Holiday Greeting Card 2010 / Win Free Movie Passes!

It’s been a little over a year now that I’ve taken this leap into being a full time photographer.  I’m going to start the new year off by giving away some movie passes.  Read on to learn how!

I wanted my greeting cards this year to be more unique.  I wanted it to be something I created myself with my photography.  What I did was a holiday tree painted with light in a studio.  I’ve always been interested in light painting and a few years ago I started a fine art series on it using car headlights mostly.

Calgary Hustle - Ltd. Edition Print by: Jeff Cruz

Read on and find out how you can win some free movie passes:

One Entry:

1)  Make a comment on this blog post saying you want a card sent to you.

2) Send me your mailing address at: jeff@jcruzfoto.com with how many entries you made.

Bonus Entries:

-Tweet this post (+1 entry)

-Like this  post on Facebook (+1 entry)

-Suggest your friends to add me on Facebook (+1 per friend suggestion)

Tally up your entries and email me your information.  Your name will go into a draw for movie passes (3 sets of two passes to be won*).

How I made the image and the card….
Equipment:
  • camera with manual settings
  • Sigma 10-20mm (wide) lens
  • steady Manfrotto tripod
  • sight source (I used my Petzl LED headlamp that I use for camping)
  • a remote trigger (isn’t necessary but it helps)
  • Adobe Photoshop (or a similar program that handles layers)
  • a very dark room
  • most of all lots of patience.

Equipment I used to make the light tree

Step 1) I set the camera shutter to bulb with my trigger (if you don’t have a trigger set your camera to at least 30 seconds or longer).  I manually focused the distance of where I would be standing while painting the tree.

Step 2) I turned off the  studio lights and then made sure my camera started exposing.  I then placed myself in front of the camera and started to use my headlamp to paint the tree!  It took me about four or five attempts before I got the tree the shape I wanted.  I also had to remember where I’ve gone with the light because when you’re light painting you can’t see it until you are done.

The room would be in complete darkness but for this picture I popped a flash so you can see what the painting process looks like

This what I got straight out of the camera

Once you find the right tree that will work for you it’s time to take it to the editing room with Photoshop.

(Here’s where it gets really geeky.  If  you aren’t Photoshop savy then you may want to end it here)

Step 3) Start out by loading up the file and creating a new layer with a duplicate of the tree.  This duplicate will be flipped and become the reflection on the floor.

Step 4) Now blur that layer with a Gaussian blur filter.  Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.  I used a radius of 19.5 pixels but you can experiment with yours.  Blend the reflection layer a bit more by erasing some of the edge.

Step 5) Make the black background a different colour by making a new layer and filling it with a colour of your choosing.  Once you do that change the blending of that layer to Linear Dodge (add).  It looks blue here but that’s because my original idea was to make it blue.  I changed my mind to keep it with my brand colours which is grey and yellow.

Step 6) It’s time to make our stars!  Make your own star with lines on a separate image or find a free one on the internet.  Fill it with whatever colour you like and  copy and paste them into the tree image.  To make them look like they are twinkling I feathered the edges to about 10 pixels before copying and pasting.

Ok just for the sake of saving time (just like they do it on TV cooking shows) this is the final product after I changed the background colour from blue to grey, made more reflections of all the stars and darkened the floor to give it a bit of depth.  Let me know if you want all the details I’d be happy to explain it further…. for now this is what it looks like:

Why movie passes? If you’ve read my previous post about inspiration you’ll know that movies are a source of inspiration for me.  I love movies (who doesn’t?) and I can always trace back memorable scenes in my favourite films for all my photography.

What other cool greeting  card ideas do you have?  Share them here!

Don’t forget to enter in the draw for free movie passes!

One Entry:

1)  Make a comment on this blog post saying you want a card sent to you.

2) Send me your mailing address at: jeff@jcruzfoto.com with how many entries you made.

Bonus Entries:

-Tweet this post (+1 entry)

-Like this  post on Facebook (+1 entry)

-Suggest your friends to add me on Facebook (+1 per friend suggestion)

Tally up your entries and email me your information.  Your name will go into a draw for movie passes (3 sets of two passes to be won*).

*You can only win once and winners will be announced in January

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6 Responses to “Holiday Greeting Card 2010 / Win Free Movie Passes!”

  1. Hi Jeff,

    The card is wonderful and I would be thrilled to have a card sent to me. You are incredibly talented and creative! Can’t wait to see more! :)

    Cheers,
    Shivani

  2. Mark Santos says:

    Fancy stuff Jeff! Looks really cool…I want it.

  3. Lisa Harrigan says:

    Love the card, please send me one.

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