We Were Already There

Are We There Yet?-Changing the concept of a photo by altering the background of the image.

The Story Behind the Story-

The kinds of adventures you have with your high school buddies are often not really adventures at all. Limited by funds; legality and transportation, the range of possible activities are dwarfed compared to your weekend aspirations. But if you’re cast among a group of people with the exact right chemistry, these non-adventures become something else entirely. In my junior year of high school I alienated myself. School was hard, AP chemistry was making me feel stupid and I wanted to hide from the world. I began spending most of my time alone, making up excuses as to why I would unavailable for yet another weekend plan. But as senior year came around, I was plucked somewhat reluctantly from my solitude and landed somewhere strange.
I had always had friends in school, I was on plenty of sports teams and was inherently social. But something about my junior year had taken all of that out of me, and suddenly I was being coaxed into socializing every weekend. This group of friends were not innovative in their hangouts. There was nothing truly unique about our plans, but everything felt unusual. We placed ourselves in the same basement doing the same activities each night. We played Super Smash Bros and classic card games, we listened to new music and talked about politics. New people filtered in and out of our weekend get-togethers, but the core of the group rarely changed.
I usually felt like more of an observer than a participant at these gatherings, but I felt wanted there. Even if I didn’t have much to say, there was always a place for me. I felt like an ethnographer, diligently taking in the antics of a group I was only just becoming familiar with. I watched freestyle rap battles and listened to the guys of the group as they formed a circle to talk about their emotions, all with Frank Sinatra playing in the background. Our time together was never really based on creating fun or experience. There was no desperation to enjoy a moment or give the impression to onlookers that we were having the time of our lives. It was always about conversation, debate and not being alone. We didn’t feel like we had to manipulate our surroundings or circumstances to have a good time together. The original photo in this gallery was taken during one of the truly adventurous events of our time together. We began a tradition of renting an Airbnb during summer and winter breaks to keep in touch throughout college, this photo was captured on Skyline Drive in Luray, Virginia. No matter what backdrop I place behind to original cutout, the photo is such a clear representation of what we have always been as a group: Simply taking it all in, wherever we go, whenever we get there.

The Tutorial-

This project was relatively straight forward, although I definitely ran into a few issues. To begin, I selected the photo that I wanted to use and opened GIMP. I then used the free select tool to cut out the people in the photo:

Once I had completed the selection process, outlining the portion of the photo I wanted to remove, I clicked Edit>Cut.

From there, I opened another photo in a new GIMP page. I got all of my photos from StockExchange.

With the new background open, I clicked Edit>Paste and the picture I had recently cut appeared over this background photo. I moved the picture around to position it, however I could not figure out how to shrink this pasted image.

Additionally, I was having trouble finding the “move” tool at first and had to re-do the image several times because I kept accidentally cutting out portions of the new photo. I eventually found the “move” tool under Tools>Transform Tools>Move. After many frustrating attempts to resolve the issue, I settled on simply showing a portion of the cut out image in the final product.

One Reply to “We Were Already There”

  1. I like how you went above and beyond by not just changing the picture once, but you were able to create four new pictures all at different locations and events while only using the one main photo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *