Photo Colorization (Star Trek)

star trek bw before

Before Colorization

star trek color after

After Colorization

For one of the first projects of the semester, I converted a black-and-white photo of three Star Trek characters into a colorized version, with each color assigned to its own separate layer. Using the Brush tool, I painted one trait or feature (e.g. hair, skin, shirts) on its own layer. Then, I adjusted the hue, saturation, and lightness levels to achieve the desired effect.


Web Banner

mfa reading web banner

Web Banner

I repurposed the elements of the previous Event Flyer project and designed a web banner formatted for online viewing. The main objective was to optimize the image so that it could look visually appealing as online content. I resized the feature image of the stage, curtains, and stool in order to reduce the loss of image quality. I rearranged the text and reduced the number of words in the content to achieve a level of conciseness more appropriate for a web graphic.

Photo Colorization (Einstein)


Source: Google Images


For this project, I revisited one of the earlier assignments given this semester and chose to colorize a second black-and-white photo. A separate layer was created for each color I applied to this image of Albert Einstein, which included his jacket, skin, hair, chalkboard, and the chalk itself. I used the Eye Dropper tool in the Color Picker panel to select colors from unrelated color images (to paint the right skin color, for example), and I adjusted the Hue and Saturation levels of certain layers to achieve even better results.

Animated eCard


For this assignment, I chose one of three layer comps and added animation to create movement in an eCard. I added a Motion Blur smart filter to each moving layer to enhance the appearance of motion, which in turn enhances the concept of “reaching for the stars” or “the sky’s the limit” when it comes to achieving a huge goal. My target audience would be young students who are about to graduate from high school or college.

Layer Comps




For this project, I designed a graduation eCard for young students graduating from either high school or college. My intention for this card was to emphasize how “victorious” it is to earn your diploma/degree, so I was immediately drawn to images of mountains and people jumping and/or celebrating. My process involved layer masks, text and blending effects, using the brush tool, colorizing, and selecting parts of images. I also used the Puppet Warp tool on the mortarboard.

Source Imagery


Source: Pexels


Source: Pexels


Source: Pexels

Smiling Graduate

Source: Flickr


Source: Public Domain Images


Source: Pexels


Source: Pexels



Creature Composite & Mockup


Background Source: Scottish Seabird Centre/Jane Barlow

I created a composite of Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas. I wanted to illustrate her agility and gracefulness, so I chose animals that exemplified those traits. I chose a white seabird and made a separate layer for each wing, adjusting the hue/saturation levels so that the wings’ color matched Douglas’s leotard. Second, I flipped the gazelle image horizontally before selecting the horns so that they were facing the same direction as Douglas. I moved on to the third animal (a horse) and selected the tail. For the fourth animal, I selected the nose and mouth of a deer after flipping the photo horizontally. Lastly, I used a seascape as the background after cropping out a seabird to make room for the mythical creature I had just created.

Source Imagery


Source: Michael Regan/Getty Images




Source: Mihaela and Ryan Nelson


Source: Shutterstock


Source: Pixabay


For the mockup, I applied my previously crafted creature composite of athlete Gabby Douglas to a Sports Illustrated mock article. This project required working with smart objects and text layers.

Event Flyer

ncsu reading event flyer

Event Flyer Assignment

For this assignment, I designed a flyer for a real event. The event featured the spring 2017 graduates of NC State’s MFA in Creative Writing program, held every year in the Titmus Theatre in Thompson Hall. A major success for this project was applying styles and smart filters to the layers, especially text layers. I focused on making the text “pop” against a dark background. For example, I added both a Drop Shadow style and Stroke style to the vertical text to achieve emphasis against the stage curtain. Adding layer masks and styles was the highlight (and most enjoyable part) of the assignment. My intention was to create a simple, sophisticated yet eye-catching visual for a real event, and I believe that I achieved that goal for this assignment.


Photo Restoration

clark old photo

Before Restoration

clark old photo restored

After Restoration


I restored an old, damaged photograph of a boy on his bicycle (“Clark”) by utilizing the Spot Healing Brush tool and fixes such as Content-Aware Fill and adjusting the levels of luminance in the photograph. I also straightened and cropped the photo so that it appeared more aligned, and to eliminate white spaces around the edges of the image.


Black Cats

Black Cats + WordPress Assignment

For this week’s assignment, I exercised some basic tools of Adobe Photoshop to an image of four black cats. I downloaded the original PSD file and performed the fast photo fixes described in Chapter 2 of the class textbook, such as Shrink, Sharpen, and Save for Web. I also applied changes in color, tone, and image position to the original file and created a JPEG (or “after” photo) as a result. The final step for the assignment is to upload the before and after photos to WordPress in a new blog post.

Thanks for reading!



My name is James Moran, born and raised in NC. I have a B.A. in Writing from Methodist University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from NC State. I am a recently new student at Wake Tech, where I’m studying for an A.A.S in Web Design.

Some of my interests include art, psychology, music, and film. I also love city life, despite growing up in a rural area. My favorite city in the world is London, which I’ve visited twice for study abroad (and will return to–no matter what).

So far I’ve learned so many great and valuable things about Photoshop and web design. At first I wasn’t sure if starting this new chapter in my life was the best idea, but I can say confidently now that I’m excited to see this through and gain some much-needed skills and expertise. I look forward to working with you all this semester!