Friday, August 24, 2012


A collaboration between Angel and myself

This is another caption made my request for help in "A Collaboration between me and... you?".  Much like "Holiday Experimentation" I took a story written up by Angel that was inspired by a photo and idea from me, and applied it into one of my designs.

Now Angel's story was far shorter than Anne Oni Mouse's so I knew it would work in a variety of layouts.  My first thought was to use a text over photo much like I ended up with, but i wanted to have the entire text box be above the girl's legs.  But the story was about a paragraph and a half too long (with keeping the text to a reasonably readable level).  At the same time, it was too short to extent all the way down to the bottom of the photo.  So I had a few choices;

  • Cut into Angel's story and edit out what would be about 20% to 30% of the story.  Then it would fit above her legs and be easily readable.
  • Shrink the text smaller than what I thought would work, and have it all fit above her legs. 
  • Increase the size of the text so that it would fit down to the bottom of the photo.
I know.. I could also add about a paragraphs worth of text to the story so that it would fit... but doing so would mean more raw writing... and as I've mentioned a few times that's where I'm having trouble.  Even if I wanted to try that, it would be harder than normal as I'd be trying to match Angel's style of prose.  

I really didn't relish the idea of cutting the story down (I just felt that I would have to cut some major meat out of the story), or shrinking the text down so that most could enjoy it, but not me.  So it was a fairly easy choice to increase the font size.  I pulled out all my little tricks sot that I would have to increase it as little as possible.  Like making the last line stand on it's own and be far larger than the rest of the text and making the remaining story both bold and italicized   

I think it fits fairly well... but having the text box take up so much space really made the extra empty space on the left of the original photo just didn't work for me.  Oh... and just in case you didn't look at the previous posts, here is the original:

So I cropped the image down to just barely include the rope on her arms (I figured I had to leave that there as it was mentioned in the story).  Now, my initial reaction was to have the text and text box be a similar pink to the dress... but I felt that this gave it a little too much of a bubble gum, happy feeling over what is essentially a darker story.  And while I like that feeling in some songs (think Jimmy Buffett - Margaritaville), I didn't want to go for that here. 

So my next design move was to make the photo itself 'darker'.  I didn't really darken it, instead I just removed almost all of the saturation from the colors.  From there it was easy to pick out some unsaturated pinks to use for the text and the text box.  

I then realized that I didn't leave any obvious room for the title.  Sure, I could make a cap without a title in it, but that just doesn't fit me nor my style very well.   To complicate things, I already had some larger text.  I briefly considered making it even bigger, removing the text box from under it, and making it a more stylized font... but I didn't want to confuse the story with the title.  

I next played around with trying to get the title 'Voices' and make it appear like it was behind the girls' arm (similar to what I did with the title in "Sensitivity Training".  But I couldn't work it out so that it would be big enough to be a title and not have to delete so much of it that you couldn't tell what it said.  so finally I decided to have it be 'too big' but reduce it's opacity so that you could see through it.  

I was almost ready to publish, but the title was still bothering me.  It was plain and it didn't really invoke the feeling of the story.  I have no idea where the idea came from, but I decided to make a copy of the title and give it a 'rippled' effect.  Combining the regular title and this rippled effect left it legible, but still gave it the edge that I read in the story.  

Now, just like in "Holiday Experimentation", I would be happy to call this done.  But this is still a collaboration between Angel and I.  So Angel.... what do you think?  I barely touched the story (I had to cut down one paragraph so that I didn't have a single word hanging off on it's own line), but what do you think of the design?  Anything you'd like to see different?  

If so, just let me know.  I won't be satisfied or call this done, until we both agree on it!


  1. I find it interesting how changing the image can change the tone of the story so significantly. With the saturation effects you did, it makes the whole thing take on a darker, almost nerve-wracking sort of tone. Suddenly the story is much more tense, you can almost hear the protagonist's heart beating as you read it.

    I think this is an example of just why you are one of the most popular caption makers I know. The words may have been mine, but with your touch you elevated it from a simple, almost generic story into something captivating, something that draws the reader in and makes them a part of the scene.

    I'd certainly not hesitate to call this done.

    1. Thanks Angel! I think the story worked well. Very 'in your face' on this one!

  2. Awesome...I'm running out of superlatives to describe your craft. I think it works on every level.

    1. Thanks Jenna! I will hopefully continue to push your dictionary when I write up your story!

  3. Another great use of that image. I managed to get mine posted today as well.


    1. Thanks LisaAnn! Just another two caps and I'll have this pic out of my system and be moving on to the next one!

  4. Awesome layout and presentation! I'm particularly fond of the text effects on the title , and the color effects on the source pic :)

    The writing seems a little raw... but that can add a sense of immediacy ... Well done!


    1. Thanks Brittney. I'm particularly proud of the title as I've never done that before!

  5. Another awesome can from the pair of you:D I'm really excited with how many people are taking it on themselves to make this picture a caption. I'm starting to wonder if this should be a kind of capping game for all of you pro's out there, take an image, each take another persons story and make a cap to see who can do the caption up the best.

    Yet again, just an idea:D


    1. Thanks Jane!

      I'm not sure how much traction a game like that would get. Most cap artists (including myself when I'm feeling up to it) spend most of their time working on their own caps. It also wouldn't be all that spontaneous as we'd have to set up 'teams' of people to work with each other.

      But that's not to say it can't happen. If there's interest, I'd certainly be willing to join in such a game.