Album Art Outtakes, “A City is a Sound”

When I created the album art for “A City is a Sound,” I used images from the Documerica Project, in which the U.S. government engaged a number of very creative photographers–many of whom went on to fame and acclaim–to document environmental issues.

The photographers took a very broad view of their mandate, in fact creating a portrait of the United States during a few short years in the 1970s–the exact period that was the subject of “A City is a Sound.”

"Two Girls Smoking Pot During an Outing in Cedar Woods near Leakey, Texas" (1973) by Marc St. Gil.

“Two Girls Smoking Pot During an Outing in Cedar Woods near Leakey, Texas” (1973) by Marc St. Gil. I applied curves because it was dark, and tweaked the colors, which  were faded. Done in two layers (foreground women, and background), as well as detailing two smaller elements (the top worn by the woman on the left and the strap around the neck of the woman on the right).

There were so many impressive, evocative images that there were many I loved that, for one reason or another, weren’t right for my particular project. That said, I couldn’t resist refreshing some of these outtakes with the same kinds of techniques I used for the album art: brightening dark images, reinvigorating faded color, and, very occasionally, reframing an image if it wasn’t level.

"Puerto Rican boys playing softball in Brooklyn's Hiland Park" (1974) by Danny Lyon.

“Puerto Rican boys playing softball in Brooklyn’s Hiland Park” (1974) by the great Danny Lyon. I applied curves and tweaked the colors.


The pairs of images on this page give you the before and after versions of a few of these images. I’ll post more another time.

"Broadway Local" (1973) by Erik Calonius.

“Broadway Local” (1973) by Erik Calonius. I brightened it and adjusted the colors.




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