Adding & Editing My Header

Original unedited base image via Wikimedia Commons
Original unedited base image via Wikimedia Commons

So unfortunately, I was out sick for the class that we learned hands-on about image-editing. But fortunately, I’ve had some experience over the last decade with various lite image editing software like Jasc Paint Shop Pro, among others. So I was relieved to launch Pixlr and find a similar, user-intuitive interface that I was already comfortable navigating.

The first thing I did was find two complementary images on Google Image Search that I would be happy using. This was probably most challenging due to the need to find two images that I liked that were licensed properly for free, non-commercial, editable use. I’m very picky when it comes to aesthetics, and really wanted to keep my cactus theme since cacti have a personal meaning to me (as a unique flora they are beautiful, strong, resilient, contradictory and enigmatic). Also, I didn’t want two very different images since visually, for me at least, I really prefer thematic consistency. (Which is probably my OCD kicking in!) Luckily, I found some images I was happy with – even more so later when I got to editing!

The editing part came fairly naturally. I opened my base photo first, edited the brightness, contrasts (to make it pop), saturation, and hue (to make it more green and mystical-looking), and set the size to the necessary dimensions for my WordPress theme. Then I opened the additional image of a single round cactus, tinkered with the saturation, hue, and contrast again, and free-hand cut the image to make it rounder around certain edges, finally placing (pasting) it atop the right side of my base image.

Edited, un-cropped base image with altered hue, saturation, contrast, etc.; original photo via Wikimedia Commons
Edited, un-cropped base image with altered hue, saturation, contrast, etc.; original photo via Wikimedia Commons

Before this assignment, however, I hadn’t actually known of Pixlr, but I think I can now use this in my everyday life to make my social media more visually interesting, as well as use the software to edit images for some sites and blogs I run or work for. Since it’s an open online software, too, I am definitely happy to know I can use it anywhere, not just on my laptop or desktop at home!

In “Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls,” Coleman talks about the emergence, cultural implications, and popularity of Internet memes, noting that these are always “under constant modification by users (p. 109).” This got me thinking about image editing and remixing, since most Web users, I think anyway, are always saving and taking images they find that they like and editing or altering them into something new and valuable in their own right, adding their own spin or perspective on it. I think that’s what this assignment had us do, as well.


3 thoughts on “Adding & Editing My Header

  1. endumele February 22, 2015 / 3:03 am

    I think you did a great job with your header! I cant tell the difference at all when it comes to the different pictures you used. I love what you did with the saturation of some plants in your header. One thing you could improve is making the plants that are saturated more balanced on each side. When I first looked at the header I was very drawn to the edited plant on the right as opposed to the title of your blog.


  2. spinto92 February 22, 2015 / 6:24 am

    I think your blog is really intriguing. Your header is really captivating. I enjoyed reading this post because I had such a different view on this assignment. I am not technology savvy so making this header was a very difficult process for me. However, reading how easily it came to you made me feel as if I could potentially have it come easy to me as well!


  3. ebeaufort February 22, 2015 / 7:17 am

    You’re blog header is very well done! I really like that you utilized color isolation and saturation adjustments to really make some of the cacti pop. My only gripe is the cactus on the right seems to have a rather harsh and defined separation point from the rest of the image, but otherwise, I really think your process and effort has paid off.


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