Monday, January 21, 2013

January Style It Challenge

Google + has a new feature, Communities.

I have joined in a few photography communities, primarily ones that issue weekly or monthly challenges. It is nice to have an assignment or a goal to reach.

One group is a Style It, Shoot it, Share it group, where you have to design and style a photo and then manage to make it happen.

To be honest, January is a bad month for me. It is busy at work, it is my birthday, my stepdad's birthday, and it was my dad's birthday which is always a rough day for me. In addition to being busy with those things, I got the flu (despite getting a flu shot!!) and was out of commission for a week. I got a late start on this challenge. I didn't start it until a week before it was due. Oops!

So the challenge was to create a photo that includes two elements, apocalypse and a created background. I had NO idea what a "created background" really meant, luckily one of the lovely moderators, Lane Langmade, and some others in the group got right on that to help me understand. There are a few types of "created" backgrounds, modify an existing background, create a background, or composite a background digitally.

I decided to push myself and learn how to digitally composite.

Another aspect of this community is that you are encouraged to share HOW you accomplished your photo. That is where this blog entry comes in!!

Here is my finished shot:

The picture is primarily two photos with bits and pieces of a few others added in for effect. The two main photos are these ones:

I took these photos a few months back. The model is a friend Maggie, epic costumer geek and filled with awesome. This is her Steampunk reporter character and the shoot was a lot of fun. We roamed all over the old mill city of Lowell and used the old mill buildings as a backdrop. 

I grabbed some smoke and fire photos from google images and took just tiny slices off of them. I didn't have any photos that would work for those in my repertoire. I did have a few "burning embers" type photos that I used for fire raining from the sky and explosion type effects. These two photos are from a number of months ago. They are of my friend Kitch playing with steel wool. That was a lot of fun, and gladly nobody called the cops on the group of people playing with fire in the parking lot. 

As I was working on the photo composition, adding things in together and processing, I went through a few stages. There were a couple times that I thought, this is good, I think I might be done. Then I decided that I was not and kept going. This may or may not be for the best...