So, I've pulled together all of the elements in Photoshop and produced the final image. I used Gordon's model village as the background and arranged the buildings into a bit of a courtyard. This image was then enhanced in Photoshop with a photograph I took of the sky as the backdrop. Finally I put in the cleaned and sharpened photo of Gordon's Dad.
I gave him a shadow to make it a bit more realistic and resized the image to fit the output - which was a 30cm x 30cm canvas print I ordered from VistaPrint.
So, I've picked out the model buildings for the background - now it's time to try and get the original fuzzy image into something a bit more usable. I used the Filter -> Other -> High Pass filter with the 'Hard Light' layer type. That seemed to produce the sharpest image. I also played with the levels and managed to go from:
Which I'm not too unhappy about. It's not perfect, but I think it's okay for this purpose. So the last thing to do is sort out the composition and pull all the elements together.
So I've been trying to figure out what background the main character (Gordon's Dad - Alan) should go onto. First of all I thought a photo from Morpeth where he lives would be cool.
But it didn't really work. Because the main figure is holding a drink, he really needed to be in front of an appropriate background, like a pub. Gordon makes models, so I thought it would be cute to use one of his current diorama which is Victorian London.
Again, this didn't work either, he's wearing the wrong period to fit neatly into this environment. So we dragged out an old set of models that fit the time period of the costume much better:
This was much better - and definitely the backdrop I'll progress with.
I have a photo of Gordon's Dad dressed up in 18th Century Costume. I've decided that it would be a good subject for a Photomedia project (as part of my design course) - to take the photo and put it into an 18th Centure setting. It will also make a great birthday pressie - and I'm all about killing two birds with one stone!
So the first thing I'll do is come up with a rough idea of what I want to achieve. I have some initial thoughts, but I want to have a detailed examination of the imagery I already have and figure out what imagery I'll need to either photograph myself or source (complying with all copyright of course).
This will help inform what the final image will look like.
I'm going to start with this image - the central image of the piece:
I've put together a moodboard of some images that might be appropriate. In my research I've found images from a street scene created by Gordon in 28mm models.
I'm still debating about whether to have him in an alley, or out the front of a pub, which seems like it would be a more natural environment for someone cheersing with a glass of wine!
It's done! I went with the photograph of myself holding onto my hat and the title of 'It's Raining Steampunk'.
I actually had a lot of fun painting a browny backdrop for the piece.
I then took all the steampunk elements I photographed and separated them out to form the 'rain drops' and pulled the whole image together.
I like the colours, but I think photographing the elements (the cogs particularly) in a lightbox would've made the final composition a lot easier. Although Photoshop has gotten really amazing at picking out a subject from the background and letting you refine that selection, there was still some bleed from the background.
I also think that I'd probably introduce more elements to give it a more chaotic feel.
Having said that, I'm pretty happy. It communicates the fun I wanted to project.
Now I need to make a lightbox for my next project!
Progressing along with my Steampunk photomedia project, I've been taking photos that I think might be useful. I was going to go with a 'dream-like' feel, but trying to capture smoke and encorporate that looks like it may be a bit hard at this stage.
So I've moved on with the idea of Steampunk and I'm thinking of using an image based on the photo of the girl in my last blog post, but of me in a more structured environment. That way I have more control over the contrast and lighting.
I had a day of photography and have come up with some elements I really like. I've taken a picture of myself to be the central part of the image:
After taking the photo I got to thinking about the song 'it's raining men' - what if I subverted that to be 'it's raining steampunk'? I could then introduce all of the elements I was thinking of initially - the cogs, fob watches and goggles - raining down onto my head.
For my design course I need to pull together a photomedia project based on a theme.
Having recently attended a Steampunk festival, I think it would be great to do something around this theme. I'm thinking about fob watches, goggles, top hats, cogs. Perhaps something around a Steampunk dream - something ethereal?
At the festival there was a giant steampunk bug - it was used as the DJ system for the evening event. We all dressed up and took silly photographs. I really like the fun in
this photograph - holding onto a top hat with goggles attached:
I'm going to see about bringing these elements into my Steampunk themed project.
Getting all of this information out of the client (including their likes, dislikes, colour preferences etc etc) can take the form of a questionnaire, an interview, or providing the client with a guide on how to write a brief (if they've not done it before).