Photo Rehab Cover Makeover #11: The Sound of Music

It’s been a busy week, and I missed the deadline for Cover Makeover #11

The challenge was doing a makeover of The Sound od Music. Here is the cover from the challenge post linked above. There are different covers, but they seem to follow the same general theme.


Let me first clarify something . . . I hate musicals. 

The reason I hate them are many, but the major reason is because the songs typically interrupt the narrative. The secondary reason is that in my sixty years of life I’ve never known anyone to, at random times, break out in song. Mind you, it would have made many of GM’s endless meetings entertaining.

However, I’m not an absolutist . . . there are two musicals I’ve watched more than once and could be convinced to watch again. They are Streets of Fire and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I could go into the why I exempt those two movies from my disdain, but I won’t.

Instead, I will talk about the cover makeover. 

As it so happens, Switzerland is one of the places I’ve set foot on. It was a good transition between Germany and Italy. I know I have a few german German readers. I don’t know if I have Swiss readers. I know I have a few Italian readers. Without malice, without desire to insult anyone, and without going into much detail, here’s the summary of our experience in those three countries. 

Germany: beautiful scenery, great roads, lousy food, lousy coffee, mostly unfriendly people.
Switzerland: beautiful scenery, great roads, better food, still lousy coffee, neutral (indifferent) people (it figures); scornful, even.
Italy: beautiful scenery, decent roads, panini (need I say more?), espresso, friendly people.

Before I get inundated with complaints at my characterization, understand this: I summarize our experiences. They are our experiences and as such they are not representative of experiences other people have when visiting in those countries. Explaining to me the how and why it is wrong of me to characterize the countries thus will not change either our experiences or our impressions of the places we visited. What would change (or confirm) our impressions, is another visit. If you are a reader that would like to make that happen, we’ll gladly accept an all-expenses-paid trip retracing our 1995 trip.

I’ll add one more thing. If you are from a country outside the US, before yelling at me about being unfair to a whole population because of a limited perspective, I will remind you I am constantly bombarded with disparaging remarks about Americans. Be it because of religion (I’m not religious), education (I think of myself as educated), and culture (OK; you got me there), I’m lumped in with people who have zero in common with me. At no time do I take those comments personally, mostly because I share at least one trait with the Swiss. Likewise, you should not take the above characterizations as representative of my opinion of individuals who read this blog, all of which I am sure are persons of discerning and impeccable taste. 

Anyway, I visited Switzerland, so I have scenery from there captured on  . . . film. 

I also have an Epson Perfection V6000 Photo scanner. I wanted to have something decent to work with, so I scanned the negatives I have from our visit to Lauterbrunnen (as opposed to scanning the prints). We actually stayed there for a few days. If you search for images of Lauterbrunnen valley you will see beautiful photos of mountains and valley awash with sunshine. 

These are the scans of my negatives without any adjustments.



We were on a cog railway car heading up to Jungfrau, the lighting was poor, and these were taken while moving.

The scanner has the option to automatically adjust the color. Enabling that feature got me this:



I did a bit more processing in Lightroom and onOne. 

Switzerland010-Processed Switzerland012-Processed

I have photos of Switzerland’s landscape, but I don’t have Julie Andrews or smiling kids. 

I do have photos from one of my visits to Illinois . . . 


That’s my father-in-law and two people I don’t know. These next two photos are of one of my nieces, taken twelve years ago. They are both from the same day.

0043_IL_APR2K3-Processed 0062_IL_APR2K3-Processed

OK, all I now need is a pastoral setting . . . for that I grabbed a photo from one of my visits to Rocky Mountains National Park.


So, let me put all the elements together . . . 

SofM 03

Now,  a bit of tweaking, a few passes with a couple of Topaz’s plugins, and I get this:

SofM 05

I wanted musical notes, so I downloaded free brush presets HERE and HERE. Combine that with Hobo font, and you get this:

SofM Final

Mind you, this was more an exercise at practicing masking, blending, and playing with layers than producing a cover that might motivate people to watch the movie . . . it’s a musical. I don’t even recommend the ones I like.

In case anyone wonders about it, I have not watched The Sound of Music

I hope this exercise in a bit of escapism has entertained you. If not, don’t tell anyone about this post. Unless there is someone you don’t like, in which case point them here so they too can suffer. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

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Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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22 Responses to Photo Rehab Cover Makeover #11: The Sound of Music

  1. oneowner says:

    This is a tough one. The Julie Andrews poster is so well known as to be iconic and not to be changed. Still, a challenge to overcome it’s iconic-ness and this is a goon interpretation.
    If I had to pick a favorite musical I’d go with “Singing in the Rain”. Not just for the music but for the comedy.


  2. I highly doubt you’ll like it, but I want to say, if you’re going to watch a musical, check out Newsies. That said, love seeing your process in this post :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • And also, I LOVE musicals. HATE The Sound of Music…


      • disperser says:

        Is the idea of a golddigger inserting herself into a family?

        Liked by 1 person

        • ha maybe, I honestly can’t quite pin point all the reasons I don’t like it. I’d have to watch it again, and that’s not going to happen. Annoying songs that serve little purpose, unrealistic love story, no 16 year old is going to wear a uniform just because her dad wants her to, super happy for a movie about nazies, and well rodgers and hammerstein don’t sit well with me in general…(side story, in high school I played the violin in the pit orchestra for the musicals, we did oklahoma, south pacific and cinderella over the years, all of which were so stupid. I think it’s mostly the dumb, cheesy, male in charge, weak woman love.)

          Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      “highly doubt” is an understatement; it’s a period piece, it’s a musical, and it’s a drama.

      I bet there isn’t one worthwhile gun battle in it, either. About the only thing that might make it worse would be if it were in French with German subtitles.

      Yes, I kid (mostly).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry ej I think you missed out this time, you haven’t captured the feel of the musical or Salzburg and the Austrian countryside.

    Perhaps I should send you some snaps of me traipsing around the S.O.M. countryside, and you could produce a humourous cover a la Charlie Chaplin.


    • disperser says:

      “Mind you, this was more an exercise at practicing masking, blending, and playing with layers than producing a cover that might motivate people to watch the movie . . . it’s a musical. I don’t even recommend the ones I like.”

      I admit I have no idea how one might convey music. Even in the original cover, if you remove the title you are left with a woman and some kids on a hillside . . . perhaps they just smoked some weed and are all happy and stuff. It certainly does not convey the story in any meaningful way. Or at least, they do not to me. Then again, I did not watch the movie (I did read the synopsis of it – gold digger pressures older man into marrying her by brainwashing his kids).

      But that’s the same with almost any such visual; the title helps.

      As for your generous offer, I doubt it would help my effort. It would, however, offer me the opportunity for much amusement. Any time you feel like it, please do takes some snaps; I promise I will cherish them.


  4. AnnMarie says:

    Your cover is beautifully done, though not quite representative of the musical. But who cares. The whole point, to me, is the creative process. And in that, you’ve hit the right note.


  5. desleyjane says:

    Love seeing your creative process here to make a very interesting take on the cover. You are doing what I want to be able to do but I still haven’t opened photoshop on my computer. This week I overlaid two photos within an iPhone app and made a decent enough image but you are blending parts of an image (the child) into a larger scene and that’s what I want to learn just as soon as I move house and settle in. Thanks for sharing your cover, we certainly don’t mind if it’s a little late!


    • disperser says:

      I left a comment for Lucile on the next post about doing a very simple exercise of blending layers in Photoshop.

      Also, in the comment below I mention Kelby One. Lots and lots of tutorials both as videos and in written formats. In every issue of Photoshop magazine there are detailed tutorials on how to do “stuff”. Those are archived as standalone lessons at the Kelby One site.

      As I said, the membership is well worth it, especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of time learning stuff.

      The reason I do the covers is because it gets me to actually practice. When I don’t know something, I do a quick search and find, either on Kelby One or the Internet at large, tutorials that are usually 1-3 minutes long. I only read or look just enough to get the idea, and then I go play with it. Best way to learn, at least for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There is an Austrian blogger who told me that in her country, hardly anyone knows or care about this movie. She heard of it for the first time when she was visiting the US and people asked her about it, knowing of her nationality. I have watched it as a teen but guarantee you that there is nothing there that you could have missed.
    On another note, man, you’re such a wizard of post processing photos. Every time I see your covers I am covered in shame. Not really because I am a self confessed procrastinator on Photoshop.
    I think what you did is superlative. Being late is irrelevant, there is no timeline for creativity.


    • disperser says:

      On a side note, I’ve not been to Austria, so I used Switzerland.

      As for the wizard comment, you’ll feel even worse when I tell you I am a novice, and not really all that good at it.

      Check some of these out:

      Also, consider buying a subscription to Kelby One. The Photoshop Magazine alone is worth it, but a subscription will also get you unlimited access to a number of videos and written tutorials and access to the photos they use so you can follow along.


  7. Again…I love hearing and seeing your process!
    I love MOST musicals…7 Brides for 7 Brothers is one of my favs! Ha! I just thought “7 Bit@#es for 7 Bros” might be a whole other musical! :-P
    Okay…let’s blame my comments on my condition and meds! ;-)
    HUGS!!! :-)


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