Thursday, July 24, 2014

Photo montage credits for One Family Together Forever, part 1

This is the first post in which I give the source material for all photo montages seen in the new book One Family Together Forever, which I published on Monday. (You can buy the book by clicking on the icon on the top right of this page.)

For montages of the 13 Barefoot Family Farm residents throughout the book:

  • Upper limbs: From the Facebook page of Brittany Barefoot, a real person in Greenwood, SC.  She graduated from high school in 2008 and the University of South Carolina in 2012; as of 2014, she sold Mary Kay cosmetics while hoping to gain a job in nursing.  (Her younger sister Danielle graduated from USC in 2014.)  However, in most cases, the arms are from Bailey Miller, a school classmate who went to Erskine College in Due West, SC and also played on the "Flying Fleet" soccer team.  Both were in the same "senior day" photograph, as was a third student named Mariam Nasrollahi.  (To see the picture, go to this address and click on the first picture on the page.)
  • Lower limbs: From an unidentified model on the blog In Wonderland with Alice.  It was closed to public access in 2014, but I was able to get the picture on my hard drive before that occurred.  The picture was taken in Pennsylvania.
  • Solo portraits of family members: Porch picture from the Honest Abe blog, sky changed from slate blue to light blue via new layer and light-blue brush colors
For "covers" of Down Home magazine: These are Microsoft Word adaptations of stationary I made up with the Greeting Card Factory software, made by Nova Development of Riverside, CA.  Names of "artists" (Rebecca Rapp on pages 4 and 17, Bonnie Mae Brookshire on page 37, and Laura Faye Beavers on page 49) were created using various fonts that resemble signatures that artists would use.


For specific farm residents:
Buddy Wayne (page 10)
  • Face: John "Bubba" Britton, former contestant on reality game show Beg, Borrow & Deal which aired on ESPN in 2002. He has worked at a computer-parts wholesale company for many years.
  • Shirt: The shirt itself was retrieved from a website called Smart Casual Dress Code. The picture of a bluebird came from a site called Wet Canvas; when I imported the file, I renamed it “bluebird and rainbows.”
  • Pants: Picture of Arizona Jeans, a brand owned by JCPenney, from an eBay page.
Brenda (page 14)
  • Face: Kim Blitchington, former teacher at the Montessori School in Columbus, OH.  (The current staff directory can be found here.)
  • Shirt: Denver Broncos T-shirt for women, retrieved from NFL Shop, with the color changed from orange to light blue via hue and saturation changes. The wording was self-created with bold Arial font. Benson Mule Days is an actual event that takes place each fall in Benson, NC. The photo of the mule is actually cut off from a two-mule picture I found at the event’s official site.
  • Pants: Arizona Jeans, as mentioned earlier.
Bobby Ray (page 18)
  • Face: Travis Sampson. Originally from eastern Tennessee, he was a cast member on Survivor: Vanuatu in 2005. Before that, he was on My Life is a Sitcom, which was on ABC Family in 2003. Sampson is also a former professional wrestler.
  • Shirt: Generic gray T-shirt from Ibiley. Logo was originally created at says-it.com, a humorous graphics design site based in Texas, and later modified to represent the family business. (The original logo was a crest with the bottom inscription “INNOCENT AND FREE.”)
  • Pants: Again from Arizona Jeans.
Jennifer (page 22)
  • Face: Brandy Barefoot, resident of Opp, AL. Brandy is not to be confused with the Brandy Barefoot character I have contrived, to be introduced later. My first word of her was a local news story about her receiving a kidney transplant from a fellow church member. (Unfortunately, this is now a dead link.) The face is a composite of the hair from the Facebook page, and the lower face from the WSFA page; I removed Brandy’s glasses by way of the clone stamp tool.
  • Shirt: Recolored Broncos top with family farm logo.
  • Pants: From Brady Poirier’s file, originally from a woman who was walking her dog. 
Belinda (page 26)
  • Face and clothes: A young girl identified only as “Addison” on Deb Holmes’ Facebook page. Holmes, who lives in Chesapeake, VA, first got my attention when an Internet search I did came up with Buddy Wayne’s name (the original real person) on a site with a collection of obituaries. (The original, that of Randall Carrington Lee of Benson, NC, can be found at http://www.wemightbekin.com/Raynor.pdf). We have since communicated by e-mail and have even become Facebook friends! Picking Addison made it easier for me since I did not have to add clothes or arms to the original as I had to do with everyone else. All I had to do was add the legs.
Bryson (page 30)
  • Face: Unknown male, photographed by Thomas McCabe. I attempted to reconnect to the source website that I visited early in 2012, but the search was unsuccessful.
  • Clothing: Coverall as seen on the Discovery Channel program Moonshiners. I took a still capture of Tim Woods, who is part of the cast, wearing it. 
Alonzo "Popeye" (page 34)
  • Face: Brack Maggard, co-owner of RAB Racing with Brack Maggard in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. This is based on a picture taken when he was a driver in the ARCA Racing Series. I then used Photoshop to "airbrush" away the logos and the blur tool to get rid of pixels that had lots of what could be called either noise or static.
  • Cap: The original ARCA logo was painted out and the Bass Pro Shops logo put in its place.
  • Body: A professional model (retrieved from polyvore.com) was used with his face removed and replaced by Popeye’s. No new arms or legs were needed, and only the foot from “Alice” was used. The original color of the coveralls was a darker blue than shown here; the settings were reduced by taking down the hue and saturation settings. 
Gillie Ann "Annie" (page 38)
  • Face: Emily Barefoot, marketing agent at C&D Insurance Services in Angier, NC. She is also a former real estate agent with Ellis Barbour and Company in Dunn, NC; I got the picture from the agency's website when she worked there.
  • Top and pants: Same file, uploaded by Poirier, originally of the woman walking the dog. 
Ralph (page 42)
  • Hat: Same as that found on Popeye, but with an overlay of camouflage. The camo comes from what Mariam Nasrullahi wears in the Greenwood High School photo.
  • Face: Brett Barefoot, who has worked for the last 10 years at the University of Mississippi. As of early 2014, his latest assignment was in the child-care department; earlier, he had been the head of training and compliance in its financial-aid department. He is a 2004 graduate of “Ole Miss.”
  • Shirt: Gray t-shirt mentioned earlier, recolored a kelly green commonly found in the American outdoors. I came up with the slogan “BOW TO THE BOW,” which is an example of homonyms (two words spelled the same, but with different pronunciations).  The first “bow” (pronounced like wow) indicates submission or superiority, while the second “bow” (pronounced like go) is a common hunting instrument. The depiction of a buck comes from the grave of Burness Dean “Bubba” Brister of Vidor, TX. I used the brush tool to make a clearer outline and the erase tool to “hollow out” the illustrated design.  I wrote the slogan using the Birch Standard font.
  • Pants: Arizona Jeans copy, recolored light brown due to hue/saturation and curves adjustment layers.
Harvey (page 46)
  • Face: Justin Barefoot was a star baseball player at South Johnston High School (Banner, NC) in the first decade of the 21st century. He was good enough to play in a state all-star game, then won a scholarship to Clemson University. However, Justin never played a game for the Tigers, instead transferring to the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. His last game there was played in 2008. Two years later, he opened Barefoot Outdoors in Smithfield. The store, still open today, sells bows, arrows, and related equipment.
  • Shirt: Carolina Panthers authentic jersey, which fans can buy at the NFL Shop. The number “53” is a reference to Billy Bob Ribble, another one of my characters of whom I explain fully later in this book. The NFL shield on the original jersey was brushed out. 
Reba Pearl "Hambone" (page 50)
  • Face: Alyssa Barefoot. As of late 2010, she was a senior at South Johnston High School, where she was a cheerleader. She had also launched a career as a model and a photo gallery on her Facebook page has a two-picture portfolio she had planned to send to local agencies. However, that page has not changed since that time, and it is unclear what has become of her over the last four years.
  • Top: The aforementioned Broncos NFL Shop shirt was “cloned” to remove the original logo, then recolored pink (not only the family color for patriarch “Pink” Barefoot but also Hambone’s personal favorite color) via hue and saturation adjustments. The Barefoot Family Farm logo was then attached.
  • Bottom: The jean shorts (“jorts” in 2014 vernacular) were given a lighter shade by having some of the saturation removed.

I have also included this background information:
Hambone performance video by Steve Hickman
Her dumb beliefs
My favorite incorrect answers
Books by Richard Benson in a similar vein: F In Exams, F For Effort, and F This Test

Brandy (page 56)
  • Face: Amanda Barefoot, who graduated from UNC Wilmington in May 2014 with a degree in theater and performing arts. In 2010, she won Miss Benson at Benson Mule Days - the local festival mentioned earlier - and got print and video features in The Wall Street Journal. (Here is the video feature.)
  • Shirt: Same white T-shirt that Buddy Wayne wears. Although it is more suitable for men than for women, both genders wear shirts like these for golf outings. Given the Hurricanes’ logo patch on her left side, this is definitely from a corporate event when she worked for the team. I retrieved the logo from Wikipedia.
Britton "Bunky" (page 60)
  • Face: Brandon Davidson, model and reality television contestant. On season 5 of The Amazing Race, which aired on CBS in 2006, Davidson and his partner Nicole O’Brian finished in third place. (Coincidentally, Nicole is Brandy’s middle name.) I took the picture from CBS’ official page for that season, which has since been torn down. Because Davidson’s original publicity photo was taken in bright sunlight that reflected straight on his hair, I had to use the clone stamp tool to fill in the space.
  • Shirt: Original white T-shirt with the new Barefoot Family Farm logo.
  • Pants: Through reduction of hue and saturation, were made a lighter shade.


Monday, July 21, 2014

My new photo book IS now available!

Another post about One Family Together Forever, and it's a lot better news than two days ago.

The book is now complete!

It is available from Lulu, the same place that sold my two previous works, The Buddy Wayne Chronicles and My Ideal World.  I am very excited about this one, because for the first time people can see what my characters look like. 

This is the culmination of some two years of hard work, both at home and in classes at school.  I would like to thank my teacher, Brady Poirier, for all his patience, dedication, and support of my efforts.  When I had a question, he almost always had a quick answer.

To buy One Family Together Forever, please click on the book cover to the right of this blog.  I'm getting $1.60 per copy sold, and with my continued precarious financial position, every little bit helps.

One more thing: Sometime this week, I will post the sources and techniques for every montage you see here.  It's important for me to do that to acknowledge the real people whose faces I used to create the "pictures" used in the book, and hopefully to minimize objections to their use, or other legal issues.

Thanks for your attention, and enjoy!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My new book is not ready - yet

This is the post in which I had hoped to announce the sale of the One Family Together Forever photo book, published with the help of Lulu.

However, as I opened Lulu Studio, the cloud-based editing program it uses, I realized that the photo book template does not allow for exact replication of a file I had done on Microsoft Word, the program I had used to upload my two previous book projects.  The solution I originally had was to drag and drop the photos I had collected and placed in the original file in the template provided, but Lulu does not allow for this.  Instead, I have to find the pictures - again - and upload them to the server.  With my DSL connection, it typically takes about a minute for Lulu to complete the process for each picture.

Worse, on Thursday - the first day I officially started work on it -  I was disconnected from the cloud four times as Lulu apparently had a bad day.  This is the error message I received each time:

I hope to get an explanation sometime next week.  In the meantime, I resumed on Friday and encountered no similar problems.

The upshot is that I have completed only a little more than half of the book - namely, the introduction, parts about the 13 characters in the house, and the first two pictures in the section about the property.  I will likely not return to the project until Monday, and maybe by Tuesday I'll complete it.

Believe me, once it's done all the ordering information will be right here at this blog.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summaries of Gone Barefoot, seasons 4 and 5

In 2014, I have decided once again to break up my ongoing family adventures into two "seasons" of eight episodes each.  The major difference this time is that season 5 starts about six weeks earlier this week than last.  In part it is due to better continuity of story arcs throughout the calendar year, and in part it is to avoid Sunday night episodes once football season begins.

Season 4
Jan. 5, 2014: "Bad Bone"
The cliffhanger surrounding Hambone's whereabouts early in the morning of the family reunion is resolved.  It is revealed that she slipped out of the all-ages formal dance without telling anyone else, took off her formal clothes, slipped into redneck gear, and spent the rest of the night with them in a pine forest behind the property.  After seeing her with bloodshot eyes, B.W. gives her a verbal warning against any further action in the future.  Also on the show, Brandy returns from the hockey team she worked for and Belinda introduces Isabella McBonniebreath to her doll "family."
Jan. 12, 2014: "Beautiful Barefoot Day"
B.W. explains the origin of the Barefoot last name and why going barefoot at all times is important to the family.  Meanwhile, the family overcomes the summer heat by holding a "beach party" on the pond, complete with belly flops, swimming, and playing in the mud.  At night, everyone gathers on the porch for a version of the old drive-in night.  But there's a twist: Instead of canned entertainment, it's a series of short plays written by and starring - themselves.  (A highlight is "Sweet Fanny Adams," a farce starring Bunky and Hambone.)
Jan. 19, 2014: "Premiere Night"
The family gathers at the treehouse constructed for Bryson for the unveiling of the poster that depicts the made-up movie Showdown at Las Positas.  In the “film,” Bryson plays the world’s youngest Western-style sheriff, who protects a town in the southwestern United States from outlaws.  A red carpet leads to the treehouse, which is decorated with all kinds of Western stuff.  Beth, a cousin of B.W.’s and expert baker, delivers a cake to share at the end of the meal, and B.W. and Popeye sing songs typical of those in period serials.  In addition, Harvey and Annie join the family's football team, the Blackies (named for black bears); Harvey is a linebacker while Annie is one of the cheerleaders.
Jan. 26, 2014: "Welcome to the Show!"
A letter delivered by Braylor McPatter, the local carrier, has exciting news for everyone: The Barefoots have been chosen to perform at a world's fair celebrating the ascension of Jesus Christ to his throne in the new Jerusalem!  In the shows, everyone expresses their love for their Lord and Savior in different ways.  B.W. goes to work picking a title for the family's variety show, "Dixie Rising," and a general theme celebrating life in the rural Southern United States.  Also, Brian Warner, director of this program, travels to the World Showcase portion of Epcot, part of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, to tour a real world's fair similar to the one the Barefoots will visit.  Earlier in the show, Brandy had announced her intention to re-enter the Miss Idealia pageant.
Mar. 9, 2014: "Life With Popeye"
(This show followed a five-week suspension due to Super Bowl XLVIII, the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the 86th Academy Awards.)
Buddy Wayne spends a day with Popeye and all 10 of his brothers and sisters at their home in Sampson County, about three miles from the farm.  They help with chores around the house and at the backyard farm, have dinner together, tell stories, and sing.  Some of them also agree to help on B.W.'s farm site during events such as the upcoming world's fair show, of which they react with great excitement. Speaking of the show, B.W. has "writer's block" relating to the program; he has several parts of the show for which he has to give roles to family members and has no idea where to begin.  Also, Bunky returns to Camp Paradise to get informal lessons in "Southern speak."
Mar. 16, 2014: "Re-Generation"
Bunky, Hambone, and Brandy join dozens of cousins, aunts and uncles at Kids' and Teens' Day Out, a new event for the latest generation of descendants of Miles Barefoot.  While the younger children hang around the mud pit and treehouse, the teenagers play cornhole, volleyball, and other "older" party games.  The teenagers then have a slumber party highlighted by a "lip rock" performance by a group called the Honey Bees, which includes Hambone, some other attendees, and guests - all of whom have last names starting with "B."  (A "lip rock" is one in which a large group of performers mouth the words to a popular song with elaborate choreography.)  The show also features businesses owned by two of the attendees and distant relatives of B.W.: cousin Beth's bakery and aunt Ola's photography shop.  Finally, Brandy shows off the new gown that Annie made for her as she re-enters the Miss Idealia pageant.
Mar. 23, 2014: "There She Is!"
Brandy goes back to the Miss Idealia pageant. Before the contest begans, she confronts Peggy Timberlake, the pageant mom whose family has won more times than anyone else.  Peggy admits to bad behavior in the past, but tearfully admits that she has changed.  Brandy then makes the live televised finale, at which point she faces her fears of wearing a bathing suit and has a tough question thrown at her.  In the end, Brandy upsets some formidable contestants - including Megan Turnipseed, who debuted on BMN Superfan - to win the crown!  Also on the show, the Blackies - the football team Harvey has rejoined - break a nine-game losing streak and win in the first home game on their new field, for which the Barefoot family donated substantial money for the naming rights.  (The Blackies defeat the Webb Spiders, 28-24.)
Mar. 30, 2014: "The Circle Is Unbroken"
After five years together and four as a married couple, B.W. and Brittany Raylene (Spears) renew their vows and hold the formal ceremony they chose to deny themselves originally.  (B.W. was divorced, Brittany was young, and both families were opposed when they married in a small ceremony in Las Vegas at about midnight on a fall Saturday evening.)  Their daughter Lizzie serves as the ring girl, Ralph brings the two back into marriage, and Hambone acts up again, pretending to object to the wedding then saying that she was just kidding.  At the reception, the first dance occurs to the music of their hit song "When the Bough Breaks."  Ralph hosts the ceremony at Long Branch Disciple Church, which he has re-opened after a long period of renovation.
Season 5
Jul. 6, 2014: "On the Road to Paradise" (2-hour episode)
B.W. reveals the final show rundown for Dixie Rising at the world's fair at New Jerusalem:
  • B.W. sings excerpts of "Bluebird" to open the show.
  • Popeye, Ralph and Harvey sing a song that was part of the program for the inaugural North Carolina State Gospel Singing Convention, which was held in Benson in 1921.
  • Following will be a reading from the end of the Book of Proverbs, which honors women, read by Brenda, Annie, Jennifer, and Brandy.
  • This will give way to a parade started by banner-carrying kids Belinda and Bryson, and for which Bunky will provide the music with his one-man band.
  • At the end of the route, a mini-show suddenly breaks out with Hambone using her body for a cover of the country music classic "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."  Bobby Ray will play the fiddle during the show, and backup performers will be provided as well.
  • The entire cast, a choir, and maybe others will come together for "We Will Rise Again," a song that will combine country, bluegrass, and blues elements.  It's co-written by B.W. and Brittany Raylene.
Details of travel, hotel rooms, and other logistics are now being arranged.  In the meantime, everyone is satisfied with their place in the show and are eager to have it occur.

To pass the time before the big show, the members of the family do some ambitious tasks:
  • Bobby Ray, Jennifer and Belinda travel to New York City, where Jennifer promotes her new book Black Crow on the Window.  After appearing on a major national morning show, the family travels to the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan; Belinda has the attacks of "9/11" explained to her in respect to the sensitivity of a young girl.  Jen also tells of a trip she made to South Korea to visit U.S. military personnel and watch a college basketball game.
  • Popeye and Ralph enter - and win - a fishing contest for male members of those who are descended from "Pink" Barefoot.  They defeat nine other two-man teams.  (Shown here are excerpts from an earlier one-hour special which was on the same network.)
  • Brenda appears as a special guest clown at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for some shows at PNC Arena in Raleigh.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Another interruption...

A reminder that for me to post anything on the506 forum I am a part of, I need to attach an URL for the SMF program to read.

This time, I plan to send this screenshot to them.  This is what happened when the CBC encountered technical difficulties in the postgame after Friday's Stanley Cup finals game in which the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Rangers and won the series.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

My last work from class

First of all, I must come clean: I did not attend ABC Adult School on Friday and don't plan to return for the last few days.  No doubt I had Nabby, one of my followers on Google+, as well as some of my classmates, worried.  The reason is that I was relying on the original schedule for the fourth quarter, which was supposed to end on Thursday but instead has been extended well into next week.  No reason has been stated publicly, but California law requires schools to meet for a minimum number of days between September of one year and June of the next.  Earlier this week, we took five days off around Thanksgiving, and some bureaucrat must have thought it was too long.  That means missing out of next Tuesday's end-of-class party for my afternoon class, but oh well.

Before the week was out, I completed one final project in school.  It is the second time I have put together mythical sportscaster Rhett Jeffers, B.W., and Bobby Ray (the first time was the picture shown at right to commemorate "Movember"); this time, they are in more natural surroundings.  I had them replace Fox broadcasters Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Darrell Waltrip in a pose based on a television still before the 2014 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  The replacement faces are Colorado real-estate agent Kelly McBartlett, Travis Sampson, and Bubba Britton.

Since the original photograph was a trapezoid shape, based on trying to find the right lighting for the capture (to avoid it being too bright), it was cropped with clone stamping to cover up the angle difference.  Cloning was also used to replace an over-exposed portion on the top right corner and to account for differences in some face sizes.  The BMN TV logo (my made-up network) replaces that of Fox Sports.

Now it's on to assembling the photo book in earnest.  Wish me luck!


Saturday, June 7, 2014

On a new work, BWB's "stars" come out

As we commemorate 70 years since the start of the Allied invasion of Normandy that was perhaps the most significant event in World War II (which I referenced in this post last year), I continue to fine-tune my work in preparation for the photo book.

This time, I have created art work that would serve as publicity for Little Boy Records, if it existed.  The recording label was "founded" by Buddy Wayne Barefoot to self-distribute albums as soon as he decided on a singing career.  After his win in the Sing for the World reality contest, B.W. was allowed to sign some of the losing contestants in the U.S. version to contracts.  This is in contrast to the total control TV show producers - and the labels they are affiliated with - have in most cases.

Contrary to expectations, B.W. signed a wide variety of recording artists.  Their names and descriptions are included in the captions; you can click on them for a closer look.  These stories - and a few others - are also told in a pair of posts I made in 2013: part one has more on Blondie, Bird & Fly, and Blinky Blink (not pictured here), and part two has more on Brister and MacMelville.  Also signed was a punk rock band with boy band looks, betaBOOZEbrain.  (I got that name from the game show Now You See It, where it was a second-round puzzle.)  And of course I couldn't forget about B.W.'s "wife," Brittany Raylene - whose "real name" is Brittany Spears, as shown in this post.




The background was created by using a preset brush on Adobe Photoshop which is called, of course, the star brush (with a considerable size of 55 points) on a blank background I painted black using alt-delete.  Originally, I had downloaded a picture from inside Nokia Theater L.A. Live, but changed it because it didn't work at well.  I created the company logo from scratch using the Papyrus font for the letters and a rectangle and line to surround the text.

Now, for those of you wondering how to order my book: Unfortunately, you can't do that yet.  I have to assemble the book on my hard drive, then go to Lulu.com in order to have it processed.  I expect that to take three to four weeks from this point.