Alan Kaplan  

The Puppeteer by Alan Kaplan

July 2021 - The Puppeteer

July 2021 - Alan Kaplan


July 2021 - Alan Kaplan

Original 2

July 2021 - Alan Kaplan

Original 3

About the Image(s)

The figures in this composite were cut and pasted, and the puppeteer’s strings were drawn using the Pen Tool. To use the pen tool to draw a line in Photoshop, make a dot. Place the cursor wherever you want the end of the line to be, and shift-click. A line magically appears.
To create the shadow:
• Duplicate the layer of the image that is getting the shadow (Ctrl-J)
• Double click the label in new layer and delete the word “copy”
• Double click the label in original layer and change label to “shadow”
• Highlight the “shadow” layer
• Press Ctrl-U to get Hue/Saturation Properties Box
• Drag Lightness slider all the way to the left to turn the Shadow layer image black
• Select the Move Tool and drag the shadow away from the duplicated image in the new layer
• You may need to flip the shadow to match the figure; if so, go to Image > Image Rotation > Flip Horizontal/Vertical
• Use the Move Tool to align the shadow to its image or . . .
• Use select the shadow and use Edit > Transform to shape the shadow by right clicking on the shadow and selecting one of the transform tools that appear; experiment with the pop-up tools to shape your shadow
• If you want to make the shadow lighter, first reduce the opacity to taste
• Next use the Gaussian Blur filter to add blur; again, to taste; these last 2 steps are trial-and-error
A few weeks ago I got a fortune in a fortune cookie that I feel, given the numerous steps we use in creating our composites, is appropriate to PSA’s Study Groups: “An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” I was curious about such an insightful quote so I Googled it. The quote is from James Whistler of “Whistler’s Mother” fame.

11 comments posted

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Great composition, as usual.

A similar quote is attributed to Whistler in a court dialogue as follows, at this site:

"Oh, two days! The labour of two days, then, is that for which you ask two hundred guineas!"

"No;-I ask it for the knowledge of a lifetime." (Applause.)

Unfortunately, according to that site, Whistler lost the case and was not paid his requested price.   Posted: 07/02/2021 18:04:26
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
Thanks for stopping by again. Your Whistler quote shows he really did put artistic vision above labor.   Posted: 07/03/2021 07:15:44

Aavo Koort   Aavo Koort
You used great imagination to combine three unrelated images into a new image. Very sharp and colorful background. This could be a good book cover. For example about politics in Washington DC.   Posted: 07/06/2021 13:49:54

Kathy Triolo   Kathy Triolo
I really like this and think it's one of my more favorite images you've created.
It works well on all levels except one, it's missing the shadows connecting the lines you added so that it feels a bit unfinished. (unless you meant it to be that way)   Posted: 07/06/2021 14:12:06
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
I'm happy you like "The Puppeteer" so much. I did leave out the shadows of the puppeteer's strings because I felt there would be too many (8) lines on the floor drawing attention away from the overall image.   Posted: 07/06/2021 14:49:47

Brad Becker   Brad Becker
Alan, You've nailed it with this one. Simple, clean, colorful and thought provoking. Well done!   Posted: 07/07/2021 21:15:14
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
Thank you.   Posted: 07/08/2021 11:18:41

Tom Kredo   Tom Kredo
Hi Alan,
Well done composite. Clever use of the images to create something new and has a bit of a story. Thanks for taking the time to explain your process. I'll save it for future reference as will replace my old method.
One small nit, the shadow of the box seems odd to me. Seems too long and narrow, instead of square, and it seems too small. Cheers.   Posted: 07/08/2021 13:35:30
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
Thanks for your feedback. I felt the shadow of the puppeteer should be smaller as he is in the air. All of the shadows are a bit elongated due to the position of the (unseen) light source, but the shadow of the jack's box, which is a part of an overall elongated shadow, looks square to me. At least that's what I tried to do.   Posted: 07/08/2021 14:38:25

Peggy Nugent   Peggy Nugent
I think this is really great, Alan! So clean and colorful and guaranteed to haunt my dreams. That is one creepy clown!
I love the gradient of the background. The happy colors really work as a juxtaposition with the characters, reinforcing how they are the opposite of happy. I think it's great how the woman's looking at the man brings my eye back over to him, and how his upraised hands bring me up to that scary clown.
Beautiful job with the strings. Thanks for the tutorials! I am shaky on shadows, so particularly appreciate your great step by step instructions.

  Posted: 07/16/2021 15:37:16
Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
Thank you for your feedback. I'm happy you enjoyed the composite.   Posted: 07/16/2021 21:48:57


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