Sunday, September 9, 2012

The making of the "The Girl Next Door"

The Surface Design Association (SDA) Illinios Chapter has opened a Call for Entry for all Midwest SDA members. Email me at darcy@darcyberg for a copy of the prospectus. The name of the show is "Blind Eye". The exhibition's concept: Too often today we see tragic situations that result from the lack of action. This exhibition hopes to explore the destructive results of ignoring a situation or people’s ignorance to thinking everything will be ok when they choose to not get involved in making the world a better place.
Alright. Now, what to do...what to do...what to do. Do I develop something about the environment? No. Do I develop something about elderly people? No. I decided that I would do a photo shoot of two little girls running somewhere. Could it be down a road or a lane? And then I had this idea that I would take a shot of a street sign that said "dead end". I could collage the 2 shots in Photoshop. Great plan.

So I contacted a friend and asked her if I could use her two little girls as models. The girls were thrilled with the idea. I was thrilled she agreed to let me use them as models. We went a local park and took about 300 images in various poses. The girls were great! And their mom was happy to act as my assistant. Bonus! As payment I took them all out for ice cream cones and gave their mom images I took of the girls that I thought turned out nice.

As most plans go, after viewing the images that I took I changed my mind about my piece. I selected this shot of one of the girls.

I loved the look on her face and the light bouncing off her hair. Okay, any of you that know me and how I develop my portrait quilts know that I love to work in Photoshop. I began to work my magic. Cropping is the first order of business.

What a face! Perfect!

Now on to the sliders for brightness and contrast. Then on to levels. Next to saturation and sharpening. A little use of the dodge and burn tools and I'm off to the next level. 

I have two favorite programs that are third party plug-ins for Photoshop. One of them is Photomatix to produce an HDR (high dynamic range) image. The other is Nix Silver Efex. This program turns color images into a black and white. Voila! Here is my final image.

Since the size of the piece has to be 15" by 15", I have to send the piece out to be printed. My printer will print to a width of 13". That's not wide enough. I could have added a border but I considered to be distractive. It has to be the image only. Now you might be thinking, I could have tiled the image and pieced together but I don't like that look. I like a whole cloth piece. So off to Spoonflower she went. Here's the link to Spoonflower:
That's all for now. I can't wait to show you how she turned out!



  1. You were right about her face, how perfect! What will you do with the image when you get it back from Spoonflower? Will you stitch on it?

    1. Hi Norma,

      Yes, I will stitch on it. I will be bloging about that step soon. Stay tuned!


  2. I can't wait to see what you do with this. That expression on her face is a little haunting.

  3. Very cool. I think I need a few new plug ins to play with! Kathy Downie