CHOPPER PROFILE 9
This chopper is on of my good mates here at PSC, we started around the same time and I found a friendly face, so to speak. 4 wins, 2 seconds and 8 thirds, and a portfolio with so many more meaningful images. His caring and thoughtful comments make him one of the true gentlemen of PSC. Make ya self comfy, get a cup of coffee/tea and enjoy the chopper profile of my good mate….
1. What is your nickname and how did you get it?
My real name is Patrick. People call me Pat. When I was deciding on a screen name, I decided to use my real name plus a consonant and a vowel that would, I thought, give it both a masculine edge and a soft touch. So, the re was added to Pat to form the word Patre. It is pronounced Pa as in Grandpa and tre as tray. I also like the idea that the Latin word for father is Pater, the Spanish Padre etc, and thus, I favour the derived word Patre as a nice euphemism for a caring father.
Most people don’t put that amount of thought in a nickname, I know I didn’t, do you always have such strong reasoning with similar things?
Not always. Sometimes, I will respond to a situation intuitively, and will later reflect on the event and develop a rationale to support my response. In the case of the nickname, Patre, that is exactly what happened. I also think that a healthy and powerful subconscious plays a bigger role in our choices than we immediately perceive. And reflection on events can occasionally generate reasons for their existence that can be traced back to the unifying elements of the universal consciousness that I believe resides deep within all of our minds/spirits.
2. What is your real name and age.?
Patrick Thompson. I was born on the Ides of March, 1943 which makes me 62 years young.
I am 62 years old and retired. After I left home in 1961 at the age of 18, I joined the United States Air force and spent 4 years as a Medical corpsman working in Air Force hospitals and dispensaries. After spending two years in Japan on a tour of military duty, I returned to the United States and in 1965 entered the Jesuit seminary. I spent nine years in the Jesuit Order, the first two in a very isolated monastic retreat centre called a novitiate.
The Jesuit seminary, I’m no expert mate but it envisions brown robes and cold cells and vowels of silence. I’m sure it's not like that in real life. What does the life of a Novitiate entail?
novices are expected to be "poor, chaste and obedient".. These years are spent in relative seclusion from the outside world usually in an isolated, but not primitive setting. Most of the day is spent in prayer, work and study. There is a rule of silence(when I was in the novitiate); which meant that we were not allowed to talk to each other most of the time. When we did converse over necessary matters (passing the salt at the dinner table) we were supposed to use Latin as the language of discourse. Occasionally, on special Feast days, and during a daily 45-minute recreation period we were allowed to speak in English. There was one thirty day “Retreat” period where we spoke very little and/or not at all as we used a certain set of Ignation Spiritual Exercises to help us understand what it meant to be called by God to the practice of the Jesuit life.
The life was austere, but not impoverished. We wore black robes and colloquoyed weekly with a holy Jesuit priest who was assigned to help us work on developing our spiritual life. At the end of the two years, if we made it that far, we committed ourselves to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience fulfilling the Jesuit mission of service in the fields of education, science, parish work and a host of other occupations suited to our aptitudes and personalities. It sometimes happens (as in my case) that after several years in the Jesuit Order, a person experiences a call to a different way of life. In that situation, the petitioning Jesuit is released from his obligation to the vows, and is then free to pursue a vocation consistent with his new calling.
Wow mate my hats of to you, I don’t think I would have the inner strength to remain within those boundaries, but it must have been a very moving and peaceful time. What happens after the novitiate part of the process?
From there, much education in Jesuit Universities located all over the American West Coast. After completing my undergraduate education, I taught for three years in a Jesuit High School school (Brophy Prep) in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1974, Feeling lonely and psychologically "at sea", I left the Jesuit Order and spent the next 14 years as a probation officer with the juvenile court in Maricopa County Arizona. I married my wife, Jan( a school teacher), in 1975, and we have two children, a daughter 26, working to complete her teaching degree and a son 23, who is a computer programmer. In 1988, I began working as a Guidance Counsellor for a local high school and retired from that position in 1998.
I am currently helping my wife endure her second battle with breast cancer. She was first diagnosed with the disease in 1996, and had a mastectomy, bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She was in remission until October of 2005 when she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the liver. She was undergoing very difficult chemotherapy treatments in an attempt to suppress the aggressive growth of the tumour and provide her with a continuing positive quality of life. Her chemotherapy treatments have now been discontinued, and Jan is living at home and in a Hospice situation. We celebrate her life and strive to be a loving presence for her in this time of hope and transition.
There are a lot of other lives and stories along the way, but those are best saved for another day.
Mate I’m sure every one here shares with me their hopes and well wishes to you and your wife, and those that believe will say a prayer for you both. Those agnostic heathen's like myself will just send our thoughts and good wishes, for her speedy recovery.
3. You are well known for your thoughtful and insightful comments, was canonised in one of the scavenger hunts and chop with a very strong message. Many people here have benefited from your help and comments, does it ever get too much. Some day’s do you just want to let it all out and rant just a little?
Like most other people, I have emotional buttons that can be pushed by the right set of words, actions and/or personal thoughts. When I am confronted by feelings that I might want to discharge through hostile words and/or actions, I do my best to be aware of the potential consequences of any words/actions that I might choose to use as a response to the strong emotions I might be feeling. I also attempt to consider the motivation/s of the person/s responsible for the words/actions that are triggering my anger etc. (Generally speaking, most people do the best they can with the life experience, education and personality they have to make their lives meaningful and productive.) Then I attempt to tailor my response to their particular situation, so that in the end, our feelings are shared constructively and both parties believe that their feelings and ideas have been fairly “heard”. A positive outcome associated with this process is that each person leaves the exchange with his or her dignity intact. And, most often, even if the parties continue to agree to disagree, their relationship remains congenial and supportive. .
You have a great attitude to your fellow man, and respect for your fellow choppers. In my honest opinion your comments mean more to me than any votes and I don’t think I am alone in that view. I can only speak for myself Pat, but thanks for all the wonderful comments you have left on my posts and all the comments to come.
4.Ok mate something I always wanted to know. It's no secret that I get people mixed up on this site, not knowing if a member is male or female. You have this ability to know members other than their nicknames, and you have a great insight into their style and chopping. Divine intervention or just good people skills?
I don’t think I have any extraordinary gifts in this area, Andrew. If I exchange a PM with someone and we use our real names, I might include that name in a comment under the person’s post.
The second part of your question prompts me to report that I am not schooled in the graphic arts, so my judgment is probably often flawed by my lack of education in this area. I suspect that there are some observers of the PSC voting/commenting protocol who witness my comments and fairly think “is he blind? The comments are almost always positive and rarely if ever report a defect or flaw that is easily obvious to even an unsophisticated viewer.” The answer is, Yes, I may be blind, but most often my comments are intentionally positive without reference to flaws that are clearly a part of the image. The reason is that I don’t know the psychological sensitivity of the artist whose work I am evaluating. What seems to me a very trivial and constructive criticism may be for them a very hurtful remark. They may have devoted hours of time and energy to creating an image that has obvious flaws, so I don’t want to devalue their work and their effort by an offhand, even well- intended constructive criticism, that could be perceived as a rejection of who they are. My hunch is that we all have particular areas of sensitivity in our lives that could be exploited by perceived and/or real unkind remarks or actions. And no matter how mentally tough we might want to pretend to be, or how elephant skinned others would like us to be, we will still feel hurt if exposed to what we perceive as insults which attack our dignity or offend our most protected sensibilities. So I opt to offer positive support in public and information which I believe might improve an image in a PM, which I have done several times.
I have also had a concern that my limited education in the graphic arts field may impact my judgment regarding the quality of an image I am viewing. I don’t want to publicly offer a critique, which is blatantly wrong, and perhaps unfairly influence viewers/voters to think less highly of an image than is merited by its real artistic presence and value. My guess is that my positive comments about an image are related to effects that most viewers would generally concede deserve positive attention. My hope is that most viewers will also not be unfairly influenced by these positive comments because they are qualities in the image, which they themselves would support. I also view positive recognition as away of encouraging the artist to continue achieving the best results that his/her imagination and skill can produce.
5. Where are you from and what’s so great about being there.?
We live in the desert, which has temps that range between 113 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer time. Very mild winters. Lots of air conditioning in the summer. However, cool weather is between 80-100 miles away in the Northern Mountains of Arizona. Arizona is a land of friendly people and open spaces where it is easy to be alone without being lonely. If you have ever been here, you will remember, the Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona, Tombstone (The Old West town too tough to die), Montezuma’s Castle and Well and a host of other natural wonders that can take your breath away.
Sounds like a great place to live mate, all we got here is big desert and uppity kangaroos.
6. What do you do to keep the bills paid?
I have been retired for approximately eight years and receive teachers’ pension and a Social Security check from the U.S. Government.
Well I like the sound of the retired thing , what do you do in your spare time?
Free time activities and hobbies include stamp and coin collecting, photoshopping, reading, playing the piano, Ham radio, and gardening. I also enjoy announcing soccer games at the high school where I used to work.
PhotoShop CS 1 & 2. Two computers ranging from 1.8 to 2.4 Gigahertz with 512 Ram.
I think more Ram would be useful, so some day I will upgrade to 1Gb on one computer.
1. What gets your creative juices flowing, how you create that masterpiece?
Searching the Internet for a theme related image would sometimes produce an idea that is workable within the framework of my skills. On occasion, an intuitive insight will emerge from my subconscious and offer an image that I may be able to chop.
At other times, ideas evolve as a result of simply “playing” with the image, transforming it in any number of ways until something “meaningful” appears. Family members also see the source image and come up with fresh ideas that are “choppable”. Rarely, but fortuitously, an “accident” happens, and what I think is a good image will flow from experimenting with channels, blending modes, texture combinations etc. And sometimes, even an old PSC image might spark an idea that is workable. Occecid also has some great tips on how to get meaningful ideas:
2. What do you use as inspiration?
All of the above and all of the experiences I have had and seen others have which flow from the experience of being human.
You seem to like the helping healing things in life, and for me it relates to your chopping style. You chop from the heart and raise awareness in the viewer. Is this always your intent or is just your natural talent?
Sometimes I intend to create an image that raises our level of consciousness about a particular issue and/or event. And, to be honest, a message sometimes accidentally springs out of my subconscious and translates into an image, which I connect with the message long after the image has been created.
I believe that by education, life experience, and temperament I have a personality disposition that is directed toward trying to make peace and harmony a part of everyday living for myself and those with whom I have a social, professional and/or a spiritual connection.
3. Do you have a system?
I don’t believe that there is any logic and/or system that accurately explains how I manipulate an image. Sometimes I may want to communicate a mood and/or feeling, suggest a message, create a comic theme, achieve an artistic effect, run an animation etc. Different techniques and skills apply to manipulating the images so that the desired effect is achieved .
4. Does a chop have to be done a certain way following steps or are you a messy chopper and just go with the flow.
I cannot report that I am a very organised chopper. However, I usually do the cutting and pasting first and/or the transforming of objects from one form to another, and then work on lighting, colour scheme, composition, etc. I sometimes have to remind myself to place different effects etc. on different layers or technical problems can become evident during the course of creating an image that can’t be remedied except by doing a lot of repair work that includes redoing more than one layer.
5. Filters, brushes and techniques.
I rarely use filters and then only to enhance or create an effect that supports the theme. ie, the texture filter on a canvas, if I am creating a painting, Lighting effects to produce and accent shadows and/or highlight an element., channels to establish mood, brushes and custom shapes to add forms and figures to an image and/or to selectively place a specific pattern on a source image.
It is a combination of managing the transformation techniques, composition features, colour schemes, settings, themes, blending, integration, lighting, shading, drawing etc., and basic cut and paste routines using mostly the pen tool in order to create an artistically credible image. Add a story with irony, drama, comedy and /or passion and poignancy and the image can take on a whole new and more meaningful perspective.
6. What style of chop do you like most?
I like merging different elements from different images to create one photomontage, using different integration and blending skills to create the unified image. Here is an example:
On this referral page, click on the heading title “original” to compare the created image with the source image. Occasionally, I will transform an element in the source image and create a different form using only the source, and then combine that transformation with external sources to arrive at a unique image. Here is an example:
Here is a technique that some users might find useful for creating patterns, forms on a source image.
1.The source image is your background layer
2. create a new layer and put a custom shape on it.
3. Then make the custom shape a selection.
4. Make the background layer the active layer.
5. Go to the “Select” menu tab at the top of the PhotoShop interface, click on it, and then choose the “invert” menu tab from the drop down menu that appears.
6. Go to the “edit” menu tab and select “clear.
7. Hide the custom shape layer
8. Your background image will now be a perfectly cut replica of the custom shape. A similar effect can be achieved using a clipping mask, but this works well, if you don’t want to pre-cut a layer from the background source to use with the clipping mask.
Ok taking notes here, sweet tip Pat
What is your favorite type of source picture and why?
a. machine (Car, boat, electronic parts)
d. obscure views
e. all of the above
All of the above depending on the quality of my inspiration and the level of skill it would require to make the image viewer worthy. There are times, however, when I prefer to attempt to manage the human interest story and create a scene that captures a mood, shares a feeling, communicates a message and/or delivers a poignancy to an image that might otherwise be dead without it.
1. What makes a good chop for you?
Interesting, funny and/or dramatic themes, attractive colour scheme, appealing setting, focused composition, well blended integration, good lighting and shading, unique and or unusual idea, and an artistically and technically sound construction of the image. However, I will often vote for images that don’t match a high level of skill in many of these areas because I believe that the artist had very good intentions that probably didn’t match the level of skill needed to create the image. The image is still pleasing to the eye and has many worthy artistic characteristics to recommend it.
2. When you chop is it, Fast and solid, or slow and steady
I work slowly and painstakingly to complete even the simplest of images. The more I learn about what it is that makes a picture viewer worthy and artistically credible, the longer it takes to master the effects that will give the image the desired effect. When I didn’t know anything about shadows and perspective, for example, creating the images took less time. Now I try to incorporate all of the learned information into making a good image and it takes a lot more time and work to make the picture credible.
3. Do you prefer to vote on?
a. all source image
b. import and blend
c. effect i.e. rain/snow/flood/fire/blood
d. as long as it’s a good chop it gets my vote
e. all of the above
f. I don’t vote
If I believe that the image is good(see above criteria), I will vote on it. And, sometimes, I will vote on an image that is less technically or and/or thematically developed in order to boost the morale of someone who seems to be trying to do the best they can. My hunch is that many people have helped me in this way, and I appreciated and continue to appreciate their support.
You are religious man at heart, and to be honest this site can be very religious ignorant. Does this effect you and the way you may vote?
“Religious, for me, Andrew, means spiritual. I am not affiliated with any particular religious institution. But I meditate daily and attempt to connect with a Spiritual essence that is an unseen but compassionate and loving presence in the Universe that attempts to weave its way through our lives as a powerfully silent but eternally present gift. I realise that is a very subjective point of view, and, therefore, find it easy to honour other points of view whose experience of life may be logically and randomly different than mine. In my view, we are all on the path we are on, doing the best we can with what we have to find our way in a world that is often complicated by suffering, misfortune and difficult circumstances. I do my best to respect each path and vote for images I like (for any number of reasons).
I do not consciously choose to vote or not vote for images because an individual’s religious and/or life path may not be the same as mine.
4. What chop did you do and it did not do as well as you expected?
This one: http://photoshopcontest.com/view-entry/92628/moon-struck-.html
I liked this mostly source image and thought that the composition, lighting, setting and theme gave the image a special quality that I thought might attract more viewer/voter attention. However, there also might be a lot of flaws in the image that my subjectivity prevents me from noting, and which other more objective observers can easily spot.
5. How did you find PSC, and what do like the most on this site?
I can’t remember whether someone referred me to the site, or if I was just searching the web and accidentally/intentionally discovered it. I enjoy the people, the exchange of ideas, the ingenious creativity, the opportunity to create images and share them in a community atmosphere, and the funny repartee. An added bonus is that viewing the variety of work and gifts on this site has expanded my appreciation of the vastness and beauty of the Universe and has led me to wonder, if there is anything that is really impossible.
1. What's your best chop.
This image had both a technical and artistic credibility that made it special. I simply started by transforming the source image (rotating etc and the “bug” idea emerged. So I transformed some of the source elements into bugs and created them “holding hands”. Then I Googled, and somehow a heart was part of the Google. So I merged the heart and the leaves and placed the bugs on top and called it “bug love”. The image was well received by viewers/voters. Here is the image:
2. Now your worst chop.
I have so many terrible images that it is hard to pick one. There are 81 images in my portfolio with one vote or less. I had very little experience with PhotoShop when I joined the site back in July of 2004, but decided to post and learn. Here is a thumbnail page of some of the worst:
And still today, I even post some clunkers:
Many of these images lack any redeeming artistic quality and the viewers and voters recognised the images as being woefully inadequate.
3. Who do you consider to be one of the better choppers out there.
It is really hard to pick a “best” because there are so many good ones who on any given day could easily win a contest. I suspect that most artists are blessed with different levels of skills in different areas, some will be artistically gifted, others will have terrific imaginations, and many will excel in photoshopping transformations etc. So that, depending on the source image, artists with a particular strength in any one of the above areas could excel on any given day. PSC artists who in my view manage the above combination of skills most consistently to produce outstanding images are, in no particular order, BillTVshow, ReyRey, Marco, Anfa, Serps, Nancers, Showcase (when he submits), Deshone, Claudio, Blue lurker, Supakoma, Cynn, Yerpalal and a host of others whose names should be cited, but are excluded only because I don’t have enough room here to publish all of their names. And, of course, there are many PSC old timers that would need to be included on this list but whose names might not be recognisable now because they submit infrequently or not all.
4. What you hate to see in a chop and why you hate it so much.
I can’t say that I really hate anything in a chop, but I do appreciate chops that are imaginative, thematically credible, technically competent and artistically crafted. I enjoy viewing them and am less captivated by images that fall far short of meeting the above mentioned criteria.
5. The best chop of all time.
I really can’t pick one because I would need to view them all to make a fair appraisal and an honest judgment. So the best that I can do is say that I liked Anfa’s:
Thanks for all the help I have received from members of the PSC community.
Yerpalal took an interest in me from the start. BillTVshow, Cynn, Sage, Claudio and others have encouraged me along the way.. I am grateful, and thank-you all.
I don’t normally choose profilers chop and make comment about it, but this image:
had a profound effect on me and changed my outlook in life. In my comment I typed “Just Thanks mate”, because I had PMed you about the image. I want to take this opportunity to say thanks again for reminding me that memories of those we have lost don’t need to be painful all the time.
Well mate thanks for your time in answering this barrage of questions, and for your very informative and honest answers. Im am sue that all who read this profile will come away not only knowing the chopper, but knowing a little more about the man. It has been a pleasure reading and commenting on your profile Pat. Enjoy life and remember…
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CHOP.