Barely a historian

Image Colorization and Retouching:

     I still can’t figure out what I did to mess up my blog and site. Turns out it may have been a blessing in disguise. I decided to change my project. Instead of revisiting my map project from last semester which focused on the size of the American home in relation to the American family, I decided to revisit one of my most beloved projects. The discovery of Baby Hammocks in Milwaukee. There is a great story that goes along with the images I want to use in my project. Besides the images, I can integrate maps and other techniques we learned in class.


     Unfortunately for me, that means I have to start from scratch. Hopefully I will have at least the basic framework up before class tomorrow. I have been working through the week and weekend to get it done. I am suffering from screen fatigue.

Speaking of screen fatigue I discovered something during the photo retouching lessons. My glasses have a coating on them to help eye fatigue and block blue light. They have a light tint to them, I realized a while ago they make white appear sepia. I am used to it. On occasionally do I notice it, for example, when I put clean sheets on my bed, I thought they were dingy because they were off white. Turns out it was just the glasses. I have adjusted to the off white walls, slightly off color things I see all the time. However, doing this project, I forgot and all of a sudden I realized the coloring I was doing was way way way way way brighter and off color than I thought. I had to make the adjustment to either not using my computer glasses or looking over the rims to see the real color.



Here is the colored version I like it, but I don’t know that I would use it. I would certainly airbrush out the 108 in the upper corner and crop out the other writing, but I wouldn’t colorize. I am a purist. I like the black and white look of the original. The fun part of this was figuring out how to find the right colors. Milwaukee is also known as “Cream City” it was a city built on bricks that were cream colored due to the different clay in the soil. The water tower and other tower in behind the building are made of the cream city brick. I was very careful to find a matching color.  The building was also located along the lake shore, so I had to figure in the sand in the soil as opposed to dirt.


   I went back in after class and played around with the vignette feature. While I don't think I would use colorization, I do think I would use this. I pulled an image I love from the National Archives, I am convinced the dog is a pug. When someone in the office is looking for an image to use I often yell "WAR PUG" and hope they will use this one. They never do. Not only do I insist this is a war pug, it is also a postal image. He is a postal war pug! I originally started working on this one for my recoloring image, but the Mexican style blanket in the back was making me want to pull my hair out.



While we were cautioned about being heavy handed with the vignette, I really wanted to showcase the dog not the people. I would also use this as my resize an image example. I cropped keeping the two people in the image, but I wanted the dog to be central. I dodge tooled a little around him to bring him more in to focus, and then used the vignette to darken around him and make him really pop out.




 If was going to play around with the vignette, I figured why not go all the way and play with an etching too. And if I am going to do it, I might was well bring in another pug. I found this goofy curious drawing in the Yale collection. I am sure it is some important piece of art that I am making a mockery of, but I like having fun with these projects. According to the site description It is The High and Mighty Pug Answering Fox's Proposal of Peace, which looks like it is some allegory Holland and Charles James Fox negotiating a peace agreement. It is above me, I am not even sure why a pug represents Holland because they are Chinese.




I cropped out and resized the pug, removed his word bubble and cleaned up a lot of the lines. Then I set to coloring him. To bring this post full circle, I realized after I colored him in that I have my tinted glasses on today. So now you can see how off my colors are. I thought this was a gentle pastel color. Turns out he is the easter bunny version of a pug smoking a pipe. Yes I wanted it purple. If  pug is going to smoke a pipe, it should be purple.



 I am a historian, but just barely.

Here is the original. I can see the benefit of being able to crop and retouch the original. As a matter of fact it is the ability to mess with resolutions that allowed me to figure out what this building was, where it was, and a whole host of other details

Courtesy of the National Archives

Courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library.



Barely a historian  I am a historian, but just barely.