Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Re-habbing my 1955 All-American Unitas

Without a doubt, the custom card with which I was the least pleased upon my first effort was my 1955 All-American style Johnny Unitas.

Obviously, no updating to that classic college football card set would have been complete without a Johnny U card, but my initial effort really fell short of the mark.

When I originally searched for a contemporary photo of Unitas during his college days I found only a few rather poor images. They were all too small or too fuzzy, but I chose the best of the bunch and did what I could to colorize it and sharpen it up for use on my card.

As if the photo wasn't bad enough, I somehow managed to "over expose" the black-and-white background action photo. washing out much of the detail and giving it a ghastly ghostly appearance that was not at all in keeping either with the original Topps cards or with my own latter-day reconstructions.

I even muffed the choice of school logo, picking the most insipid cardinal when I really should have gone with a more feisty bird. Like Topps did in 1955, I like to avoid using official school logos on my cards; it gives them more of my own personal touch.

I've known for a long time that I would someday replace my original Unitas effort, but had pretty much despaired of finding a better photo. Imagine my surprise then, the other day when I image-googled "Unitas Louisville" to find that the football Hall of Fame had acquired a much better college image. The photo on their site had the posed action shot outlined in white, indicating it was probably used as a newspaper photo some time in the past.

With a couple of hours of work with Photoshop, I was able to clean up and colorize the picture.

I dropped a new background photo into my existing Unitas card "frame," replaced the cardinal logo and had my new and improved Johnny Unitas All-American card. It is a great improvement to my set.

As with the other cards that I have replaced, I was able to use my original card back, so the new card was done in a releatively short time.

Now, if I could just find a really nice Jim Brown Syracuse photo . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments, criticism, additional information, questions, etc., are welcome . . . as long as they are germane to the original topic. All comments are moderated before they are allowed to appear and spam comments are deleted before they ever appear. No "Anonymous User" comments are allowed.