It’s funny how the plans we all have are often times not the path we end up walking. We learned on Friday that my wife’s job will be going away shortly. The business owner is retiring and they’ll be closing the doors soon. We had hoped to visit my family in New England this year, let the kiddo experience a real white Christmas, all that good stuff, but that’s probably not happening. That’s ok, plans can change. What’s important is that we find a good fit job wise and it’s something enjoyable and fulfilling. It’s only a minor bump in the road, nothing we can’t handle together. Wish us luck!
I showed off random team sets earlier this year when several of them hit at once (S1, GQ, etc). Now that the summer has drawn to a close we can take a look at what the past few months had to offer.
I forget which blogs I saw it on, but over the summer someone had floated the idea of showing off your card room and/or man cave. I thought that was an awesome idea. Like “Cribs”, only super nerdy.
So, I welcome you into my man cave and game room. Let me give you the tour…
I’m calling it. I have completed it. Honestly, I thought I had it completed two years ago, but Topps has this lovely habit of extending parallels into infinity and not really mentioning it anywhere. If you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about and why am I not just posting pictures of cards, let me catch you up.
It’s been one of those summers. One crazy thing after another, big projects at work, big projects at home, lots of money spent on things other than small rectangles of cardboard. At one point we had a vacation or, as it’s more commonly referred to by fathers, “that time when I drove 12 hours and had to listen to kids music the whole way”. I joke. We did have a vacation, and I did do a lot of driving, but it was a good trip.
I was fortunate to get my hands on a free box of 2016 Stadium Club thanks to the awesome folks over at the MLBPA and their twitter contests. I hadn’t busted any hobby boxes this year, that sort of thing just isn’t in my budget, so when I was notified that I won I was pretty excited. Stadium Club has always been about the amazing photography and, as a photographer, I’m deeply envious of every photographer who gets to do this sort of thing as a day job. It’s, literally, my dream job. I couldn’t imagine anything more awesome than combining two of my favorite things on the planet.
Now that we’re finally deep enough into card season that releases are coming out every few weeks, I can catch up on my team sets. I know it’s not glamorous, a little boring, whatever you want to call it, but team sets are still my primary collecting goal. Not hits, not rookies, not individual players, but team sets themselves make up the bulk of my collecting. I also cheat and buy them rather than bust packs for them. A) I’ve never, in the history of ever, pulled all the cards I need for a set. Not once. I’m always chasing loose ends. B) It’s significantly cheaper. Buying a $12 team set and getting the exact 10, 15, 20 cards I need is considerably more economical than buying a $20 blaster and getting 2, or an $80 box and getting all but 3 (and then paying $3 each for those missing ones).
I’m sure most folks in the card blogging community have read that Sam, aka The Daily Dimwit, is taking a break from collecting. While many have left kind regards and well wishes to him on his blog (as well you should), I actually know Sam in real life, and can do that in person. Our wives have known each other since grade school and I met Sam, through that connection, after moving to Texas years ago. I credit him with my eventual return to the hobby. We try and meet up when we can, catch up, and usually exchange cardboard. He was in town a little while ago and, although we weren’t able to meet up this time, he left me quite the card package on my door-step. We’ll have to work out schedules and properly plan a time to hang out soon. So until I can thank him in person, a blog post in gratitude will have to suffice.
So, per usual, this weekend we made a shopping trip to Target and per usual I’m standing in the card isle trying to find something worth buying. My Target’s card isle is usually pathetic, but this weekend they had two lonely blasters of Diamond Kings. I love Diamond Kings, I think they’re a brilliant merger of art and baseball, but $20 is a lot (for us) and I already have most of the Sox team set. I buy it anyways, because I’m weak, but we have other errands to run and I set it aside to open later. When I finally do open it, I’m suddenly glad I bought it. This was waiting for me in the first pack…
I should start this off by saying the easier way to do this is to take a scan of a card and simply cut out the “corner” design elements and paste them onto a photo. If you’re more inclined to do that, I’d recommend reading the first part of the tutorial and ignoring the later 2/3rds. However, if you’d like to know how to recreate the 2016 Topps design, vaguely accurately, read on.
Prerequisites: In order to complete this tutorial you’re going to need a few things…
- Basic to moderate Photoshop knowledge.
- Photoshop CS6 or CC (for the lens blur effects and stacking layer styles)
- Several “grunge” and/or “water color” Photoshop brushes. Some free examples here, here and here.
- Various metal textures and patterns, examples here.
- A “metal hole” texture or pattern, good example here.
- Team logo of your choice (good resolution)
- A high-res photo of your favorite baseball player. Try Google, image search, “more options”, “larger than 4mb”.
Let’s do this!