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Photoshop Till You Drop: A Contest


What do you see when you look at the photo above? Yes, it's artfully composed, the work of a modern Steichen or Adams (me). What I see is what's visible between the two poles of the Metro station sign. Here, let me enlarge it for you:


I see this bit of graffiti when I travel the Red Line and I always want to supply the next sentence: "Capitalism is the problem. Spraypainting a simplistic slogan on concrete barriers in a weed-strewn lot next to a Metro station is the solution."

Oh to be young and clueless.

When I took these photos yesterday I had another thought: If I was handy with Photoshop i could easily turn that bit of graffiti into "Is capitalism the problem." If I was more adept, I could create "Cannibalism is the problem."

I want you to do it for me, altering some piece of signage in the Washington area in a clever, funny or thought-provoking way. It doesn't have to be that particular photo (though if someone could do that, I'd appreciate it -- download the full-size image). It can be any printed or handwritten sign, from a street sign to a historical marker, from a business sign to a graffito. Anything with words in it. Use image-editing software to tweak it, then send it to me at (Heck, you can use scissors and Elmer's glue if you like.)

I'll post my favorites here on "John Kelly's Commons" and I'll pick one winner to treat to lunch. If you're not from around these parts, I'll think of some other prize. Maybe an Obama Inauguration book or something. Take the photo yourself so we don't get into pesky copyright issues. Let's say the deadline is March 5.

I'll judge the entries based on creativity. I don't expect you to be digital image experts.

Oh, and if you happen to see any lost gloves while you're out there, send photos of those along, too. I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do with all these glove pictures, but I'm sure something will come to me.

By John Kelly  |  February 18, 2009; 9:17 AM ET
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I love riding past Rhode Island station. They have the best messages and grafitti over there! Brookland isnt bad either.

Posted by: jaytee22002 | February 18, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse


This is so much more clever than the Magazine's weekly "What's Different about these Pictures" contest. You are wasted in Metro.

Posted by: reddragon1 | February 18, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

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