Quick and nasty photomanip

Last weekend I attended a race where I had my coach take a photo of me from a low angle.  This gave me a photo that would be suitable for a “hero image”.

I cut myself and my bike out of the background with Photoshop’s pen tool, duplicated this layer several times, added a mask or two, changed some layers to black and white, changed the layer properties, levels and what not, whacked in a background image of some clouds, rendered some difference clouds for some quick and nasty lightning, adjusted the background colours to mirror those in my bike, blurred it a bit, flattened it then whacked it up here.

Cutting the background out took the longest.  I tend to make lots of little clicks, rather than using smooth curves when doing this, but I am tying to improve my workflow there to speed things up.

In other news, it’s crit season again so I am at races at times when I am not racing, but others are so I’m practicing my action photography.


What to do When a Client Cancels Work?

A few weeks ago I was contracted to develop a website for a gardening supply company.  The client knew what they wanted and provided 99% of the images and copy.  This meant all I had to do was design the website, update the client on hours worked and gather feedback for revisions.

My last request for feedback was greeting with a “we have decided to take our shopfront buisness in a different direction and no longer the website…” Argh, I thought.  Does that mean I will not be getting paid?  Reading furthur, the client wanted the invoice for work done so they could pay.  Phew.  Payment has been received so I’m eating this week.

This got me thinking about future work.  I want to be able to gurantee I get paid regardless of whether or not the client ends up using the work I’ve been comissioned to do. Enter the world of contracts.  Before doing any work for a client, to cover myself, I’m going to draw up a contract template or two which will ensure I get paid incase the client changes their mind, gets hit by lightning or anything else.  These documents are also good as they detail what the client will be getting, what to expect and what not to expect as well as payment terms, if they get the rights to the design and any other fine print.

Given the nature of my work, I think a few contract variants will be needed:

  • -standard agreement – overarching contract
  • -icon/logo design contract – an update to my designer brief form
  • -web design contract- an update to my designer brief form
  • -web development contract
  • -web maintenance contract – specify levels 1-4 of my maintenance services including what is not included
  • -technical documenation contract

At this point, I’ll have a read through the AIGA template and see how to tailor it for me.



Trying to get WordPress up and running

Ok, I’ve installed WordPress and have gone  looking for plugins so I can have functionality similar to LiveJournal.

What I need is:

  • -automatic RSS feed generation (for when I integrate a WP site into my cycling club’s Website
  • -something to indicate my mood when posting
  • -something to say what music I am listening to when posting

I figure I do not need to say where I am when posting as it will primarily be on my main computer at Earhbase Central