Saturday, August 30, 2014

More Photoshop: Billboards and "Big"

I continued to envision my world by way of Photoshop this past week.

Up first are a pair of billboards that would advertise the Barefoot Family Farm to potential tourists along Interstate 40.  Near the farm in the Meadow township in North Carolina (Johnston County) is exit 334, which eventually leads to the farm by way of these directions.  The entire family is pictured as well as an alternate slogan to the official one "The way it was before and the way it will be again."  (Try as I might, the longer slogan just wouldn't fit.)  Alongside it is the farm's logo and below that is the exit number.

I used a billboard given to me by my former teacher Brady Poirier; he used it in some projects in class.  I mentioned where the main picture came from, the logo is also from my personal file, and I added my own text.  The two pictures of the interstate (called the James Harrington Freeway in that part of the state) come from the new version of Google Maps, which gave me easy access to the ground-level views I needed.  The top photograph looks north from Godwin Lake Road, and the bottom looks south from Woods Crossroads Road.

Below that, meet Big, the star of the Ultimate Wrestling Federation.  I gave Big's story an entire chapter in The Buddy Wayne Chronicles back in 2007, but I have neglected to picture how he would look like in all those years.  The montage came together this way:

The face is that of Australian rules football star Barry Hall, and I added a bit of hair above his bald head by way of a paint job on a new layer.  The body below him depicts Leaping Lanny Poffo, the former WWE competitor who was the basis for my character. (I had a soft spot for Poffo, as despite having one of the WWE's best gimmicks of the 1980s with Frisbee throwing and poetry, he was marketed as a jobber, or someone told to lose every match.  Worse, he is the brother of one of its biggest stars, the late "Macho Man" Randy Savage - successor to the legendary Hulk Hogan as heavyweight champion - but WWE wouldn't acknowledge it until years later.  Poffo later agreed to turn from a good guy to a bad one under the nickname "Genius" and finally got pushed, much to my dismay.) 

I liked Poffo's promotional picture, but didn't like the chain-link jacket, so I substituted another one I found at a memorabilia resale site for the top.  In turn, I recolored the jacket blue to match both part of the shorts and an image from a YouTube video I have saved from a pre-match on WWE syndicated program.  I would have used a still from the original, but the video was of poor quality. 

My original idea was to place Big (real name: Lanny Ray Mobley) amid the backdrop of a wrestling ring, but with the picture cut off at the legs, that would not have been suitable, so the all-purpose brick wall will have to do yet again.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Dixie Rising": The family comes together

This week, I have taken a complete break from Photoshop.  For one thing, I have nothing else to try to picture in my mind at the moment.  For another, I went back to revise another personal project, one having to do with sportscasters who called mythical sporting events using all-time player rosters of pro and college teams.  As Stone Cold Steve Austin famously said, "That's all I gotta say about that!"

What I will share here, however, is the playbill for Dixie Rising.  As I have implied before, this is the entertainment and cultural show created to showcase all 13 members of my "second family."  I feel this is a natural project for them.  After all, head of household Buddy Wayne is a well-known singer, songwriter, record producer, and TV executive; he knows how to bring the best out of everyone he works with.  As with any clan, some have natural talent, while others have to develop it.  But all of them have to find a way to come together to entertain the world as part of a cultural fair organized to celebrate the grace and blessings of the Trinity of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Dixie Rising is the official United States entry and part of the World Christian Festival - organized by reformed business leader Dylan Bryan-Brown (see page 196 of The Buddy Wayne Chronicles for more on his previous life).  At that show, some 30 countries participate by showing off their best songs, dances, and other folk entertainments that are in accord with Christian principles.

If this show had existed, the world premiere would have been scheduled for Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BMN TV as part of the two-hour season finale of Gone Barefoot.

The show begins with B.W. singing his hit song "Bluebird."  After that, he welcomes the crowd at the American Theater (modeled in part after the pictured Nokia Theater L.A. Live) and explains that Dixie Rising is a celebration of rural American life, particularly in the Southern United States.  Next will be three songs by the Barefoot Boys, Popeye, Ralph, and Harvey.  "How Great Thou Art" and "Amazing Grace" are two of the songs, and the third is a song that was performed at the first Gospel Singing Convention in Benson, NC, in 1921.

This is followed by two more B.W. songs, "The Ballad of Beulah Mae" and "Southern Rhapsody," and a song by the family friends, the McLamb Madrigals.

More narration follows, and then come the Barefoot Mommas' Club - Brenda, Brandy, Annie, and Jennifer.  Their contribution will be a reading of Proverbs 31:10-31, the last section of that book of the Bible.  Called "The Good Wife" in many Bibles, it is a tribute to the virtuous qualities of women.  Brenda will read verses 10-14, Jennifer 15-19, Brandy 20-24, Annie 25-29, and Brenda returns for the last two verses.  Meanwhile, the violinists Baylee, Brandee, and Ashlee MacKnight set the reading to music. When the reading ends, Brandy will break from the rest of the group to dance a waltz with Hylton Tripp, her professional partner and friend, with Blondie (pianist) providing the backing track. 

The action then moves to another part of the set, where Bunky plays with his drum set.  Then, he receives the wild idea to become a one-man band.  Suddenly, a parade starts with Bunky in the lead while Bryson and Belinda hold banners signaling the start of the parade.  Some family members are part of the parade, including Ralph (as outdoorsman/preacher), Brandy (beauty queen), Harvey (part of the football team, as well as Bam Bam Plumpkin, Billy Bob Ribble, and others), and Hambone (as a member of the Honey Bees).  Also in the parade are bead-thrower Amber LaBelliard, cowgirl Krista Bamburg Ribble, Cherokee folk dancer Ricky Mantooth, and military hero Brett Bartlett (though not this one), among others.

B.W. then explains that Southerners love to make everything into a big production, especially on summer nights on the porch.  With that in mind, Bobby Ray takes to the stage and starts to fiddle, and seconds later Hambone jumps on board and plays music with her body.  The huge crowd around the stage as she interprets the classic country hit song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."  She has lots of help: Bubba Brister is the backup singer, and All That does backup dancing.  The only real-life performers in this show, the cloggers from South Carolina make up the only act to make the live rounds of America's Got Talent twice.

Dixie Rising closes with "When We Rise," a "bluntry" (blues plus country) anthem co-written by B.W. and Brittany Raylene and performed by all 11 adult family members.  It's sure to be the best-selling hit song in America this year!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My first sale, and Hambone's a "Bee"

First of all, I must report my first sale of my new book - to myself!  It was great for me to see firsthand all the hard work I did in actual book form, thanks to the good people of Lulu.  Believe me, I'll do all I can to hustle and push this book out there to everyone.  I won't be rich off One Family Together Forever, but with my bills piling up and no new job on the horizon, I need to make some money off this.

Meanwhile, I have just expanded on a concept I explained briefly when I summarized an episode of Gone Barefoot in season 4 (January, 2014).  There, I introduced the Honey Bees in passing when I reported on a "Pink Party" spinoff with younger members of the Barefoot extended family.  The Bees began as the Barefoot family athletic program's cheerleading team and was called the Bear Paws, but this has slowly evolved into a full-time entertainment unit and has gained a separate name and mascot.

Hambone (known as "Reba" here, for her real name Reba Pearl) is joined by the 13 others, who are cheerleaders, contemporary dancers, and - as mentioned in my summary - "lip dubbers."  These are groups of people who turn popular songs into full-scale productions by mouthing the words to songs while doing choreographed movements.  An example in real-life is this video from Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, NC; also, Macy's has just announced a national contest for lip-dub groups, which is open to high-school students from across the United States.

Some of the 14 are real people like Alyssa Barefoot, Brandy Rapp, and even a colorized picture of former Mickey Mouse Club cast member Billie Beanblossom.  Others are based on three cheerleader models I found on various websites, including that of Party City, with brushes, hue and saturation adjustments, and curves adjustments to create distinct faces and hair colors.  "Buzzy" is played by Georgia Tech mascot "Buzz"; I found his picture at the Georgia Encyclopedia site.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My work's never done - new "shots" of Hambone, Bear

Just before I've finished my photo book does not mean that I have run out of ideas to depict the people, places, and events of my "second family."  Two examples are here: Hambone, who now owns Camp Paradise, and Bear, who was the founder.

First, I have noticed that the fashion for young women is to wear "hip-hugger" shorts.  Obviously, I have none in my clothing collection, but I have found a suitable substitute in my Arizona Jeans.  I shrunk them and moved them up in my body as far as I could, then went to a picture as seen on page 44 of How to Cheat in Photoshop CS6 which shows a tourist's entire leg, including kneecap, which is what I needed.  At that point, I used clone stamp and adjustment layers to make the tourist's legs into Hambone's, and also to merge them with the "Wonderland" foot I've used so many times.   The result is below:

The other montage I created is that of Bear to mark his status as a veteran of the United States Army.  Some years ago, a blogger named Laura Barefoot O'Connell shared the tag she wore when she was in the National Guard some years earlier.  Unfortunately, the blog has been shut down, but I preserved it on my hard drive and can use it for personal projects.  Again, I rely on How to Cheat for the background photo; this time it's on page 36.  I cropped it from the original picture of an Army general with Sarah Palin.  I'm sure some people will find a hidden meaning in that!  Anyway, the original had a big shadow, so I moved the brightness way up to get rid of it.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

'Brandy' and 'Hylton' are getting married!

I thought I was done with the blog for the week.  Well, as Barney Fife always said, "surprise, surprise!"  I was simply "thumbing through" the Friday electronic edition of the Daily Record (Dunn, NC); it was a combination of being bored and trying to keep up with the events of the local churches.  On page A13 came this engagement announcement:

Barefoot, McLamb To Wed Sept. 6

Mr. and Mrs. Randy Beasley of Benson announce the engage­ment of their daughter, Amanda Carol Barefoot, to Jared Scott McLamb, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jan McLamb of Benson. The bride-elect is also the daughter of the late Alfred Wayne ‘Bud­dy’ Barefoot. She is the granddaughter of Alva Lee, Patsy Bea­sley, the late Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Morgan, the late Alfred E. ‘I.D.’ Barefoot and the late R.C. Lee Jr. She is a senior at the Univer­sity of North Carolina at Wilmington majoring in elementary education. She is employed part-time with Crossroads Acade­my in Benson. The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Billy Pope of Coats and the late Georgia and Dick McLamb. He received an Associate of Applied Science degree in air conditioning, heating and refrigeration from Wake Tech­nical Community College and is a service technician with Controlled Environmental Services in Garner. The wedding will take place Sept. 6 at Benson United Methodist Church. Invita­tions will be sent.

This is the official engagement photograph.  It's in black and white and not the same as the one on page 59 of my book.

Yes, that's Amanda Barefoot, whose beauty pageant face I made as the model of B.W.'s first cousin Brandy, and which inspired Brandy to be the winner of the Miss Idealia pageant (see page 53)!  And the groom I made at the spur of the moment into Hylton Tripp, Brandy's dance partner in Rebecca Peacock's ballroom classes!  Oh, and Amanda's late biological dad is the namesake of B.W. himself.  Wow, wow, wow!

Good luck to the bride, the groom, and their families.

Bonus coverage: Another side of Ralph, Brittany's "autograph"

I did an about-face on Sunday night and indeed the picture of Ralph going fishing is indeed now on page 44,  and the picture montage on page 36 has been replaced.  I will change that information shortly. - D.H.

Even though I am proud of the book I have just completed - and which you can order from the top right hand corner of this page -there were still some intriguing picture montages I created that hit the cutting room floor.  One of them was available to me, but there was just not enough room, while the other is something based on a character trait that I simply forgot to include.

On page 44 of the book, I imagine Ralph as a hunter, with the first picture showing a shotgun hunt and the second depicting the results of a bowhunting trip.  But as I have written, Ralph is also very good as a fisherman.  Unfortunately, I didn't think of including a picture of Ralph fishing when I was preparing the book - at least not one in which he actually caught fish.  (On page 36, in Popeye's section, Ralph is shown preparing to fish on board a boat Popeye owns.)  Worse, I later realized that I had no such "picture" available even if I wanted to include one.

It turned out that during my fruitless search for a certain picture of Adam Brister (detailed in the last post), I found an entire album is which Brister goes on fishing trips.  These are generally about five years old, posted before the hunting pictures I used as a basis for the montages in the book.  I picked one and, as I did for the ones of page 44, placed Ralph/Brett Barefoot's face on top of the body.

The result is Ralph "catching" a striped largemouth bass.  To make up for some skin-color differences, a curves adjustment turned the red color cast down and the brightness was reduced.  With that, I now show all three of Ralph's outdoors talents, just as intended:

The other picture I wish I could have included is a "poster" of Brittany Spears a/k/a Brittany Raylene.  I contrived an autograph from my own mind and changed the blending mode to multiply to get rid of the white background.  It was bumped in favor of the Spears Family Band montage (page 80).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Photo montage credits for One Family Together Forever, part 6

This is the final installment of the sources and methods of the creation of the "pictures" seen in my latest book, which you can buy by clicking on the book cover on the top right of this blog.

One-room schoolhouse and people
Page 74
(Top) Schoolhouse is located in Kansas and retrieved from a blog; nameplate created with Trajan Pro 3 after original inscription was brushed away; clothing from Dennis Pintoski photo; people are as follows:
  • Top row: Noah Jr. (Scott Ruttencutter), Bret (unknown model), Terry (Brett Snowball, student/baseball player at school in British Columbia, Canada), Noah III (Tyson Meacham, Columbus, GA), Ola (Jana Duggar, 19 Kids and Counting), Timmy (unknown subject, was on FB page of someone named "Bubba Wimberly" but I think the account has been shut down), Tammy (daughter of Brittany and Joe Ramos, first name not available; note: daughter is on the left), Adam (Carson Britt, Dunn, NC, retrieved from The Daily Record), Amanda (unknown subject), Matthew (son of Brittany and Joe Ramos), Ricky (Jackson Barefoot, Dunn, NC), Brookie (unknown subject), Elma (Beverly Baldridge).
  • Bottom row: Brittany, Lollie (Dae Barefoot, Dunn, NC), Lovie (unknown subject from one of Deb Holmes' Facebook pictures), Bryson (unknown subject), Belinda ("Addison"), Danielle (ballerina found on Fotosearch), Cameron (John Carter, Dunn, NC), Alyssa (unknown subject), Mickey (Brayden Meacham, Columbus, GA), Emily (unknown subject)
(Bottom) Interior of a schoolhouse in Alabama

Family reunion
Page 75
(Top) Event logo created using another Adobe program, Adobe Illustrator; meant to be a banner displayed on the outside of the Pink Barefoot mansion, which is currently a cemetery; incorporates the original logo I created via
(Bottom) Backdrop picture is from; faces placed on top of various-colored gowns and shirts I had used earlier; food is from an e-mail I got from the Winston-Salem Journal

Cousin/nephew businesses
Page 76
(Top) Lettering created using Hank BT font; logo is modification of Barefoot Books corporate logo; picture is that of Brenda Barefoot (real person not connected with my character) with saturation set to 0% to make it black-and-white (reflecting the "old" Ola as the "new" Ola is 12 years old)
(Bottom) Backdrop of bakery from The Petaluma Spectator; face from the late Elizabeth Barefoot (Clinton, NC) as seen in her obituary; clothing from British eBay; cake courtesy Robinette's Cakes

Little Boy Records
Page 79

Poster background comes from a completely black layer filled randomly with the star brush; B.W. picture in the center is similar to page 13; Brittany Raylene is Katie Klaassen, former Denver Broncos cheerleader; Bubba Brister is Adam Brister, combining the two photos you see on this page (Adam posted the second to Facebook but it was somehow deleted); "Bird" is Jermaine Stevens, finalist on American Idol season 8, combined with an overlaid beanie from a website (did not save as separate file or record metadata), ButtaFly is British pop singer Keisha Buchanan; Blondie is British singer/actress Nadine Coyne, Melanie MacMelville is Katherine McPhee from her Idol days (she was season 4 runnerup)  Another note: The word "bluntry" to describe Brister is a portmanteau of "blues" and "country" to describe his musical influences; I first heard it on season 4 of The Voice (U.S. version) in the fall of 2013.

Brittany Spears/Blondie
Page 80
(Top) "Grandpa Breck" is actually someone in the Umpqua Valley Bluegrass Band in Oregon; rest of the members are from the Wheeling Park High School Bluegrass Band in West Virginia; all faces are identical except that Brittany's face substitutes for someone in the Wheeling Park band
(Bottom) Backdrop is a picture of Craig Sutton, a piano bar player in Raleigh, NC (Sutton was removed from the picture via clone-stamp and eraser tools); Blondie/Nadine Coyne's face is above a neckline I created and a blue blouse I found at Chicic; tip jar was found at Funny Tip Jars, I removed the old label, added a new label, placed and styled the Impact font with the words "FEED ME" above a flying pig I found at Flying Pig Theater

BMN Superfan
Page 81
(Top) Brittany Ramos (left) and Deb Holmes (right) are two actual persons I incorporated into the BMN Superfan reality competition show, and both of them "won"
(Bottom) Backdrop is file from page 84 of How to Cheat in Photoshop CS6 by Steve Caplin; head is that of oral surgeon Matthew Barefoot of Savannah, GA

BMN stars
Page 82
(Top left) Cap taken from one worn by Brack Maggard; face is that of Cody Dent, minor-league baseball player in Washington Nationals organization; shirt designed at CustomInk; cap recolored black and "embroidery" also courtesy CustomInk
(Top right) Chad ?, contestant on two different seasons of Big Break, Golf Channel's reality competition program; I took a video capture from the show's opening on Chad's first appearance and put the face above Chad's body
(Bottom) Backdrop is a barn discovered by Poirier and placed in his teacher file; faces as follows: Lulabettie: Anna McWillie of Chicago; Bunkley Ray, unknown subject from Black and Married with Children; LaBloodrick, Keevin Hardman, Lakewood Hall of Fame Athlete of the Year in 1998 (was high school wrestler); La'BooTeasha, Katie Washington, valedictorian at University of Notre Dame (from e-mail, this was among many sites that carried her pic at the time)

More BMN stars
Page 83
(Top) Promotional poster based on this picture of the Jeter family taken by professional photographer Brittany Butterworth; faces as follows: Billy Bob, professional steer wrestler Brian Barefoot; Krista, chef and author Georgia Pellegrini; Michelle MacKenzie "Mac", high-school student Kaleigh Forney; Adam, Bo Bowling, former Oklahoma State tight end; logo created with circle shape layer, Birch Standard and Black Oak Standard fonts
(Bottom) Show concept based on 19 Kids and Counting, so it's appropriate I took a video capture from its 2011-13 opening as backdrop; "stars" as follows: Ronnie and Donnie, former Southern Miss punter and placekicker Britt Barefoot; Deborah, high-schooler Brandy Rapp; Tony, Noah Barefoot (not connected to my character); Benny, Billie Barefoot, owner of Barefoot Chiropractic & Wellness; Tammy, daughter of Brittany and Joe Ramos; Lovie, unknown relative of Deb Holmes; Timmy, unknown boy of "Bubba Wimberly" from discontinued FB account; Terry, Brett Snowball; Allene, Jill McLamb Barefoot; Danny, unknown model in file I created called "IfTheyreBounding" based on a Photoshop file; Ola, Jana Duggar; Vallie, Jill Duggar (Jana's sister and castmate); Willie, unknown from "IfTheyreBounding"; Lollie, Dae Barefoot; Mickey, Brayden Meacham; Ricky, Jackson Barefoot; Randy, Tyler Barefoot, Benson, NC (I added Willie in a stroller, replacing Josie from a still picture of the family's trip to China.)

"Hotel Hobson"
Page 86
Lesson I learned at ABC Adult School based on one on page 190 of How to Cheat in Photoshop CS6.  The neon was my creation based on Poirier's instructions.  This was displayed in the classroom as well as related works by other students.

"What-If Britt Barefoot"
Page 87
Backdrop is an action shot of Britt Barefoot punting during a game between Southern Miss and East Carolina on Sep. 15, 2007 in Greenville, NC (find it in this photo gallery); foot comes from the model in In Wonderland with Alice, refitted using the transform tool.

First Night Television Network
Page 88
(Top left) Enlargement of syndicated network's logo
(Top right) Picture of Times Square, New York City from
(Bottom) Station logos all come from their Wikipedia pages, were the most current available when I retrieved them; logo was contrived with rectangle frame and Garamond font; backdrop is a scene of fireworks at Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia, on New Year's Eve.

Barefoot Family Farm logo
Page 90
Original logo was created on as a "family crest"; second line changed from "INNOCENT AND FREE" to "FAMILY FARM" to make into a corporate logo; in both cases, original footprint installed by was replaced by colored-in version, with words removed, of logo of Barefoot's Auto Mart.