When I first heard the Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon,” I thought the song title was “Carmel Chameleon. “ Because it contained my first name, I instantly liked the song. Later, when I realized the actual title, I still appreciated the song because I think chameleons are cool animals. So, when I saw the snaps I took of a chameleon in Zimbabwe (while doing a photo safari among my travel photos for the first design assignment), I knew I had to use that photo for my second design assignment submission: Paste Someone’s Head On An Animal Or Vice-Versa.
In November 2011, I was on a group tour in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and during a break, one of tourists in the group found a tiny, green chameleon. The chameleon was friendly enough to crawl up this person’s arm, so a few of us took photos of it. My favorite, albeit somewhat blurry, photo is the one of the chameleon getting up close and personal with the camera lens. When I rediscovered this photo, a chameleon “selfie” came to mind. I was also reminded of the Culture Club song, so I decided to paste my own photo to create Carmel Chameleon. I viewed the Compositing-How to Put Your Face on an Animal to understand the steps involved. The one takeaway I had was that one had to work with high resolution image. Unfortunately, the chameleon photo was not, so I had to find a photo of me that was about the same resolution quality. I decided on one of me and a camel taken in Moroccan desert. I had difficulty achieving the steps mentioned in the tutorial (e.g. creating a mask), so in the end, I used the Eraser tool as well as the Free Transform to paste my head onto the chameleon. Consider the composite photo an homage to my love of the camera.Below are the original photos I used:
After this, I was inspired to create another composite. In keeping with this blog post title, I used another of my photos to create a composite with a chacma baboon. Both photos were taken in South Africa’s Cape Peninsula in November 2011. The photo of my face is from a photo of me behind the Cape Point sign. Instead of using my full face, I only pasted my sunglasses and lips onto the baboon. I wanted to create a happy demeanor in this baboon. I used the same Photoshop tools as in the photo above: Lasso, Free Transform, and Earser tools. With Free Transform, I also flipped the photo orientation to match the direction the baboon’s head was directed. What do you think of this Carmel chameleon?Below are the original photos I used:
Keep reading if you want to know the story behind the additional baboon photos: I was with a group of tourists on a day tour through Cape Peninsula, South Africa in November 2011. On our way to Table Mountain National Park, we spotted a family of chacma baboons on the side of the road. There were other tour vans nearby that had stopped and a few intrepid tourists had left the confines of the vehicles to go near the baboons. Our tour leader, a sweet older lady with years of tour guide experience, told us it was fine for us to do the same. She pulled the van off the side of the road and we all disembarked, cameras in hand. All of a sudden, a few of the baboons broke off from the group and started approaching the tourists. Our tour leader urgently told us to return back to the van and we complied. I was the last one in and unbeknownst to me, was followed inside the van by a male baboon. As everyone, scrambled towards the back of the van away from the baboon, I snapped few photos (no flash!) as I inched slowly backwards. Meanwhile, Mr. Baboon ignored us and sat in the front seat (where I was sitting). He looked over at our tour leader (who had gotten in the driver’s seat, ready for us to leave after we were all in the van). Fortunately, Mr. Baboon chose to ignore her too, and she was able to leave the van without any incident. As Mr. Baboon was looking around the front part of the van, the rest of us who were huddled in the back managed to exit without any incident through the still open side door. After we had exited, a tour guide from another van came with a fire extinguisher and used it to shoo Mr. Baboon off the van. He exited eventually and we all climbed back into the vehicle. I then noticed that my red backpack, which was set on the floor in the front passenger seat, had been opened and a Ziploc bag of granola bars was sitting, unopened, in the center console. So ended Mr. Baboon’s food foraging attempts.
I will tie this design assignment with the earlier Design Safari assignment. All over Table Mountain National Park were signs warning tourists about the baboons. However, the sign that urged tourists to keep their vehicle doors locked and windows closed(above photo) was situated on the side of the road with notable typography. The typography is rendered ineffective by the text-heavy signage and smaller print of the action items; the sign is difficult to heed when one is driving by it up a curvy road. However, one can argue that the typography is effective in that if one were to only see and remember the bolded letters, it would read, “BABOONS WILD DO NOT FEED.”Within the park itself are rather simple signs stating that baboons are attracted by food. Not really much of a warning; if the baboon incident had not happened before we got to the Cape Point Lighthouse, I would not have noticed these signs.