Busy Photo on a Magazine Cover (Design Solution)

So I didn’t happen to take this issue’s photo, but it was the strongest image I had to pick from of everything we’d acquired for the Home for the Holidays issue. It’s a cool shot from a unique vantage point (I can only assume it’s from the Silicon Valley Capital Club at the top of the Knight Ridder building), but the problem is it’s busy busy BUSY for a magazine cover. Coverlines won’t work on it, and even without any, it was still too busy. On top of that, it’s lacking that, ohhhh, festive touch. I know that snow isn’t exactly a common sight in San Jose, but we can fake it, right?

First, I did a little tilt-shift photoshop work to bring the focus on the Ring of Palms and ice rink, and blur out the other stuff. This was nice, but it wasn’t enough. Then I thought, let’s make this scene appear to be seen through a frosted over window – you know, like when you have to scrape a view through your windshield. Work with me here… I bought a cool frost photo from istockphoto.com, removed the black background, and used parts of it around the edges. I added a little fog, and WA-LA, there you have a creative solution to an unfestive, busy photo for use on a magazine cover! Thanks for reading. Oh, for a few hundred more magazine covers, click here.

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  • November 20, 2009 - 9:44 pm

    Kurt Kemling - Chris, what an amazing transformation!! Genius and well excecuted.