Photo illustration begins with a promising photograph and ends with an intensely edited image. I began this image with a model and two candles for lighting and ended hours later with what I feel is a finished piece. I call this image ‘Gypsy Queen’. Photoshop is the program used for compositing and editing. At what point does a photograph become an illustration? I think when you usually edit a photograph it takes a few minutes up to an hour depending on the project and when you spend hours or even days (like this project) then the photograph becomes something more.
Another in my series of photographs of things I’ve collected and put in my study at home. Small candle placed behind the central subject and another slightly bigger candle in the front camera left. ISO 125, F18, 25 seconds.
I thought I would have a little fun again. Here the gods and goddesses are critiquing the ‘Woman of Willendorf” sculpture.
By now you know my general camera settings for my series so I’ll talk a little about the thought behind the image. Black and white photography tends to be overwhelmingly serious so I thought I would inject a little humor. Here we have Underdog explaining the nature of man to Mr. Natural and Yoda. I also snuck in an old self portrait underneath the picture of Einstein.
Candle light ISO 125, 1/20th of a second at f8. Black and white conversion in Photoshop with natural colors added back in.
Another photo in my series taken with candle light. One candle camera left positioned low as a key light. Second candle camera right positioned higher to cast shadow against the wall. The candle light really messed with the white point setting so I manually moved it to 2200k which took it from a red cast to a normal cast, ISO 125, aperture f18, and shutter speed 95 seconds. Oddly enough the slight flickering of the candles had little effect on the lighting.
My latest creation is a combination of a monkey and a rabbit. It’s carved from pear and bass wood, painted with acrylics, and finished with gold leaf. I’ve been collecting dozens and dozens of masks in Pinterest and this mask is definitely been influenced by them.
I won’t claim this as an original piece. My son-in-law gave me a carved zebra mask that was painted with very muted grays and light brown designs and said I could do whatever I wanted to it. It was pretty drab. I sanded it down to bear wood and carved some intricate designs into the face and then repainted the whole thing.It was fun.
You may remember this face from a long time ago. I started with a piece of African purple heart wood. Well I reworked this face many times until I finally liked it. The design on the face, which was chiseled by hand, was influenced by tribal markings from Nepal and Aboriginal tribal markings from Australia. The hood was craved from pear wood and then stained with acrylic paint. The face is the real color of the wood. African purple heart is one of the hardest woods I’ve ever worked with.
I decided to rework my earlier sculpture. Here I’ve added another branch to form another antler and craved leaves out of polar wood. Then rotated it to make a horizontal composition. Hope you like it.