Friday, March 2, 2012

How I Got The Shot #28 - Concept For A CD Cover

Happy March all!!

Welcome to another installment.
As some of you know, I am participating in Don Giannatti's fantastic Project52.  I contribute to the site writing articles and I also do the assignments along with the others.  For week 9, the assignment was to create a front and back CD Cover image for a new artist that is doing a cover of the Joni Mitchell song, "Amelia"(Lyrics).

Anyone that knows me is aware that this is not my kind of music.  However, listening to the song a bit, doing some research and reading the lyrics - got me to a place where I had some ideas on what we can do with this.

First thing I had to do was come up with some ideas.  I looked into the lyrics and found some inspiration from the passages that reference the jet vapor trails and looking at the geometric shapes one can see when looking out of a plane window.
With that done, I needed to look through the archives of what I had available.  Sometimes, when you are out - you'll get a feeling in your gut to take some images.  You might not know why, but just take them anyway.  The reason you are doing it is for assignments like this.

The cover image, seen below was originally from a trip I took to Disney in Florida a few years ago.

It obviously did not have a set of vapor trails like you see here.  I used some photoshop skills to get to that end.

This is how I did it.  I went out to Google and did some research into Joni Mitchell.  Specifically to see what kind of guitar she used.  I found out that she uses quite a number, but one was the 1966 Martin Acoustic D-28.   I then searched the internet to find an image of the guitar.  Found it and used the Pen Tool in Photoshop to create an outline of the guitar and any other distinguishing parts that would help.
The Pen Tool creates a "path" and this path can be manipulated.  In the Pen Tool menu is an option to "stroke path..."  I chose that option and selected the brush.
Before doing that though, make sure to setup the brush characteristics.  I went into the brush menu and selected the "rough round brush" at about 100px, changed the spacing to 70%.
Now, go back and do the "stroke path..." function and you'll get the rough brush outlined around the path you created.  Doesn't look right yet, but you've got a little more work to do.

Select the smudge tool and use that to blend the brush tips together.  Now it starts looking more like a jet vapor or wispy cloud.

I did the same for the guitar strings, just created a path of a straight line.

For the back cover  -  there was an image I captured on my way into the Salt Lake City airport.  I was lucky enough to have gotten a window seat by the wing.  I got this capture.  I know it seems a little cliche'd perhaps, but I think it fits the mood of the lyrics.

So - moral of the story?

Build up a good archive of images - even if you cannot think of a good reason at the time you are taking it - you'll have a good jump start on an assignment or some stock images.