The NC-TJ-Memorial

I felt really intimidated by this assignment at first.  I’m not so good at photo or video editing software so while I was glad to get a little practice I was worried this assignment would take me a long time.  I used the Pixlr editor and after a few YouTube videos I had the hang of it.  The best trick I found was to open each image as an individual item in Pixlr, and then paste them all together.

I felt inspired by this week’s blooming of the Cherry Blossoms.  The base layer image here was taken last year on my iPhone while on a sunrise run down at the tidal basin.

Tidal Basin 2013

Tidal Basin 2013

The second image I used was from that same run – a shot of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial from across the way.  It had this really beautiful glow as the sun was coming up.  Surely old, TJ could use a new view!  I decided to see what it looked like floating in the basin so I pasted it in on top of the first image.  I used the lasso tool to select the memorial from the image, then I copy/pasted it onto the tidal basin layer.  I then used the eraser tool to clean up any rough edges.

T. Jefferson Memorial

T. Jefferson Memorial


The last photo I used is of the “Welcome to North Carolina” sign, found off of Hwy. 85 on the border of North Carolina and Virginia.  It’s my home state and I love get ridiculously excited whenever I see this sign. I wanted to show a little state pride!  I think Thomas Jefferson would appreciate the NC State flag waving from his memorial in the middle of the tidal basin….right?  This photo was taken on my daughter’s first trip down to North Carolina back in November.  I used the same process here to lift the flag from the sign as I did for the above image.

Welcome to North Carolina

Welcome to North Carolina


And the final result – kinda neat 🙂 Thomas Jefferson has a new view from across the tidal basin and he gets to show the world how much he loves North Carolina!

Visual Assign 1

TJ in the Basin Loves NC



2 thoughts on “The NC-TJ-Memorial

  1. You did pretty well for someone who says they have never done this before. Your reasons for choices work well, and do mix things that do not go together.

    Its interesting that the shadows of the trees on the side of the Jefferson Memorial i the original almost look like the tree shadow in your own image.

    If I made suggestions (and that is because I do these composites a lot), some of the problem is in the different color range of The Memorial and the Tidal Basin, so it is fairly clear that it is pasted in. It also seems to hover a bit rather than looking like it sits on the ground.

    Learning how to do this takes experience, but you might see about changing the color levels, or trying some layer effects to make the color towns a little more saturated. The sharp left line is bothersome too, you wither have to try some copy/paste from the right side to match (difficult), or position it so that line is flush with the left side of the image.

    The other thing is that the layering is off. If the memorial is on the far side of the lake, the over hanging tree limbs at the top should be in front of the building, not behind. One way to do this, is to copy the top 1/3 to a new layer, above/on top of the memorial, and try to select out the background (e.g. leaving the black of te tree limbs and leaves.

    I say this not to criticize the assignment, but just to let you know of some things to keep in mind when you do digital image compositing. Your idea, and description of the process, is perfectly done.

    • Thanks – I appreciate the feedback. You bring up a lot of details that I didn’t even consider. ‘m sure it will be useful for future projects.

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