Congrats to the winners of otherworldlyric round 170 ("Bad to the Bone") xclaire_delunex , kwritten and chic_c for deconstructing a testosterone-drenched song marvelously and beautifully. Question: Is Claire's winning entry of Elena in TVD? I have no idea but dear lord that image - that expression, I want to get to know this character - and HOW is it possible to get such superb high quality resolution in an icon?
Congratulations also to the winners of slayerstillness round 22 ("A Room Full of Emptiness"): tempertemper, teragramm, kwritten, rua1412 and debris4spike!
Entries for the next rounds for both are due this Friday, May 2. I sent in my entries for slayerstillness a while back and have been sitting on my hands for nearly a week wanting to show them off, win or no win. OWL? Well, I'm working on something; we'll see if any of them turn out to my liking.
Icons after the cut but first, a little sneak peak:
I want to give a special shout-out to debris4spike's entries this round of slayerstillness, especially her Cave Buffy icon (#15, also on her journal). Beer Bad is a very underrated episode, IMO. Check out beer_good_foamy's meta as to why, if you still need convincing. The scene where Cave Buffy is first revealed to us in the episode still gives me shivers, particularly in retrospect; Cave Buffy foreshadows The First Slayer as well as the newly-resurrected Buffy in Bargaining, wandering dazed and disoriented in a town that went to hell in her absence.
I was just starting to play with the "splash" effect on Photobucket that allows me to add and erase color from an image but worried that it was too "simple", not sophisticated enough, everyone's been there, done that, etc etc...and then I saw Debra's Beer Bad icon that uses this subtractive effect very subtly and skillfully to wonderfully dramatic effect; so she unknowingly gave me "permission" to continue to play with it.
I was feeling that I'd run out of tricks as far as Photobucket was concerned and hit the wall of it's limitations as a program until I wondered "What does this effect do...?" to myself the other day (aka a couple of months ago but who's counting, really? In my world, time is rather, shall we say, elastic.) Oh, it does this:
1) 2) 3)
Rather nifty! Not quite out of tricks yet, then, after all.
I actually made this one origin for the slayerstillness challenge # 22 that just ended, which focused on negative space around characters. (Hey, it takes skill to plan for a challenge five days in advance and still manage to miss the deadline by a whisker, kids.) You're probably tired of hearing me say "This is one of my favorite icons I've made" but I love how this came out. Such a happy accident and unlike anything I've yet made. I have never made an image before that ended up looking like a screenclip from a hand-tinted early 20th century photograph or movie frame. And I'm not sure that I could possibly reproduce it.
I loved the idea of Dawn's red sweater representing her beating, bleeding heart full of love and courage, and the only thing a still-disoriented Buffy can focus on in that moment. Summers blood is indeed the blood of champions. (Sadly, S6 downplays the trauma both of them would "realistically" experience going forward in relation to one another. What in the world must that do to a person? To Dawn? Her sister sacrificed her life before her very eyes then is brought back from the dead just as suddenly and shockingly.)
More icons for the challenge I missed using the "splash" effect. Of course some Anne and Empty Places icons, naturellement:
5 ) 6) 7) 8)
No I wasn't listening to Martha Reeves and the Vanellas when I made #8, but I am a native of Motown. And now you can't get the song out of your head either, can you?
The font is one of my favorite's PB's "Acme".
9) 10) 11)
Clearly I am a fan of multiple color variations. You can blame my college-era fascination with Monet for that. I don't think this set is anything that hasn't been done before, but I wanted to use the subtractive effect to suggest the way depression (hopelessness, grief, despair, apathy, spiritual and moral exhaustion) actually feels, as well as to focus on the negative space around her.
12) 13) 14) 5) 16)
Another thing I am clearly a fan of: using quotes from one season, in this case Ken's comment to Buffy in Anne, with images from another to tie them together across the years (#14 - 15). And ff OWL ever uses Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty" for their prompt, I've just shot myself in the foot posting #16; but whenever I watch EP or look at screencaps from it, that song is running through my head. I like the concept of 12-16 and the overall look; I like the composition, the slump of Sarah's shoulders and the way the coat, which she first wore in "Him", seems to hang off her meagre frame. I love the way the floor in # 13 shines as if it were newly-varnished wood; and the brilliant violet-blue of the lockers in the background sunlight, especially in #16, and how those details make Buffy's despair feel a little sharper. But I'm dissatisfied with the clarity of the images; too fuzzy and not on purpose. That is one aspect that I still have a lot to learn about.
Lest you think I'm all about the angst and gloom, this one began as another attempt to do a negative spaces icon for Slayerstillness and went...in a different direction.
Now it can be told: It wasn't the oppression of her captor's that broke through Buffy's apathy in Anne. It was the realization that even in Hell, you are constantly subjected to advertising. In fact that may be the very definition of Hell. (That and the whole hopelessness deal.)
What are some of your favorite "effects" in whatever editing platforms or suites you use, Gentle Reader? What have been your moments of serendipity and happy accidents?