For this project, I wanted to try creating another infographic. I used an image that I took of the Big Southern Butte in Idaho. It is one of the largest volcanic buttes in the world. Idaho is dotted with these incredible reminders of the trail the hot spot under Yellowstone National Park took across Idaho to get to where it is now. What makes this butte even more incredible, is the relatively flat valley all around it.



This image is not very good. It is pretty dark and the foreground is pretty blurred from taking it out of the darkened back window of a moving truck. To add to that, my sensor was in huge need of a cleaning and it is covered in sensor dust spots.


Rather than just chucking it though, I decided to amplify its imperfections by turning it black and white and adding a texture to the image to weather it in Photoshop. For the texture I used an image I took of an old cookie sheet. (To learn more about using textures check out my post, “USING TEXTURES TO MAKE EPIC BACKGROUNDS“).


I then changed its mode to “Lighten” and lowered the opacity. In that mode the right side almost completely disappeared so I copied the layer and flipped it around to double the texture up. Once I did that, I threw a masking layer on each texture and removed the texture from the actual butte. Using the textures helped bring the butte out into the foreground and set it apart from the sky.



I then brought the image into Illustrator to add the text and infographic elements. To do this, I used simple text and lines that I copied to keep the same angle. I would then just adjust the length of the legs of the angle and reflected or rotated the angle to make them each different.



A lot of the information I used, came from the NASA website that accompanied this satellite image:

Map from NASA

This image shows where the Big Southern Butte is located within the Snake River Valley as well as other geological features that were caused by the hot spot.



To make this mock up I used a template from The original poster wasn’t the same size as the smart layer, so I copied the image and moved the one on the bottom to cover the rest of the sky along the top. Then I hit Command-Option-Shift(PC: Ctrl-Alt-ShiftE) to merge all the layers into a new layer on top. I then used the clone stamp tool to remove the line. That is why it is always a good idea to leave white space to give you flexibility.

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