For this assignment, I added a picture of a baseball field to the text of a poem I had written, and used Photoshop to modify and stylize the image. I had used the program before, but while working on this project, I learned that the best results are attained by using a variety of Photoshop's features in tandem, instead of just using a stack of filters for example. I used a watercolor filter to give the baseball field a dreamlike quality, but the most important tools I used were the rotate canvas feature and the smudge tool to make the image stand out. The main problem I encountered was setting the text in such a way that it could be visible against the background, which was a much harder task than I expected. I chose a white font and large size, but the text was still very hard to read, so I created a drop shadow effect with a wide spread, big size, and low opacity. This helped significantly, creating a darker backdrop to the text in a subtle way.
The visual elements I created add interest to the text and make the reader more interested in what the poem says, as opposed to its original simple black-and-white format. However, the text is slightly more difficult to read in this setup despite my efforts. In addition, the image format provides context to the work and hopefully allows the reader to easily slip into the mood of the poem, although it is possible that the image could distract the viewer and thus diminish the effectiveness of the text. Regardless of whether the image format ultimately adds or subtracts from the overall success of the work, I learned a good deal about both Photoshop's features and the interaction between text and images.
Last modified 4 February 2008