Our Clio 2 class has been busily building up our Photoshop skills and this week we showed off some of the techniques we’ve been mastering through a variety of image assignments. Since there was no reading assignment, we were tasked to review the work of one of our classmates. I am reviewing Nathan Michalewicz’s page.
The first aspect which struck me was how fantastic his recolorization image turned out. The colors are slightly faded, making it appear exactly like an old color photograph from the 1960s or a painting from the 19th century Realist school. The colors chosen seem appropriate for the time period and more importantly, they are added with care and precision down to the gold buttons. The man’s skin is a little pale, but not enough to detract from the overall effect. The decisions on cropping and repairing the photo are also well chosen.
The woodcut of Murad III is also effectively manipulated. Removing the artifacts from the archive: stamps and borders, helps the viewer imagine the Sultan without the materiality of the woodcut. The tan background, blended with the black and white photo is a very effective technique. That, plus the vignette effect, makes the graphic very well suited to the earth tones of Nathan’s page design.
I have very few critiques of Nathan’s photo editing choices. Besides the overly pale skin of the man with the chair, I thought the vignette effect reduced the contrast of lines and cross-hatching on the woodcut of Murad and ultimately was less powerful than the original. I think a smaller diameter of vignette/fading would have the same blending effect with more impact.
A few other small nits that are secondary to the image assignment. First, the text in the background with the very complex images might be a little too busy. A single color or simpler background might work better on this particular page. Second, the copy could use one more pass for typographical errors. Again, not related to the images, but correctness always helps the page’s authority. Finally, the page title (not just the header) should reflect “image” not “type.”