Crazy Cardboard Regatta with a Photoshop Blur

The Crazy Cardboard Regatta is back at the Voice of America park this weekend. Contestants build boats out of corrugated cardboard, concrete or cement sealer, and duct tape. Spectators can vote for the People’s Choice Award on Friday night, and then the boats are raced on Saturday. A course is marked off on the lake at the park, and contestants are timed as they paddle their boat, one at a time, around the course.

This boat looks like an aircraft carrier. A lot of people were walking around so I blurred the background to protect their identities (since I didn’t have release forms to publish their photos.) In this photo I used the Photoshop blur tool set at 75 and manually blurred the background.

This boat is called the Nautilus. It has a distinctive shape. For the blur, I did a simple select of the background area and tried a Photoshop shape blur.

Here’s the entry from the Rotary Club of West Chester/Liberty. It is actually two boats sitting side-by-side. I selected the shape of the boat with a lasso tool, inverted the selection and applied a radial blur filter with a radius of 10. It looks a little like this serpent was caught in a whirlpool.

This aircraft carrier is embellished with planes. I was told by a passer-by that a part of the deck can be removed to allow the captain to paddle the ship. I was able to crop the people out of this photo except for a random leg here and there. I eliminated those using the Photoshop stamp tool and covered the legs with grass.

Tub Time was designed, built, and will be raced by two young men, according to their mother. How fun would that be? To protect the identities of individuals in this photo, I selected the boat with the polygon selection tool, inverted the selection and then applied a box blur filter at radius 10. I had to separately select the bottom half of the young man in front of the boat and apply the filter.

This one I particularly liked. Last year it was something of an achievement for a boat to just to make it to the finish line without sinking. The creators of this boat had a sense of humor when they named it, “Float S’More.”  Using the Photoshop polygonal selection tool, I selected the boat, inverted the selection and then applied the box blur at radius 10.

This was the first boat we saw. If you look closely, you can see I need a little practice with my polygonal selection tool. I inverted the selection and applied a lens blur, radius 54 to the background. This boat looks a lot smaller in this photo than it is in real life. It can easily accommodate two adults side-by-side. My youngest son looked at this and said, “Have you ever heard of tilt-shift photography?” Apparently, it’s photography that uses blurring to give the optical illusion of items in the photo appearing much smaller, or toy-like. You can read more about tilt-shift photography and see examples here. I think this is pretty interesting and may have to try my hand at it.

This is the entry by the police wives. Like the photo above, the car looks much smaller, miniature really. I selected the top background using the polygonal selection tool and applied a box blur filter with a radius of 50.

This was one of the simpler, and smaller entries that we saw, although like the others, it would easily hold two people. Like the last one, I selected the background and applied a box blur filter with radius 50.

This large and unwieldy boat  may be lucky to make it around the first bend in the course. I applied a Gaussian blur at a radius of 5.

A sailor with a sense of humor will undoubtedly pilot the “Knucklehead.” I’ll bet he or she gets a fair share of laughs. The blur is done with a box blur filter at 25.

The boats are racing  in 88 degree weather as I sit here writing in my comfortable air-conditioned study. I wanted to go. I think it would have been worth a good laugh. Maybe next year. Maybe we’ll have a boat next year, if I can convince my husband to paddle it.

Or not.

Maybe I can talk my son into it. . .


Team Prevent Alzheimer’s:   Suggestions for prevention of Alzheimer’s.

Physical Exercise — This morning I tried to walk around the lake at VOA park again and my bum leg gave out. I probably only made it about half a mile. So I came home and pedaled on my recumbent bike for 30 minutes. Yesterday I was largely sedentary, so I really wanted to get some exercise today.

Eating Healthy — I did not  buy a funnel cake at the VOA park last night, even though they are one of my most favorite treats. I got a creamy whip ice milk instead. I ordered a plain dish of it and not  a sundae. Small, baby steps.

Mental Exercise — Today, as evidence by the above post, I have been working with Photoshop and learning about the different methods of blurring and blurring tools.

Let me know how you’re doing.