There are so many things…

Learning to make images… from the mind, from live scenes, and from photographs. Where to start? For me, my challenge was to try to improve some things that I seem to have already shown some skill or success. But what was my weakest skill?

Looking at my images from the past it was always color. I never really studied palettes. A friend of mine said the best part of her 4 year study of art making, was developing a palette. Ha, well considering that my formal college education in art was one course in art appreciation, two courses in photography, and one course in live model sketching… Well, developing a color palette wasn’t in the curricula.

And my twenty-five year career in graphic design. Focused mostly on low cost B&W printing with minimum half-tones. I did gave color projects, but maybe only a dozen per year. Not enough to become very proficient.

So, considering I do best on my own, I conceived a plan. Search and download classic B&W headshots from Hollywood stars from the 40s and 50s. I also threw in some early silent, and later modern. They just had to be great B&Ws, with solid range of grey scale. The professional photographers of time had also years of classic posing, so the images were generally interesting.

My challenge was to colorize, with texture, and digital effects. Generally, this meant redrawing most of the details lost in the filtering process. I must say, I learned how to save a palette, and apply it to a series of images, I spent hours in applying layer changes to bring out tones and texture.

Mostly I had a great deal of fun. I even went back recently to use some new techniques to old images.

This YouTube video is a record of my Hollywood folder of images that I’ve saved.

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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