In baseball history, few franchises have had as many colorful stars and have had as many successful teams as the Athletics. A World Series participant in the 1900’s, 1910’s, 1920’s, 1930’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, they are the only team other than the Yankees to win three straight championships. They have also made the postseason 8 times since 2000 and were the subject of an Oscar nominated Brad Pitt movie.
And yet their history has been one of a vagabond team, one that never seems stable and that to this very day is looking to leave their stadium and find a new home. The strange instability for a baseball team that should be one of the flagship franchises has been the subject of many of my writings and podcasts this Photoshop collage for my Washington State University course on Multimedia Creation.
The concept of the image was to take the A’s current home and have the specter of their unstable past and unknown future loom above the empty seats and in the clouds of a beautiful California day.
The inspiration of the piece was the ominous poster for the Coen Brothers’ film No Country For Old Men, where the image of Javier Bardem looms over the running Josh Brolin. Seeing that the stakes are not life and death for the A’s franchise, I chose to pick a day game and a blue sky instead of a dark night game (which was actually my original choice.)
The image was a Creative Commons Flickr piece taken by a user with the handle LA Wad. No payment is needed for the use of the picture and changes can be made to the image according to the rights agreement. Attribution is required.
Hanging over the stadium is a map of the United States, which I applied by layering the picture over the background. I cropped around the image of the country and adjusted the opacity in order to give it a ghostly quality as if it is blending into the clouds.
My original intention was to have many of the great and dubious moments of the team’s history floating above the troubled stadium, but many of those images are not in the public domain and the creative commons agreement for the few I could use would not allow me to alter them.
I did find three public domain images that helped illustrate my point. A team picture of the 1911 World Series champion Philadelphia Athletics represented the great glory years of the the first half of the 20th century. I placed that image in the Northeast and reduced the opacity.
Another image of the Kansas City stadium was also in the public domain. I used the levels adjustments to match the black and white tone of the 1911 picture and then reduced the opacity.
The Kansas City logo was also in the public domain, as was the San Jose postcard, representing where the team wants to move to.
Finally, I found public use clip art of flags. The green flags are placed on the map to represent the places the A’s have called home (Philadelphia, Kansas City and Oakland.) The blue flags are places where they tried to move to over the years (Dallas, Seattle, San Diego, Fremont, San Jose, Denver, Louisville and Atlanta.) Initially they were reduced in opacity as well, but I felt they needed to stand out, so I changed the flags back to 100%, even having the flags overlap some of the photo images
I added the title, which would also be the title of my writing project on this subject, and used an effect to give it a dramatic arch. I experimented with the style to make the words not seem flat. Then I used the Curve adjustment to give the entire picture better contrast.
With that, my draft for the Narrative Collage Assignment is complete.