Crayons: Theme and Variations

pile of crayons

I enjoy photographing batches of objects that become patterns in their collective, or textures that become a background when taken out of context. Since the advent of computers and computer screens, we’ve been calling these “wallpapers”, and I guess that’s appropriate too since these patterns could easily repeat and cover a wall.

As excited as I was to photograph this basket of crayons on one of the children’s tables in Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, I knew my little hand-held digital wasn’t going to win the award; it hasn’t been the same since I dunked it in Robinson Run. So the photo is a little soft, but that’s an invitation to have some of my own fun in PhotoShop, like crayons for adults on computer.

First, I wanted something to simplify the light and shadow and color to a uniformity similar to that of the shapes of the crayons themselves. This filter is “cutout”, meant to resemble cut paper laid out and overlapped, with just six levels of value and the simplest edge setting (if you use PhotoShop, this will make sense).

Crayons, cut out.

Then, I played around and discovered I really liked the “glowing edges” effect and the effect of a pile of neon lights.

glowing crayons
Crayons, glowing.


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