Photoshop Dabbling: Old Weathered Map

One of my weekend traditions is to sit down and just dabble with whatever has been rattling around in my mind at night. Without any regard for a specific project, I’ll take out my tools and just see where creative inspiration takes me.  Sometimes I learn something new, or develop an interesting workflow, or just come up with something unique that I’ll file away until it finds an appropriate project.  Lately I’ve been inspired by old muted color palettes and worn paper textures and I’m not sure if I’ve been spending too much time perusing ISO50, or reading posts by Go Media’s Jeff Finley, but it’s starting to boil over.  Today my experimentations were all about base maps, colored overlays and raster elevation models.  No text, no labels, no water features or, really, any real “data” to speak of.  Just ArcMap, Photoshop, and a sense of adventure.

Today’s image is the result of some color experimentation, old paper scans, torn edge overlays, and some vector line work.  Did it come from a Civil War era coat pocket? Was it washed up on a beach, housed in a glass bottle from some far away isle? Surely it’s the tattered old records from a donation land claim prospector.  What I have always been fascinated with is how purely digital bits can be made to look so organic.

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