow you to correct minor errors or produce advanced effects from the original photograph. The Photoshop of today also allows the creation of sound files and animation for sharing online.

In the past, images had to be saved in very particular file formats in order to be manipulated in Photoshop. However, because of the explosion of digital cameras and camera phones today, Photoshop can actually import the photographs directly from the source. This means that the time between taking the picture and sharing it is reduced.

Previously, when individuals took ‘bad’ pictures there was nothing they could do to correct the errors. This meant that that if the image was blurred due to camera shake, or if there was red-eye caused by the flash, you had to either live with these imperfections or delete the image all together. Now of course, there are countless numbers of basic photographic software programs that can quickly and automatically correct these kinds of imperfections. This means that most digital pictures taken nowadays can be ‘rescued’ even if there are multiple technical issues with the original shot.

Of course, Photoshop has now evolved well beyond these kinds of image ‘quick fixes’. As an ‘Image Manipulation’ tool, you can take any image and implement all kinds of create and artistic ‘non destructive’ effects. This allows you to try out all sorts of variations of effects and if you are not pleased with the result, simply revert ‘back in time’ using Photoshop’s ‘History’ tool. Using this tool, you can gradually ‘step back’ through each effect you added until you arrive at the point you’d like to re-try the sequence using a different effect. This allows you to experiment using a vast number of different tools until you achieve the result that you were looking for.

One of the most powerful features of the software is the ability to work in multiple ‘layers’. This allows you to manipulate different elements of the picture in creative ways and move semi-transparent ‘layers’ over each other to achieve the desired effect. The final resulting single image may in fact be composed of several dozen, perhaps even hundreds of layers – many with special effect filters.

You can tell that an immense impact is being caused by Photoshop by the fact that the company name is now used as a verb. It’s common nowadays to hear of someone ‘photoshopping’ an image (even although they may actually be using another image software program all together.) This is always a sure sign that a product is having a significant impact on the culture of the day.

Photoshop has also led to a whole new level of art and digital creativity. For example, graphic tablets were developed specifically for users of Photoshop. Artists of today have gone beyond using paints and a canvas. Today’s artists make use of tablet sensors and Photoshop to produce their masterpieces. The technology of this digital software, allows people to take the art of drawing, add computer techniques, and come up with a whole new genre of art. The availability and popularity of photo manipulation software has spawned a vast and creative library of highly modified pictures, many bearing little resemblance to the original image. Using electronic versions of brushes, image layers and filters, it’s possible to produce images unattainable through conventional artistic media. In addition, digital artists can create digital paintings, photomontage, collage or lithographs.

Adobe Photoshop might just be a simple software tool for some people. However, powerful tools, when used by enough people can change history. In this age where most media is defined by computers, Photoshop is another tool which, in the right hands, can change the world, or at the very least, change people’s perception of that world.

The Image Multipliers

The race is still on between the three giant stock photo agencies, CORBIS, GETTY IMAGES, and JUPITER IMAGES. The three have just about pulled it off. They own the rights to a major portion of the commercial stock photography in the world.

Like the view under the microscope of the ever-expanding organism dividing and reproducing itself, the Big 3 present a macro view of how the world of commercial stock photography is expanding. And it’s not through photographers tramping the globe, taking more photos. Instead it’s due to an incestuous technique (like cloning sheep) that the Digital Age has given birth to.

The Big 3 hold this hidden trump card each time they buy up another stock photo agency:

Each time they acquire a new stock agency, they gain certain electronic rights for that agency’s photos. They also take steps to gain the right to digitally combine those images with other images in their files, by use of a waiver clause in their contracts with photographers.

Photographers who are not aware of what they are signing can inadvertently waive the attributions and integrity rights to a single photo or group of photos.

The mathematics of this process are ingenious. Not only do the Big 3 acquire new companies and new images, but an exponential expansion of certain of those images, whose copyright can become their property, according to current Copyright interpretation.

As we move into the Digital Age of photography, this new genre of photo is emerging. It has not arrived on main-street-digital yet — but we see prototypes of it in print ads and especially on TV.

I call this the Kaleidoscope Strategy. (Remember the tube toy you used to raise to the sky and then marveled at the changing myriad images as you turned the tube?) In terms of arithmetic, it goes like this: Any one of The Big 3 select five of their waivered pictures, digitize them, combine elements from the five into a variety of 25 new pictures, each substantially different from the original (green sky on this one, a small tree from that one, a vintage automobile from this one, etc.) and presto! You have a completely different mood, expression, and feeling to each new photo -and none are recognizable as any of the five original pictures.

Photographers who have signed contracts with the Big 3, signed in good faith expecting their pictures to continue to belong to them. Their original contracts may discuss not altering their original photos, but never mention extracting parts of an image to produce a new image of separate copyright. Some “work for hire” contracts, for example, stipulate “we retain usage rights in any medium now known or hereinafter developed for no additional payment.” As you can see, the photographer loses control of his/her picture when it is combined with parts of other photographers’ images.

CAN THE COURTS HELP?

No doubt court cases will toss the Kaleidoscope Strategy back and forth for years to come. The U.S. Copyright Law is a balance of interests: the user, the creator, and the publisher. In the end, those in judicial command who interpret the Copyright Law, will probably decree that it would interfere with “creativity” to disallow the process of combining images to make new images, in the spirit of how Picasso and other artists would combine images and items to make a collage or sculpture.

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WILL BILL GATES BECOME HISTORY’S

MOST FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHER?

Quick -who is the most famous author in the English language?

You probably answered “Shakespeare.” Most people would agree with you.

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“Immature artists imitate; mature artists steal.” –T.S. Elliot

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However, it’s well known that Shakespeare (named by some to be the 17th Earl of Oxford) “borrowed” most of his plots from lesser known writers.

“Everything has been said; men have been thinking for seven thousand years, so it’s too late;” –so said a 17th century French satirist. It’s not the job of writers to say anything new or original, but to rework old forms and ideas.

Shakespeare’s genius was to reshape contemporary or historical events, legends, and stories and rephrase them in rich imagery.

Is Bill Gates aspiring to rival the Bard by compiling rich particles of photography, and then combining them to make new statements that reflect our present-day culture?

Photography, as we know it, is passing through a metamorphosis. Bill Gates may be leading the way.

Who then owns copyright to these newly authored images? Whichever one of the Big 3 who created them. According to the Copyright Law, if sufficient “authorship” is invested in the re-making of an image, the copyright of this new composite belongs to the new author. With hundreds of thousands of images to work with, the Big 3 can conceivably more than double or triple their inventory of images. New Age images could be made on demand -not by photographers but by in-house experts in the art of digital manipulation.

Smaller stock houses probably won’t have the expertise, software, or legal resources to pull this off, but we can expect that the Big 3 will.

It’s important to remember that we are not talking about original images being altered, like the example reported in the May 2000 issue of PhotoStockNotes, page 7, where a T-shirt company altered a photographer’s photo, and the result was still recognizable as the original.

There’s a loophole here. If a judge can be shown that there was not “substantial” authorship — the case (like the one mentioned above) can be won by the photographer. If “substantial authorship” can be shown — the judge would not want to stifle creativity. The photographer would lose.

It’s likely that the Big 3 are currently buying up quality images and combining elements of them to make “new authorship” photos for themselves, as we speak. This means part of your picture may be used, but because of manipulations and enhancements, you may not recognize it. With powerful software, talent, and legal support, the Big 3 may fight to maintain Copyright Law interpretation the way most agencies and photobuyers currently interpret it. This would keep the door open for any waivered image in their files to be eligible for “kaleidoscope treatment.”

So right now, if you don’t want to contribute to the New Media world of kaleidoscopic images, before you sign a contract with a stock photo agency, strike out any portion of the contract that indicates your photo or parts of it might be used in combination with other photos. If the stock agency balks, insist that you claim a subordinate copyright interest in any digital file (new image) that is created, using any part(s) of any of your images. Read the fine print. -RE

Getty Images, Inc., 2101 Fourth Ave., Ste 500, Seattle WA 98121

Corbis, 15395 SE 30th Pl Ste 300, Bellevue WA 98007-6537

Jupiter Media, 23 Old Kings Highway South, Darien, CT 06820

(Jupiterimages Corporation, 475 Park Avenue South, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016)

Image Retouching 101: Enhancing Your Images With The Reflection Tool

Reflections can add depth and realism to any photo. Creating reflections may seem hard at first but once you learn how to do it step by step, you would be able to know how easy it actually is. Adding reflections is the best way to enhance any dull photos and breathes in new life to it. In less than 15 minutes, you would be able to use the basics of the Reflection Tool by following the steps provided below.

Crop, Copy, Paste

The first thing that we would do is to crop the image that you want to use and then copy it in a new layer. There are 2 easy ways to copy your photo. One is to use the lasso tool (this tool is useful for complex images); another is using the “marquee tool”. The Marquee Tool is particularly useful for pictures that are simple like a building structure. Choose the Marquee Tool and draw a box around the image. Right click on the image and choose the “layer via copy” to copy the selected image to the present layer.

Only do this step once. The selected image will be on top of the original photo. To check, you can drag the copied image down to see the original one.

Flip the Image

While still remaining on the new layer, click on the “Edit” button and from there choose the “Transform” and the “Flip Vertical” to turn the copied image upside down. It might look weird but this would actually serve as the reflection of the original. Move the upside down image below the actual picture until the original image and the flipped image aligns. To reduce the gap between the two, you can use the up and down buttons of the keyboard to adjust the image.

Blending

Reflections should not look like the original image and as such, we would need to blend the flipped image. The color blending is always set at normal as a default but you can change it to lighten or darken the flipped image. A graph is also shown on the right side of your work area which you can move to adjust the color from dark to light and vice versa. You can play around and choose the best one that would work out for you. Remember to save your work progress to ensure that all your works are retained. Saved images can be in .PDF, .BMP, or .JPEG formats.

Images of Tattoos – There is a Much Simpler Way to Find the Good Stuff

There’s no point to looking at images of tattoos is all you see is basic, generic stuff. In fact, most of the stuff you’re seeing is this awful, blurry, cookie cutter junk. It makes no sense to continue down that path, because seeing generic artwork can only lead to bad things, such as settling on something like that. If you want to see real, original images of tattoos, here’s how you’ll do it with ease.

I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much I hate cookie cutter tattoo art. Even sadder is the fact that over 80% of all people end up with generic tats. Most of them don’t do it on purpose, though. They do it because it’s all they could find, so they just “settled” on something. The worst part about this is that all of those folks end up regretting the fact that they stuck such a cookie cutter tat on themselves within a month or two. The quality of the images of tattoos you see can greatly influence the type of artwork you end up with. This is why you should really try to stay away form search engines when hunting for great artwork.

It might seem a bit drastic, but it’s really not. It’s just necessary. You will very rarely find any of the galleries that pack their pages with original, well drawn designs. They just don’t show up in their lists any more. A whole lot of generic laced websites do, though. This is why you need a new way to look for images of tattoos. You need a way that actually works for showing you all of the sensational image galleries out there. The best tool for this job will be large forums.

These huge forums are the perfect solution to this problem, because they have gigantic archives that are stuffed with topics about tattoo art. If you take a peek into some of the bigger ones, you can strip out names and links to every amazing gallery that other people have come across. People are constantly going back and forth, sharing and providing people with their recent findings of superb images of tattoos and the sites that are taking pride in posting the best available collections. It’s as simple as that.

The images of tattoos you get to see can have a very big influence on the type of artwork you choose for yourself.