Tag Archives: Photoshop

Photo Emulation Project

This was for a visual research project in my digital photography class. After selecting a photographer, we had to research him or her then emulate the style of the photographer with our own photos. When I discovered Lee Friedlander, I was sold. He can take the ordinary and make it extraordinary!

This was a fun project for me. All the times I thought I was making mistakes, a famous photographer was making art out of it! Granted, I was making mistakes, but Friedlander gave me a lot of hope and inspiration that I could improve my craft.

The majority of my photos are digital that were brought into Photoshop to try to make them look like black and white film. That is very hard, if not impossible, to replicate. I was also taking a black and white film photography class from the same instructor and she let me use some of those in this project. As for cameras, I used an Olympus VR-320 and a Chinon 35mm with Arista EDU 400 ISO film.

America by Car

This series is what caused me to fall in love with Friedlander’s work. How many times have you taken a picture out of your car window and caught the car in the frame? He didn’t see it as a mistake; he worked with it. I love that he tied his series to the road trip, because I think the road trip is an innocent and unique part of American history. It makes me think of Route 66 and the 50’s and 60’s when the automobile was still relatively new.

I had spent several years commuting between Muskegon and Grand Rapids (120 miles a day at one point) and while it’s boring, there is a certain beauty to the highway.

Jaime's America by Car - I Can't Drive 55
Jaime’s America by Car – I Can’t Drive 55 (digital)

I’ve always been fascinated by what you can catch in your vehicle’s mirrors. You can see the past, present, and future all at the same time.

Jaime's America by Car - Emptiness
Jaime’s America by Car – Emptiness (digital)

This is one of the few film pieces. It was pure serendipity I caught the car in the mirror. Perhaps what is more amazing is that it was probably going around 55 mph.

Jaime's America by Car - On the Move
Jaime’s America by Car – On the Move (film)

The Little Screens

My first reaction to Friedlander’s series was that it was haunting and creepy. An article in my research pointed out something I never thought of. TV’s were still sort of new in the early 60’s. I’m sure they were alien for their time and I think that adds to the haunting quality of them.

This was another serendipitous shot. I turned on the TV to take a picture of it and I captured this woman on the Price is Right. Her appearance was so perfect for the theme.

Jaime's Little Screens - The Price is Right
Jaime’s Little Screens – The Price is Right (digital)

I expanded my Little Screens to include my laptop, as we are now truly attached to our “little screens”.

Jaime's Little Screens - Home Office
Jaime’s Little Screens – Home Office (digital)

My tribute to the movie Poltergeist.

Jaime's Little Screens - They're Back
Jaime’s Little Screens – They’re Back (digital)

The Selfies

Living in an era of the selfie-obsessed, I am intrigued by Friedlander’s self-portraits. Even though he has access to the same technology as every teenager in the world, he doesn’t have the bad camera-phone-in-the-mirror-with-duck-lips shot. He’s creative in the use of his own image; He doesn’t always stage them. He manages to capture himself in the same kind of mundaneness and simplicity he captures his other subjects.

Friedlander looks pretty rough in some of his selfies. My photo was inspired by the look he had in Philadephia PA (he’s sitting shirtless in a chair) and Philadephia (he’s in front of a mirror with his camera). I was a little concerned about taking a shirtless photo of myself (and using it in a class project on top of it!), but I like how it came out.

Jaime's Selfies - The Morning After the Night Before
Jaime’s Selfies – The Morning After the Night Before (digital)

I never thought about using shadows as a subject. I was doing the shoot on Easter when I found a cross marking a pet’s grave. It seemed apropos.

Jaime's Selfies - Easter Rising
Jaime’s Selfies – Easter Rising (film)

This is one of my first shadow selfies. It was just fun to try!

Jaime's Selfies - Rocky Road
Jaime’s Selfies – Rocky Road (digital)

Road Signs

I didn’t do much research into Friedlander’s signs series, but the fact he could take something as mundane as a sign and make it interesting intrigued me. Of course I had to try!

This is the backside of the sign I would use to find my house at night. Exciting, eh?

Jaime's Road Signs - Don't be a Square
Jaime’s Road Signs – Don’t be a Square (digital)

This is one of my favorite photos. The mailboxes are a little more prominent than the road signs, but I love it anyway.

Jaime's Road Signs - Life by the Highway
Jaime’s Road Signs – Life by the Highway (digital)

I have no idea why there’s a stop sign, never mind a shortened stop sign, by this power pole out in the middle of the woods. But it’s very interesting!

Jaime's Road Signs - Short Stop
Jaime’s Road Signs – Short Stop (film)


This page showcases some layout work from a few different classes. It includes a newsletter, book cover, and magazine. Laying out text is challenging. It’s important to keep the text legible while keeping the pages attractive and easy to read.


For the newsletter assignment, we had to design a three-page newsletter of our choosing from scratch. Since I’m a bit of a yarn nut, I made one about fiber art. The copy and some of the images are not mine (see credits at the end of this page).

Newsletter Layout 1
Newsletter Layout 1
Newsletter Layout 2
Newsletter Layout 2
Newsletter Layout 3
Newsletter Layout 3

Book Cover

For the book cover assignment, we had to design three coordinating dust jackets. The author and the books could be real or made up. I am a big Neale Donald Walsch fan, so I chose him and made up three books using text from one of his products. The artwork is the same image on each cover; I cropped it and resized it differently for each one.

bk1Book Layout 1
Book Layout 1
Book Layout 2
Book Layout 2
Book Layout 3
Book Layout 3


For the magazine assignment, we had to create a four-page spread from a real magazine of our choosing. Still the fiber nut, I chose to replicate pages from Spin Off magazine. We had to research the content before doing the layout, so the copy is a mix of different websites. One of the most challenging parts of the assignment was trying to identify the fonts the original publisher used!

Magazine Layout 1
Magazine Layout 1
Magazine Layout 2
Magazine Layout 2


Copy: Stacey Budge-Kamison, Franklin Habit, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Scarf Photo: JennyRaye (Ravelry)
Inspiration Point Photo: Jordann (Pinterest)
Sheep image, Ginger Cat Knits ad, and Yay for J: Jaime Shafer

Book Cover
Copy: Neale Donald Walsch
Author Photo: Google Images
Artwork: Robert Burridge

Copy and Photos:
Atelier Madam Butterfly
Ask The Bellwether

Digital Painting – Wenceslas Square

I’ve become very intrigued with the idea of creating paintings in Photoshop. The artwork is already digitized and best of all, no mess to clean up! If you’re following Yay on Facebook, you’ve seen some of those experiments. I’m getting a few of them printed up as they are just to see how the resolution and color holds up in reproduction. I really have no idea how to sell something like this since it’s not really a print. That’s a topic for another day.*grin* For now, I’m going to try to document my painting process. If nothing else, it should prove somewhat entertaining…

As far as materials go, I’m using Photoshop CC14 on a Windows 8 laptop. It’s not some super-pimped up box, just a reasonably priced lappy. For a graphics tablet, I found a VisTablet Penpad for $17 on Amazon. It’s not super-pimpy either, but it seems to work well for me. I think drawing tablet hand-eye coordination is going to be difficult no matter what brand it is. That’s a lot harder than it seems! Lastly, I’m using Alex Dukal’s Photoshop brushes. I’m using the AD Aquarellist Brushes and the Cartoonist Brushes. I also own the AD Pencils Garden, but I don’t think I’ll be using any of those.

When I went to Prague, I snapped this photo in Wenseclas Square. I’m the biggest horse’s ass I know, so the shot is perfect. *laughing hysterically* Actually, I love this photo. I love the lighting, I love the composition, I love it! So I fired up Photoshop, and created a new doc that is 15 in x 10.713 in with a 300px resolution. I figured that should allow a pretty large reproduction (like maybe a poster!)

Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czech Republic
Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czech Republic

I don’t know if it’s “cheating” to trace a photo or not. Yes, I can draw, but I really wanted to get started on this project, so I used the tablet to trace the photo. That was plenty of effort in itself, trust me! (That whole hand-eye thing.) I used the 04. AD Wet Strong Line – 40px Aquarellist brush in black to make my sketch. Part of learning how to use the tablet is realizing that pressure controls things like darkness.

Outline sketch
Outline sketch

I love the weekly newsletter from Artist’s Network.tv. Those videos make me think I can paint. In watercolor, even. I’ve never really had much luck in real watercolor, so I’m hoping digital watercolor works out for me. I threw in some sky using 45. AD Liquid Ink – Col Dyn 200px Aquarellist brush in RGB colors: 0, 174, 239.

Adding the sky
Adding the sky

Well, that looked pretty good. Let’s throw in some yellow for the buildings! Same brush, RGB: 255, 255, 0.

Adding the buildings
Adding the buildings

Man, I am feeling like an artiste now! Same brush, RGB: 46, 49, 146.

The road
The road

Still feeling super confident! Add orange! Same brush, RGB: 237, 28, 36.

More color
More color

Let’s just say that’s when things started to go to hell. I started adding more color and doing other fancy artist things, and I found out I was painting on the wrong layer. It wouldn’t have been a big deal except that I wanted to remove the outline layer at some point. I could tuck it below the layers I was painting on, but then I lost that color. Long story short, I tried some salvaging, didn’t like that, went back a few revisions, redid the color, and had no clue what to do next. I couldn’t get the color I wanted, the brushes were either too transparent or too dark.

Feeling like a real horse’s ass for trying this idea, I practiced blending colors using other brushes. I did some cartooning. I wasn’t very happy and my body was hurting from trying to use this stupid tablet stylus and I was cursing why I ever wanted to be an artist. So I went to bed.

I got my weekly Artist’s Network.tv newsletter and I watched this video about Tracey Creighton. I know very little about Tracey, but I love her work! This! This is what I needed! So with a renewed faith in my painting skills, I went back at it. This is where I started today, sans outline. My apologies for not documenting this part very well…there’s lots of colors applied using different brushes trying to achieve what I had in my mind. I am trying to stay with the standard swatches that come with Photoshop, though I have been taking samples of layered colors to get better blends.

More color, no outlines
More color, minus the outlines

I did some crazy painting on Wenseclas and his horse. That’s my focal point. I don’t care about realism. I want color and pop and wow! I used the 41. AD Wet Line 40px Aquarellist brush in various colors and in 100% to 50% opacity.

Detailing Wenceslas
Detailing Wenceslas

I think what intrigued me with Tracey’s technique is when she poured black ink and piped on white paint. It cured a few problems I was having. It got me out of my head and got me to play! In lieu of black ink, I’m using the 09. AD Broken Blotch 15px Cartoonist brush. Ah! I love how this came out!

More details on Wenceslas
More details on Wenceslas

I’m not sure where I’m going next with it, but I wanted to post this before I forgot. I took a piccy of the screen. Trippy! It looks databent (oooo…another idea!)

(This was originally posted on the old Yay for J in an article called, “The Artist Pretending it’s Art”. Since the website deconstruction, that post is no longer available. Also, this painting has not been completed yet. *sad face*)

Ginger Cat Knits Package Design

The purpose of this assignment was to design a package for something. Being a knitter, I noticed yarn and yarn kits rarely come in a box. I wanted to create a box that would hold the kit contents as well as be able to be used as a gift box when the project was finished.

I was thinking I would be using the box for my own yarn products, so I wanted to make something I could print on a home printer on demand. I liked the look of pillow boxes, and I have used this tutorial to make small ones, so I thought I could make one with two 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper. I ended up with a very odd shape when I folded the ends and I hated it.

Then I got the idea that the ends reminded me of my character, Angry Owl. So I drew a mockup on the paper:

First prototype (Angry Owl)
First prototype (Angry Owl)

That shape also reminded me of the cat logo I did for my friend Lea of Ginger Cat Knits:

First prototype (Ginger Cat Knits cat logo)
First prototype (Ginger Cat Knits cat logo)

When I showed them to Lea, she said it reminded her of the Owl and the Pussycat. I wasn’t familiar with the poem, but I learned there was also a turkey and a pig. That got my wheels spinning. Now I had two problems; how do I make this package (what shape is it?, can I even do it?) and what do these animals look like? It would be geared towards children, but the people buying the kit would likely be adults.

Package size prototypes
Package size prototypes. It would’ve been easier had I bought a box of fries and enlarged it. That was the shape I was after.
Owl and the Pussycat character sketch
Owl and the Pussycat character sketch. Would they work on one package together?

After several iterations, I settled on this shape for the box and this style for the animals. As my instructor pointed out, they were a little bland. Let’s get some color in there!

Package Prototype
Rough of the package shape and character design

Very well, then. Here’s some color and texture per your suggestion, Mr. Instructor. (Good idea.) The animals had a cardboard texture added to them, so they look like they are made out of bits of paper or felt. I carried that over to the background of the box, and used Ginger Cat purple on them.

Pig and Turkey
The Piggy-wig and the Turkey
The Owl
The Pussycat

I was a wee bit optimistic thinking I could finish all four by the deadline when I didn’t have the proper product photography and we weren’t sure how we were going to print these and make them into real things. We settled on the cat design and printed it on economy vinyl and stuck it to white cardstock.

Vinyl printout
Final package design printed on economy vinyl

I know there are some design/engineering issues that need fixing if I were to produce these, and I also know there’s a very good reason I did not go into engineering! Overall, I’m thrilled with how it turned out (as were Lea and Mr. Instructor)!

Final Package (Front)
Final Package (Front)
Final Package (Back)
Final Package (Back)

Photo Composites

This is a sampling of my Photoshop work.

The objective of this assignment was to take two images into Photoshop and morph them into one. I merged the Burton Tower on the University of Michigan’s campus with the Dancing Building in Prague, Czech Republic. I’m happy to say I took both photos.

Burton Tower
Burton Tower, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dancing Building
Dancing Building, Prague, Czech Republic
Final Merged Photo
Final Merged Photo

This project required us to pick an environmental topic and design an image depicting it. My topic was e-waste.  I wanted to make a family portrait showing how e-waste is turning the family living room into a landfill. I wanted the photo to look old and dirty. I used my own family to show the different generations. I am the child in the lower right looking at the scene trying to understand what I am looking at.

Obviously e-waste was not a problem for my parents’ generation (lower left).  My brother and I are laughing because we were just as oblivious as our parents were (he is by the television, I am the child on the quilt). My niece (with the hat) does not look happy with the situation, and my nephew (the young child on the couch) is crying, because as the youngest, he is going to be affected by this much longer than the rest of us.

The text was added to make it look like someone wrote, “E-Waste Landfills.  Recycle for the future.” on the photo.

Political Project Final - E-Waste
Environmental Project Final Photo – E-Waste

Environmental Topic Statement: E-Waste
E-waste is all of the circuit boards and parts in discarded electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions. It’s becoming a growing concern given the number of devices consumers purchase and discard every year. Most electronics end up in landfills or they are shipped to developing countries where materials are manually recovered. This is a global problem, because toxic chemicals and elements are released into the air and groundwater when e-waste is incinerated, left in a landfill, or manually recovered. Where there are some legitimate programs in place to facilitate recycling, few people actually recycle.