Merced Camera Club, Getting The Picture
Getting The Picture

This is a monthly (or so) feature of our site, in which Merced Camera Club members provide their thoughts
about the creation of some of our favorite images.

February, 2012

"The Hug" -- Joy Ullrich

How it’s done:

I was dancing in clouds when we received the announcement that my precious niece Sharna was going to be married! Finally some wonderful young man had seen how special she was and was going to make her his wife. I loved him already. She wasn’t just the educated career woman that had lived abroad and held a highly paid position for a national software company. She was adorable, perky, fun, and loving. My thoughts went to her chirpy sweet childhood voice. That lilt and excitement it had as she spoke. My heart was full of love for her!

I was going to that wedding armed with a camera. I didn’t care that they had a professional photographer. (“Auntie Joy” was going to try her best to get special shots that would attempt to express her love.)

So there I was at a San Francisco disco, camera in hand. What a challenge! We went outside to do some industrial shots in the sunlight. That is where this shot of Gwendolyn and her little brother Gavin was taken. What special little ones. They belong to Sharna’s bother Lee and his wife Kelly. Gwendolyn and Gavin are my great niece and nephew!

The picture I chose to use for “The Hug” was not the one that had Gwendolyn hugging Gavin in a sweet precious conventional staged way. I purposefully chose the one where she had him in the “GRIP” fighting for balance. They were all giggles when it occurred. It was so magical and childlike!

I used Photoshop Creative Suite to edit the photography. This composite of photographs (three layers) was started by isolation of Gwendolyn and Gavin. The magnetic lasso tool was used to select the figures. The inverse was selected and deleted. (select-inverse-delete) Gone was the industrial brick background. (layer one)

Then, using the same techniques as above, some greens and a flower from a bouquet that was in the entry to the disco were isolated. And free transform was used to make them curve to the shape that I wanted. (edit-free-transform) (layer two)

The picture now needed a background. Blue is the complement to orange and those were the wedding colors. Artistically, that would have been a great choice. However, I was concerned that blue would not look right with Gavin’s grey suit. So I used the eyedropper tool to pick a yellow orange color from the center of the flower and filled the layer using the paint bucket tool. Then I went to filter and selected texture-texturizer-burlap. (layer three)

The next step was Layers-flatten image. It was done. The Hug picture was a reality! I sized it for printing and took the CD to Costco and had three copies printed on canvas. It made a gift filled with love from “Auntie Joy” for my special niece and nephew. We have one on our antique organ in the family room. It reminds me to pray for those precious ones every day!

The Birdie

Getting The Picture Archives


"Patriotism," Tom Frazier


"Baby Blue Eyes," Robert Dayton


"Stark Existence," Jim Cunningham


"The Old Barn" -Carlene Cunningham


"Dance" -Sam Shaw


"Snow Geese Flight Pattern" -Lloyd Bever


"Wildflower Trail" -Floyd Hopper


"Sunflower" -Andy Tolsma


"Dramatic Bridal Veil Falls" -Karen Campbell


"Light Bulb" -Brian Ratzlaff


"Mirror Image" -Tom Kidd

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