Double PWE’d

A couple days ago I was graced by not one but two PWE’s from my buddy Pat over at the Hot Corner.


PWE #1 had a trio of 2010 Topps. The Captain, Jonny Lester and Jeremy Hermida, who if I’m not mistaken, is playing for the Brewers these days.


PWE #2 kicked it up a notch. Pat sent a long a nifty 2008 Tristar Ryan Kalish refractor (they call them “reflectors”) and a purple parallel Jamie Callahan from Bowman. I didn’t have either one of these.


Last but not least, he finishes off the package with a blue sparkly Ortiz from Opening Day. That’s my kind of parallel.

Awesome cards Pat, thanks!!!

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.