First thoughts on assignment 4

Some weeks ago, when I started to struggle with this unit, I came to realise that I would need to keep this assignment as simple as possible without the need to use selection tools, layer masks and the like.

I had thought along the lines of the book, The Moon’s a Balloon, with a photo of a child, perhaps one of my grandchildren, with a moon image, distorted into the shape of a balloon, added to it. I managed to get my ‘moon’ images looking like balloons and had taken a couple of photographs of children which I might have been able to use but the whole thing just didn’t work for me.

My study of travel books in Waterstones Bookshop gave me another idea though. I quite liked the simplicity of some of the travel books depicting some of the places described in the books and as I was just about to embark on a trip to Shetland, I though this might work. I thought I would probably need 5 or 6 decent photographs illustrating some of the unique or interesting things about the islands, so for example, puffins, orchids, the iron age brochs, lodberries, the rugged coastline, fishing boats. Having been to Shetland before, I had some idea of what to expect and made a list. The only thing that might not be in my favour was the weather, cloudy at best, probably very windy and a very good chance of rain. I got my pictures and have a book called ‘The Shetland Story’ from my earlier visit which I am using as a model, so had an idea of the layout.

I have gone back to the dreaded layers in Photoshop Elements to work out how to put this together and literally worked step by step through a tutorial as I did it and whilst it is not finished yet, I now have a clearer idea of what I’m hoping to achieve. My first attempt highlighted a number of things:

  1. I need to decide on a background colour and a colour for text. I had initially thought that I would use one of the pictures as a background but the whole thing seemed very busy.
  2. I need to think carefully about where the different images go on the cover.
  3. I need to work out in advance how big each of the images should be. I’ve found that the best way of doing this is with a piece of A4 paper for the front cover and another cut up into smaller pieces for the photographs so that I can place them, change the sizes as required and so that I have exact measurements for each of the images when I come to put it together.

I’m not there with it yet but it is starting to look more positive.


About Anne Bryson

I live in Gloucestershire with my husband Iain and West Highland Terrier, Isla. I enjoy golf, photography and my grandchildren, not necessarily in that order! Having completed a 10 week digital photography course with the Open University in 2010 and wanting to take photography further, I enrolled on the Open College of the Arts BA (Hons) starting with 'The Art of Photography' which I thoroughly enjoyed. Next came Digital Photographic Practice followed by People and Place. In April 2016 I progressed to level two with Documentary and in June 2018 enrolled on my latest OCA course, Landscape.
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