Favorite Photoshop Tool:
How did you get your PSC nickname?
Wanted numbat but that was taken so after 1 second's thought i just changed the first letter
What is your real name and age?
My name's Ewen, I'm 39 now. Do I have to keep updating this every year?
Where are you from and what do you like best about being there?
I'm from England but I'm not there. I've been in Sydney for 11 years now. Best thing about Sydney is the weather and outdoorsy lifestyle. The best thing about England was also the weather and outdoorsy lifestyle
What do you do to keep the bills paid?
I write software for a financial company. Then they pay me money. Next I transfer some of this to the people who send me the bills
What do you do in your spare time?
Photography, SUPing, surfing, kayaking, indoor-climbing, ping-pong, guitar, piano, songwriting
How did you find PSC, and what do you like most about the site?
I was on fark.com, saw a few photoshop contests on there. Enjoyed doing them so I googled for more and found PSC. The thing I like most about the site is the photoshop contests
If you could change one thing at PSC, what would it be and why?
I'd change the number of votes you can cast, down to 10 or even less. This would reduce the problem of reciprocal voting, and I think would encourage more constructive comments to be made
Is there any other information about you would like to pass on?
I can bend my left thumb back quite a lot further than my right thumb, so the span of my left hand is greater than that of my right
How many hours per week do you spend on PSC?
None recently, but maybe that'll change
What other sites, not Photoshop related, do you like to surf?
Science, news, flickr
What tools do you use to chop?
My PC, a mouse and keyboard, Windows 7, Photoshop CS6
What gets your creative juices flowing, how do you create a masterpiece?
I find by staring intently at an image for at least 3 hours, I give myself about a 25% chance of coming up with a good idea, about 10% of the time. The idea is usually the hardest part
What inspires you?
The PSC galleries are an inspiration
Do you have a system? Does a chop have to be done a certain way following steps or are you a messy chopper and just go with the flow?
No system really. My psd files are getting more and more organised - I find with increased experience I'm creating more layers, necessitating organisation
What style of chop do you prefer to create?
Photo-real. I love working with light and shadows and reflections, it gives me a buzz to try and make made-up things look real
Filters, brushes and techniques: Which do you use, and not use, and why?
Most used filter would be Gaussian Blur. I should really assign a hot key. I'm not very imaginative yet with brushes, just use the round ones and the hair ones and occasionally the spattery ones. Tools I've never touched would include slice, spot healing, history brush, path selection... cos I'm lazy and haven't found out about them yet. Other than the selection/brush/fill/gradient tools I use the clonestamp a lot and the dodge/burn tools, and the pen tool is cool. I'm trying to figure out paths at the moment
When do you know that you have it just right, or is it constant changes up until, or after, you post?
When I get bored of it. Occasionally I will show a chop to a friend and ask what they think about it, see if I've missed anything obvious
What is the limit to what you will chop?
I don't want to offend anyone though some people are easy to offend. But I don't really care about them. But I doubt I'd do any chops these days that would upset anyone really
Are there any tips and/or tricks that you would like to pass along to less experienced choppers?
Work through some tutes, it will expand your abilities and give you more choices when thinking what kind of chop to do on an image. You can do more realistic shadows etc if you understand how they are physically cast
What is your favorite type of source image, and why?
Objects. But also I like views where I can completely change the perspective without making too much of a change to the original
There is often talk about how the source is used and to what extent it should be. What are your views on all sources, outside source use and animations?
All source is great. I think when people use an external source which forms a significant part of the chop they should make it known. Sometimes you see fantastic images but the supplied source is only a small part of it and you wonder just how much work the chopper had to do. Choosing good externals is part of chopping, but it's nice to know what was done so you can give credit appropriately. Animations are cool. They'll only get a vote from me though if they're top quality. I won't vote for a chop with no source unless it's super clever. Also if the source isn't used creatively/cleverly then I may not vote even if it's a great piece of work. Cos it's about the source man.
What is your preferred resource for outside source images?
Flickr and the real world
In your opinion what makes a good chop?
Lots of things. But for me attention to detail is pretty important. And I get particularly embarrassed when I fail in that area
Do you have a system to get things started?
Have you ever completed a chop and then decided not to enter it in the contest? If so, why?
Sometimes I'll enter one, think "that's not good enough" and do something completely different to replace it
After you finish your chop do you just post it or seek opinions of family and/or fellow choppers first?
Occasionally show the chop to a friend for feedback, but not often
If some one finds a fault in your work do you change it or stay with what you posted?
I'll change it if I agree it's a significant fault. In a prize contest I have to decide if I'll get more votes by changing it than by leaving it higher up the viewing order
What qualities do you look for when deciding to vote on a chop?
Attention to detail. Unusual ideas. Cuteness of rodents, if there are rodents
Some member prefer not to vote for filtered chops or animations. Is there any particular style/type of chop you won't vote for?
Just crap ones. I must admit though sometimes religious symbolism or angels or stairways to heaven etc put me right off. But of course I'll still vote if they're well executed. I don't vote for good photoshop skills, I vote for clever use of source by people with good photoshop skills...
Time is always a factor, how much time do you spend on a chop and how much time is too much?
From 2 hours to maybe 6 hours. 7 would be too much, and 8 would be right out. But sometimes more than that
We all love to get votes. Now are you a constant vote checker or do you just let it go and check once a day? (be honest)
Constant checker. I desperately want my chops to be loved
What chop of yours did not do as well as you expected?
All the ones that didn't win, which is almost all of them. But recently, mostly, Realm of the Elephish, and Easy Escape
What do you consider your best chop so far?
Initially had the idea of the giraffe losing his spots. Then I thought it could be looking in a shop at some camouflage patterns. Then I thought I could have some people painting the camo on the giraffe. Then I thought I could use chimps instead. Then I thought one of the chimps could have picked up the wrong paint can and he was painting zebra stripes instead of giraffe spots and there would be another chimp in the foreground pulling a funny face like chimps do sometimes. Then I thought maybe I should stop thinking, rewind a bit, and just do what I ended up doing, but without the bananas. And then I added lots of bananas
What do you consider your worst chop so far?
Naturally my worst efforts are hidden in my portfolio, as I don't want people to see them
Who is your favorite chopper out there and why?
Claf, reyrey, acemanoj and abraham, cos I like their work
What do you NOT like to see in a chop, and why not?
I don't like to see cockroaches, cos I don't like them. However I did still vote for a chop with cockroaches recently. I think it was Anfa's
What is the best chop of all time?
I wouldn't know, not having seen them all
Do you have any other PSC related comments to add?
I believe PSC may be causing deterioration of my eyesight