Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just the facts: no mud

Remember when I got the chance to design the Savannah Morning News' primary election guide? Well, because I already had experience with things like this, I was dubbed the general election guide designer, too. I got to come up with a whole new concept for a whole new tab, which published Oct. 24, but this time I was a little more informed. I knew exactly how to format the inside, and I even had half as many pages the second time around.

For the cover, I came up with a concept of  "clearing the mud away" from all of the candidates' mudsluging. My initial idea was to shoot mud cleared away by wipers on the windshield of a car, but after talking to one of the photographers, we decided that a piece of Plexiglas would work just as well. And he came up with having a squeegee wiping the mud away so there would be a reason for the clean space.

The best part? We got to make the mud, play in the mud and figure out the right consistency for the perfect shot. Who would have though that we would be playing with mud a professional journalists? Anyway, so here are some before and after shots courtesy of Richard Burkhart and myself.

Here is before I wiped away the desired amount of mud.

The raw image before all the Photoshopping happened.

And the finished product.

To get a dirty effect on the text as well, I duplicated the original photo, then cut out the "clean" part of the photo so I had three photo layers. I placed the text on top of the original photo but behind the "dirty" and "clean" layers. Then, I duplicated the "clean" part several times. On each of the "clean" layers, I used the magic wand tool at differing strengths to delete sections of the photo so that different parts would shot up on different layers. Finally, I set most of the "clean" layers to different opacities so the black letters could be seen beneath them. Overal, I reall like the effect, and I have gotten many praises on the cover. The best part is that from beginning to end, this was my baby, and I took full ownership of it this time.

What do you think?


  1. I like it!!!! Thanks for showing the process, that makes it even more impressive.

  2. Fantastic job! I love the concept, and the execution is splendid as well.