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Category Archives: Big John’s Personal File
Merry Christmas everyone! This coming weekend will be my last weekend for the year. I will be going on vacation until the first of the year while we relocate and celebrate the holiday season. From my family to yours, have a safe, wonderful Christmas.
I started making this shot shortly after Halloween, and it took me a while to finish it. For a while there I just was lacking the inspiration and motivation needed to create something really killer. Usually I don’t get too creative unless I am running low on sleep and I just happened to be sleeping really good there for a while and living stress free. Who knew that could ever be a bad thing? I really wanted to show this image off around Thanksgiving but unfortunately I have been pretty busy around here with life in general and I haven’t been able to share the final image, or the process and layers used to make it. I am excited that I finally had the time to sit down and write this up so, without further ado, I give you “The Butcher” Hit the jump for all the awesome details and breakdowns as well as the final image. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Happy Tuesday folks!
I have been so busy lately, that I have not managed to actually pick up the camera to create anything new so I have resorted to going through some of my older work and seeing what I can make new from it. Its been kinda fun, trying some new stuff and actually making some shots that I have had sitting around wondering what to do with useful.
Heres my mediocre attempt that a billboard. I wish I had used a better picture for the billboard, something that would be more believable. The question is, is this something I want to explore again?
Its been a while since my daughter has wound up in front of the camera, so the other morning I finally had a chance to make it happen. Lately she has gotten wise to cameras (at least little camera phones and pocketable cameras) so I was concerned she wouldn’t be too warm to standing in front of all the big lights. I knew I had to work fast, so before she woke up one morning I got everything set up and ready. All I had to do was pluck her out of bed, apply the “makeup” and she hammed it up for me for a few minutes. What a relief!
I hate that it has taken me this long to post about last weeks image, but I was too busy kicking ass and taking names at tough mudder Austin 2012. Hip hip hooray! But more on that later..
I had a case of the what to dos last week, and wasn’t sure what the heck I was going to make… But I remembered a person asking for a sequel to hammer time, where Margie could beat me with a frying pan. And so… This idea was born
This was a combination of a few different shots.
3 shots to make the money itself, one shot for me, one for Margie. The background was created digitally. I think there are some things I would do different, so if you would like a photo like this of you and your significant other, please let me know so I can perfect the look. Id like to have a better background, a different place for the money to sit, perhaps even a glow coming from it… many more ideas that I would add, but I needed to finish it up last week.
Without further ado.. I present mad money.
I strive to be able to create at least one image a week. Sometimes I have an image in my head that I want to create, sometimes I steer the camera train by the seat of my pants. Either way its fun, keeps my brain fresh and makes me think. Sometimes the shot that I think I want just doesnt turn out, and its a scramble to make something that does work, and do it in time for my self imposed weekend deadline. WOO HOO! Self imposed pressure! And you thought you had to have a regular 9 to 5 to get that kind of treatment. HA!
As you may know, me and the family went camping last weekend. I really needed the time away and boy was it fantastic. I would say its probably the best camping trip to date if you could believe that. On top of it all I knew I wanted to come back with at least one shot I was really happy with. Here it is, straight out of the camera.
I obviously am not going to be satisfied with that. So I tinkered a little. And some more. I came up with this next shot. It is what I had planned in my mind the whole time. I achieved what I set out to do.
I love it! I lov.. I lo… eesh. The more I looked at it, the more I disliked it. Its not quite a car photo, becuase of the chairs. And the tent… it is tucked a little too much behind the car for my liking… ACK! Even adding in the smoke to the campfire didnt quite sell me on the scene. What a disappointment. So I keep looking at it, and bounce the shot off some peers. It seems in agreement that the tent is annoying, the chairs REALLY have to go and some folks dont like the tilt. Well, I like the tilt sothere. But after some pondering I came up with the fact that this shot is probably better off left to being a background for something better. But what?
So over the next day or so I brainstormed what subject I was going to stick in front of my camera. I had decided the look I wanted, and I had no one to sit for me, so I just said the hell with it, I will do it myself. So.. what would someone be wearing? I dont have a props department as much as I would love to have one so I donned a plain shirt, topped off with the cowboy hat and dusted off my dads old pair of binoculars. And then we arrived at…
Now, its just a matter of picking up some digital scissors, some paste, construction paper, smoke, mirrors and a little bit of luck, and I present to you…
The Lost camper.. Ok.. maybe the title needs a little work. Crazy Birdwatcher?
But here it is, the final product, without further ramblings on my part.
So there you have it, a glimpse into the work that goes into some of my shots.
Have a great weekend!
We took a much needed break over the weekend. We headed out to Lake Livingston state park for some good old fashioned camping. I don’t know if its possible to have better weather than what we had. It was absolutely fantastic. Not much finer than roasting hot dogs and marshmallows is there?
It’s so relaxing, sitting back in the cool breeze, drinking a cold beer, enjoying the sights and sounds of the lake and forest and sniffing the smells of those warm smokey campfires.
Hope you had an enjoyable relaxing weekend as well!
The other night after working on the hammertime image, it really made me think of the old wile E. coyote and road runner films. I remember sitting anxiously watching and waiting knowing that someday wile e. coyote would catch that pesky roadrunner.
I wanted to make something pretty comical, and I wanted to do it pretty quickly. There are a lot of flaws in this shot, things that need to be tweaked, this that and the other, but it accomplishes what I was after. A fun lighthearted photo of… Myself walloping myself with an exaggerated novelty hammer.
Maybe one day I’ll take another crack at it.
In the meantime, how would you like a fun portrait made?
I got some new gear in, and I am having a fun time dragging my wife into the shot for some goofing around. Its refreshing to have an idea in my head that I start working on and have her pop in and totally make the image do a 180. This initially started out as a semi serious shot with my holding my Wacom Pen and I wound up with Hammertime. She really is a good sport, what with letting me smack her with hammers and all, I can’t imagine most women letting their spouse hover over them with a shiny hammer.
And did I mention I have been playing with my new Wacom tablet, this thing is fantastic and after just a few days (really it was just a few hours) I cannot imagine a life without it… now the question is should even bother keeping my mouse hanging around at all.
And lastly, on a completely unrelated note, I am considering doing one of those fancy project 52 type things where you create an image once a week. It sounds more up my alley than the project 365s but the problem is all the ones I find wanted you to start at the beginning of the year, not that it particularly matters but it would be preferable to participate in real time so to speak with everyone else.
Until next time folks! Bash on!