Random Gypsy Queens

Right up front I should mention that not only did I purchase a master team set this year, I also purchased a mini set AND a complete 1-300 set. So, yeah, I cheated quite a bit. The prices were just too good. The master team set (including SPs and inserts) was $6.99, the mini set was $3.99 and the complete base set was just $19. For the same price as a blaster and a rack pack, I’m done. Honestly, I couldn’t pass that up.

That being said, I still couldn’t stay away from the card isle this month. I made 2 random Target trips with the family and bought 3 blasters. $60 worth and I didn’t get 1/3 of the entire set or any of my team. That pretty much puts the nail in the retail coffin as far as I’m concerned. Opening packs IS fun, but not “wasting $60 worth” fun. I’ll still do it every once in a while, but I promised myself I would not go crazy with retail this year and this just re-enforces it.


How to: Gypsy Queen

Alright Photoshop warriors, it’s tutorial time. A couple pre-requisites for this one. PS CS4 and above required for this one. I believe it was CS4 that added some of the HDR options we’ll be using. I’m using CS6, but 4 and 5 should be more than sufficient. Also, right off the bat, you’re going to need a really large source file. If you’re looking to use a 200k screen grab of your favorite player, you’re going to have a bad time, but more on this in a minute.

Alright, let’s outline what we’re trying to do: We’re trying to recreate the photo effect used on Topps Gypsy Queen baseball cards. I would describe this effect as High Dynamic Range coupled with copious amounts of grain. It’s just surreal enough to have an almost painterly look to it.


Custom Gypsy Queens

Today I have a teaser. I wanted to duplicate the HDR-ish effect of Gypsy Queen card photos and I think I came pretty close. Here’s a preview of the effect, and a side-by-side comparison with an actual real card. Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to actually do it.


Buying in Bulk

My preferred (but notably less “fun”) way of buying baseball cards is in team sets. That’s my primary focus and, I won’t lie, sellers who bust and sell sets make my life so much easier. Having the ability to buy a $5 team set and avoid wasting $20 on a blaster of cards I don’t need is an awesome thing. Plus there are some things I wouldn’t normally be able to buy, like hobby only team sets, because I don’t bust boxes of most things.