Saturday, August 25, 2012

I Dare You...

A Collaboration between Jane Ehlers and myself

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

Jane's story was one of the first (if not the first) that she's written for a cap.  I think she did a great job of making a quick scene... but there were a few issues to deal with.  I ended up rewriting several parts mainly just to avoid the same phrases being used right next to each other, and to continue some themes throughout the cap.

When it came to design, I was a little hesitant.  This is a very dark story... darker even than "Voices" but at the same time it has a completely different feel.  Almost a hint of hyper realism.  This is more 'in the moment' than the previous entries.  For example it doesn't specify what the exact dare was.  It doesn't specify how our heroine ended up looking so much like a woman, or even use names.  So depending on who reads this, they might not have as much of a 'dark' feeling toward it.

Since I had already done a 'dark' design, I opted to go in a different direction. Instead of making it dark, I'd go for that sense of hyper reality.  A far more 'in your face' design.  The first thing I did to get that feeling was crop the image down.  I wanted it more focused on her face instead of those sexy tied legs... so sadly they got cut.  Next I brightened up the photo some, and turned up the saturation.   I then went for a very punchy background image.  Not punchy as in active or busy.. but bright saturated color.  The first thing on my mind was 'HOT PINK', so I went with that and quickly found an appropriate background.

Normally for a background, I'm fading it out somewhat so that you can see the hint of a gradation behind it.  But this time I let it stand up in its original color. I followed the same color choices in the text box, but sadly with all that pink I had to say black with the text (other color choices just blended in too much).

As with my other collaborations, I am anxiously awaiting Jane's opinion.  I changed the text up quite a bit and went in a different direction with the design, so I want to make sure it matches the 'feeling' she had as she wrote the story.


  1. All I can really say is WOW! I reread my draft after reading the cap and definately see a huge difference, in a good way, between my write up and yours. Writing it I wasn't really thinking, just putting words to the image as I saw a scenario play out in my head so I can see now where my pitfalls were. The brightness of the picture I think works really well with the dark story for some reason. Maybe because the color is so shockingly bright it brings about more of thoughts of panic.

    I'm really honored that you'd use my very rough story though and couldn't be happier with the end product even if it is probably not everyones, or for that matter anyones, cup of tea.

    If you decide to do this again I look forward to trying to do something in a totally different direction just to see what you do with it if you do anything with it:D



    1. I'm glad you like it Jane! I wouldn't be to hard on yourself when it comes to the story you put up. The repeated phrases and rough edges are how most of my stories begin. Through habit and continual writing I simply edit on the fly and fix them. I think you used the correct term... it was just 'rough'. And don't doubt for a moment that this style of story won't be popular! You'll find that many people like this particular cup of tea!

      I will probably be doing this again as it was a lot of fun to focus in on the design around someone else's story, and as of now my personal story writing muse is still on sabbatical. I look forward to your submission!

  2. I enjoyed it, but I think you could've cropped it even more, by keeping the picture the same size but cropping it where the fourth paragraph starts and expanding it to fit that space. Then again, I am not sure if that would lessen the quality of the image. I just see too much white space at the bottom.

    Everything though feels TIGHT and I know that is by design.

    1. You got the main reasoning right... closer cropping did result in reduced image quality. I think I could have better positioned the background so that the lighter 'waves' weren't immediately under the white are in the photo as that surely adds to the feeling of white space in the photo.

      But another reason to not crop the photo further was I wanted to show just how short the dress was. That required leaving a little of her thigh in the crop. If I eliminated the white sheet completely in, I would have cropped that part out.

  3. Caitlyn,

    The story is definitely HOT... I'm on the fence about the brightness of the image and colors... Yes, this "works", but would it have been better if you went with an overall "darker" layout/scheme? I don't know, but i think it's possible... Of course, you're in a pretty unique situation, captioning the same image, and trying to do it differently each time, and avoid repeating yourself, so maybe this IS for the best :)

    About the only other "critique" I would offer is that story seems like it COULD go just a bit farther.... It's fine as it is, but just another 2-3 sentences MIGHT have led to a more natural stopping point... Or that could be just me :)

    Either way, it's still a very enjoyable and great-LOOKING caption!



    1. Thanks Britney!

      I admit that if I hadn't already done a 'dark' cap with this photo, I probably would have gone that direction with this cap. Maybe it's just because it's in front of my eyes, but I think this brighter saturated version actually works better though.

  4. Ummm, I like pretty much everything about it...the searing color makes me think of that state of heightened senses that comes form an adrenaline rush. My mind rebels against the violence and betrayal in the story, but,it's interesting and well put together.

    1. Thanks Jenna! I'll admit I'm on the fence when it comes to the violence. Is it over the top? Yes. Is it too much? I don't think so. I think it adds to the helplessness of the situation. In a shorter story like this it's hard to generate that sense of 'no way out' without such an overt action.