For the Marriage stage of life I decided to use the photograph of the Eiffel Tower, with Paris being commonly known as the City of Love, and the Eiffel Tower being an important landmark of the city, I felt that this image fit the stage very well.

With this photo, I altered the stroke details of the image, making it blur slightly and altering the stroke effect, before changing the blending style to overlay, so the image seemed to glow more. I then added a grey outline to the photograph and made photo mounts for the corners, as if the photograph was part of a wedding album.
I think that the effects on this photo work well as the rich, bright colours suggest the happy, memorable time that is the wedding ceremony, the honeymoon, and the years following, and that it is always a celebratory time. It also looks as if it is from a wedding album, which helps with the meaning.

Time Taken: 45 minutes
Total Time Taken: 12 hours
For the general Pensioner stage of life, I decided to use the photograph of the two cameo necklaces, as these are often considered vintage and aged (especially before they came back into fashion) and are often seen worn by the older generation, whether on necklaces or brooches.

I worked a little extra on this photograph. First I altered the hue of the image so that it had a sepia tone. Following this, I blurred the photo and added an overlay blend so that the photo appeared to glow a little. I then added a darker tone to the corners of the image, as if they had coloured with age. I then added some noise and a grain effect so that it looked as if there were dust and scratches on the image. Finally, I adjusted the levels of the image so that I could make the black areas a little bit lighter and the white areas a little bit darker as if they had faded with age.
I think these effects work well on this image as it gives the idea that the image is old and has aged with time, representing that the stage of life that it is for, is not at the start of life, but rather, near the end. 

Time Taken: 45 minutes
Total Time Taken: 11 hours 15 minutes
For the Birth stage of the album, the first photo, I used the photograph with the sign saying 'New Life'. As every birth is new life and that's how the world evolves.

To edit this photo, I increased the saturation and brightness of the sign before creating two gradient layers. The first layer had a linear black to white gradient, then I altered the polar co-ordinates so the gradient went from rectangular to polar so that white was in the middle, black around the edges as if light was coming from the centre. I then made the gradient into an overlay so the original photo was visible. With the second layer, I made a radial white to orange gradient so that the centre of the gradient was white and the outside was orange. I then again made this an overlay so that the layers underneath were visible.
I believe this photo works for the Birth stage of life as, like previously stated, the sign reading 'New Life' represents Birth and the sun coming through the clouds is as if good is coming, something new and better is on the way, which is, ultimately, what birth is.

Time Taken: 45 minutes
Total Time Taken: 10 hours 30 minutes
As previously stated, for the generic Childhood section of my portfolio, I used the photograph of the mushroom, as this symbolises how children believe in make-believe and fantasy and how everything is real to them, as well as the age old games played with the 'magic mushrooms'. 

To edit this photograph, I first increased the saturation of the top of the mushroom and increasing the contrast. I then increased the brightness of the bottom of the mushroom. Following this I decreased the brightness of the rest of the image - the grass behind the mushroom. I then created a brush on Adobe Photoshop CS3 and using this brush made the sparkles swirling around the mushroom. Following this I put an outer glow coloured pink, around the sparkles.
I believe that these effects add to the fantasy and magical worlds that are open to children and the photo represents the imagination and creativity that is common in children.

Time Taken: 1 hour
Total Time Taken: 9 hours 45 minutes
I've now managed to acquire photos for all stages of my Challenge, completing my last 4: Birth, Childhood, Marriage and Pensioner. 
  • The photo of the mushroom, I am going to use for the childhood stage. To a child, mushrooms like these are often known as 'magic mushrooms' and represent that imaginative and creative time of a child's life where they believe in magic and fantasy and all that the world can offer them.
  • The second photo, I am going to use for birth. The sign saying 'New Life' represents birth - every birth is the beginning of a new life, and also as this will be the first photo in the album, the arrow pointing to the right works well to progress to the other photos.
  • The third photo, I am going to use for the Pensioner stage. Cameos often give the impression of being vintage and old, and until they recently came back into fashion, were worn mostly by those of the older generation.
  • The last photo, of the Eiffel Tower, I am going to use for the Marriage section - Paris is often called the City of Love and as the Eiffel Tower is such a symbol of the city, I thought this would be a good photo to use.

Time Taken: 15 minutes
Total Time Taken: 8 hours 45 minutes