Stolen pictures, High-End Design, and Photoshop Trickery

by anna on August 29, 2008

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We are thinking about redoing our master bathroom (more on this later), so yesterday I paid a visit to the Pacific Design Center. I did this primarily to get ideas since I cannot afford to buy the things at Pacific Design Center, for the most part, with the possible exception of the Farrow & Ball we are going to use to repaint the master bedroom. For those of you unfamiliar with the Pacific Design Center, it is a giant building filled with mostly high-end interior design showrooms. If you watch a lot of HGTV, you have probably seen the interior of it at some point.
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The Pacific Design Center is located in West Hollywood, which is known as the “gay” section of town. (I’m sure these two things are unrelated.) Despite the fact that nearly every intersection in West Hollywood is outfitted with those automatic picture-taking ticket thingies, I’ve always been a huge fan of West Hollywood. I love West Hollywood for a couple of reasons. The first time I remember going to West Hollywood was in high school, on my way to the Beverly Center, and there was a guy riding a bike on the side of the road, practically in traffic himself, while wearing a thong leotard. So, there’s that, and then there are the pink buildings. I can really get behind a community that has a bunch of pink buildings. And a magnificent firehouse.
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So, obviously today is one of those days I feel like dicking around in Photoshop a little bit. I’m going to share some of the pictures I took yesterday at the Pacific Design Center, before a security guard came up and told me I wasn’t allowed to take pictures without permission. Here’s the exterior of the Pacific Design Center without any edits (except for size):
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Now here’s an “arty” edit of the same picture:
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To get this effect, what you do is:

  1. Open the picture in Photoshop
  2. Duplicate the Layer (Layer>Duplicate>Layer in Photoshop CS3)
  3. Use the lasso tool to select the part that you want to stay “still” (in this case, I lasso’d the whole building)
  4. Create a new layer via copy (Layer>New>Layer via copy)
  5. Select the background copy of the picture (should be the middle layer), and go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Play around with the pixel numbers until it looks the way you want.
  6. Save. And done.

My title for the header picture to this post is “urban prison,” but actually it’s just a different view of this giant chair they have outside of the Pacific Design Center:
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Here’s a picture of some pointy shrubbery (without edits):
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Here’s the same picture with a “glowy” edit:
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The way you get this is:

  1. Open the picture in photoshop.
  2. Duplicate the layer.
  3. Make sure you are on the duplicate layer, then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Blur the picture enough so that the shapes become fuzzy, but you can still see the boundaries between objects and the different colors are clear.
  4. Go to layers palette (on right side of screen, towards the bottom), and change the mode from “Normal” to “Overlay.”
  5. If it is too dark, then you can adjust the curves (Image>Adjust>Curves) to fix it.
  6. Voilà.

But, ugh. Look at that white spot in the corner. It’s way too bright.
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Using the extract filter (Filter>Extract), I got it to look a little better:
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Then, with the clone stamp, a little more progress:
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But this is probably the best solution:
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Thoughts?

{ 6 comments }

the gazelle August 29, 2008 at 12:06 pm

My best friend works in an antique store at the Pacific Design Center. I hope you said hi to him. :)

Mary Anna August 29, 2008 at 12:11 pm

I once worked at a newspaper and had to Photoshop the back of a diver’s bathing suit because she had a giant wedgie!

lisa August 29, 2008 at 1:07 pm

i like the last pic and the arty one the best.
must.get.photoshop.

Ginger August 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm

The last one is definitely the best solution.

But my favorite pic is the giant chair. I love big object sculptures like that (in New York, I always smiled at the big thread and needle in the fashion district), and they always make me imagine that some giant is going to come along and put them back in his giant house.

shonda August 29, 2008 at 10:13 pm

God, I just wish you were here in front of me demonstrating this. I have a love hate relationship with Photoshop. It makes my life harder and simpler all at the same time.

Karen August 30, 2008 at 8:33 am

Fantastic tips! These are so great. They’re even simple enough for me, which is something because while I love Photoshop I’m terrible with it. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love the motion blur one in particular.

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