The Wandering A’s – A WSU Multimedia Content Creation – REVISION


My revisions for the Wandering A’s image project featured my making a few large sweeping changes and a few more subtle ones as well.

To review, the image, which illustrates a favorite writing and podcast topic of mine, represents the strange and sometimes chaotic history of the Athletics baseball franchise. Over their much maligned and seldom filled stadium would be the reminders of the places where they have played, the cities they have threatened to move to, their desired home of San Jose and hints of their history.

I also created a title and curved it to counter the curve of the upper deck of the stadium below. A vintage postcard of San Jose, a public domain image of the old Kansas City stadium, the Kansas City logo and a photo of the 1911 World Champion Philadelphia Athletics illustrated their past. Green flags representing Philadelphia, Kansas City and Oakland showed their actual home. Blue flags represented the proposed moves to Louisville, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, San Diego, Seattle, Fremont and San Jose.

The primary criticism I received, and I noted myself, was the map image cluttered everything above the stadium. Instead of the ghostly reminder I was hoping for, I got a messy and difficult to decipher collage with varying opacity to the pics.

One suggestion I received was to use an outline map of the United States that would overlay like a constellation chart. I found a transparent one in a fair use Clip Art site and replaced the vintage map.

I positioned it in the sky and did a slight distortion to the shape to fit it in the space between the top of the frame and the upper bowl of the stadium. Then I moved the flags into position and put them at full opacity. At one point, I tried red flags, but I preferred the effect of the blue flags. They may blend in with the sky, but thematically that is fine. Those flags represented the moves that did not wind up happening so they should be a little less defined.

I added a new piece of art. The elephant has been the Athletics symbol since the 1900’s. The image used was from the 1913 World Series and is in the public domain. I decreased the opacity.

I then took the photos of the postcard, the stadium and the team picture, inverted them and used the feathering technique to soften the edges and give it more of a cloud like, less defined border.

One final adjustment with the colors on the curve allowed for a richer blow background in the sky and a darker green in the stadium below.

And with that, my collage revision is done.

The Wandering A’s – A WSU Multimedia Content Creation




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.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – May 22, 2015

REUTERS/USA Today Sports/Rick Osentoski

REUTERS/USA Today Sports/Rick Osentoski

Wait are the Twins good? Are the Astros and Rays contenders? Is the American League even more wide open than I thought?

It is a totally unpredictable league Episode 938 of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Jacob deGrom, Michael McKenry, R.A. Dickey, Mike Aviles, Jaime Garcia, Martin Prado, Clay Buchholz and David Freese all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?



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