HDR Portrait Tutorial

Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media

Almost any portrait can be turned into an HDR. As shown above, the before picture featured was a little shaky but we made it HDR. The following tutorial will give a step-by-step of my process, and you can follow along by downloading the photo given inside the tutorial or you your own(results may vary).

To follow along at your own pace, download the .pdf here

*After the .pdf has loaded, please hit the download button, please open in adobe acrobat

The quick video version is below

Begin by downloading the original photo and opening it in photoshop.

In photoshop we will start by making the photo as HDR as possible.

At the top, select Image>Adjustments>HDR Toning

Fill in the following with:
Radius: 90
Strength: 1.05
Gamma: -1.79
Exposure: -1.04
Detail: +57
Saturation: +1
Select ok

Now we have a nice Image but lets make it look more realistic and dramatic.

At the top, select Filter>Camera Raw Filter

Fill in the following with:

Contrast: +34
Highlights: -47
Shadows: -11
Whites: +38
Blacks: -13
Clarity: +40
Vibrance: -33
Saturation: +3
Select ok

Lets add some separation between the subject and background.

At the top, select Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur

Change the Radius to 9.3
Select ok

Create a Layer Mask on Background copy

Fill the Layer Mask with Black

Select a Medium Brush with 25% Hardness

Brush white behind the subject on the Layer Mask until satisfied

You are all done congrats.


VISITORS FROM SPACE They’ve Landed Here In Our Own Backyard

Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media

Published March 24, 2017

(DVT) – The world is in shock today, with the arrival of 20 alien spacecraft landing all around the globe. Three have landed on U.S. Soil on the beaches of Washington and Florida, and in the state of Vermont 8:00 A.M. EST this morning.

The Coast Guard is currently being rallied due to the state of the emergency, while Naval vessels currently deploying in foreign territories are being recalled. Other countries have followed suit and are running their defensive procedure.

DVT reports that the President has called for the construction of a barricade, being named the “Wall”, to surround the alien intruders in Vermont. He will make a public address today, which will be hosted on our network, at 3:00 P.M. EST. Until then, we have been advised to inform the public to stay inside and near a news media broadcasting device.

Russia was the first to receive a landing this morning, 4:00 A.M. EST, three hours north of Moscow. It has been No activity from the spacecraft have been displayed since land but we cannot be too cautious at this point in time.

alinAlien Spacecraft captured hovering over Washington.

It has been 2 days since the spacecraft were first reported by NASA, but were unable to identify the nature of the objects. At the time the objects appeared to be too small to pose any real threat to public safety.

There has been no further development on why they are here but speculations have been made. Many alien enthusiasts are posting on social media, making references to movies like “Independence” with a negative judgment of the landing, but others are relating this to the movie “Arrival” and are hoping for the best, as seen here.

Many old religions and alien conspiracist have predicted this happening but will they be able to predict what happens next, more to follow.

A Quick Cut

Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media



We FADE IN to an aggressive barbershop pole, twirling round and round.

DANIEL, a 16-year-old insecurely robust kid with a history of bad haircuts and disappointment, walks through the front door of the barbershop.



Daniel apprehensively grabs a chair while taking mild stares.

CARMEN, the barber with an endless smile, calls over to Daniel from the counter.

Please write your name on the sign-in sheet sweety.

Oh yeah, I forgot.

Daniel speeds to the counter to write his name and then speeds back to his seat to sit anxiously.

BECKY, a 23-year-old with enough energy and sass to power a small city, glances over the list of names and calls out to the seating.

Daniel, I can help you over at station #4. Over at station #4 please, Daniel?

Daniel stands up and walks toward Becky with faint embarrassment as he is lead toward station #4 to have a seat.

What can I do you for boo?

Daniel takes a seat.

Can… Can I get a medium fade with a 1 on sides and…. a little off the top, please? Not too much!

(with confidence)
Sure boo, you know I got you.

Daniel gives a faint smile.

Becky places the smock over daniel and starts cutting away until her cell RINGS.

(speaking into the phone)
Yah this is her. Who is this?… I don’t know no Jeremy…Hold on a minute…I got to take this boo (looking at Daniel)

Becky heads to the back room.

Daniel twiddles his thumbs assured everyone is looking at him. Without making an effort, he makes eye contact with a woman in the waiting area, he looks away instantly. He makes eye contact with another man, getting a hair cut right in front of him. He looks back down at the floor immediately.

Becky returns with a huge smile on her face. She begins to continue on his hair.

Sorry about that, these bustas don’t stop hollering.

An awkward feeling grows over Daniel, he doesn’t know if he should respond.

It’s Friday night boo, got any plans tonight? I know you don’t need an occasion to get a fresh cut and look all fine baby but let’s be real, you taking hunnies out tonight right?

(caught off guard)
Oh no no no, I am not doing anything tonight, I-

(cuts Daniel off)
Boo, stop playing you need to get out and show off this new do, I am about to give you. Ladies going to want you, men going to envy you, trust.

Daniel smiles with optimism and excitement.

Alright boo, I am all about done.

Daniels chair is turned around face-to-face with the mirror, he slowly begins to internalize his unbelief, his eyes widen. It’s far worse than he expected.

(lying with a twitchy smile)
I like it!


Forethought is a Privelege

Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media

Similar to many of my peers, my mind has been set on an obtainable future where I can kick off my shoes and sit comfortably. This idea of comfortability spreads from being filthy rich to the more modest simple living with minimal financial stresses. To the everyday American, these futuristic ideas of comfort seem to be a cultural norm with our without ever setting real goals. With a curious notion, I decided to ask my retired grandpa on his take of what a comfortable future looked like and how it came about by asking questions about his early life.

Born in Pomona May 25, 1953, Ernie Quiroga was raised alongside 9 siblings in a two bedroom house on Grand St. We began our interview, after a few questions I realized that his perceived view of the present, in his youth, differed greatly from my own teenage years and that his ideas for the future were almost nonexistent. He took my preconceived notion of looking toward the future and popped my bubble.


Q: How would you describe Grand neighborhood?

Ernie: “It was a mostly Hispanic neighborhood, a typical Mexican barrio. It was a friendly place to grew up.”

Q: How would you describe your childhood and teenage years?

Ernie: “When I was young it was just going outside and playing hide-and-seek and kick the can, playing with friends from morning til night. We were never inside. Being a teen was a time for looking for work. All we wanted to do was work. Everyone want to find a job because there was no money.” He then added, “We wanted money to buy clothes, go to the movies, to take the ladies out to eat.”

Q: Can you describe the “we” you were referring to earlier?

Ernie: “A mixture of siblings and friends, I don’t know if you want me to say gang members?”

Q: Did being in a gang give you a purpose, did you see a future in it?

Ernie: “I keep asking myself that, there was no point. It was more or so to show who was tough by getting into fights with rival neighborhoods, no real purpose. We had no visions of the future ever, most of them are dead.”

Q: What about your parents, what were their expectations of you?

Ernie: “Nothing, everything we knew was work and survive.”

After getting an image of his upbringing, it was time to dig in.

Q: What do you define as getting to kick off your shoes and sit comfortably? Are you living it now?

Ernie: “Having enough cash to survive. Yes, I get to go camping, gamble and sit down and drink beer. I am even planning to go on a vacation, just haven’t gotten around to it. This is because I am still trying to find around to it.”

Q: At what age did you start to imagine this idea as a possibility?

Ernie: “ It wasn’t until my late 50’s and my back started hurting. When I was young I didn’t think about the future because all I focused on was work work work. You worked until your body gave out, we were afraid to retire because you worked so hard for so long. But I was lucky enough to land a job that helped me retire properly.”

Q: Is there any else you would like to add?

Ernie: “No, but if my movie makes you rich, you owe me half.”


As someone who is constantly thinking about the future, I was thrown for a loop. Our different up brings may be a large factor in what we hold important in the present. It was evident that my grandpa lived in a time where only survival was most relevant. I’ve grown up in a culture privileged enough to imagine a bright future, but at the same time has this crippled me from appreciating the present? 

Ice Cream on the Run

Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media


On the hot summer day, the passing ice-cream truck sang with hope. Todd raced to the front yard in delight with change in his pocket. With great disappointment, he soon realized the truck was already 5 houses passed his own. In total rage, he shuffled to the garage to grab his bike. As he anxiously rode forward he was in complete unbelief as the truck seemed to have driven so far off. With each pedal, more aggressive than the next, Todd finally caught up to the truck. He was in complete ecstasy as he sucked on his fudge pop.

In Loving Memory of Joseph Linares

Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media


Joseph Anthony Linares

Brother, sister, and loving mother passed away Jan. 7, 2023 completing his journey in his human body. A San Francisco local and a co-founder of the SFDL group.

After a lifetime of fighting with the Zorgian overlords, he will always be remembered for his contributions to the field of neuroscience. He grew up well mannered in a loving family, with 7 siblings. He joined the U.S. Navy in 2012 where he encountered high levels of radiation during a relief act of a country facing a nuclear meltdown. This is where his journey began and the world took a giant leap forward.

Joseph’s carbon body is survived by his cat Shiva who will soon fulfill his legacy. A cremation ceremony will be held on Jan. 23, 2023 at 1200 in the SF Zoo. On the 24th, his followers of SFDL with perform the Rebirth Ritual in the SFDL Sanctuary. “Nozi Cepri”