Storytelling Through a Photograph


This photograph was created for my photography class in college based off of a random quote that we got assigned to us. The quote I got was, “Junk is the ideal product… the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy.” As you can see, I interpreted it quite literally with a heavy influence from fashion photography. This post is going to take you through the entire process of creating this picture.

The very first thing I did was location scouting. This basically means I spent hours walking/driving around until I found the perfect spot. From the get-go I knew that I wanted to recreate the whole “sexy girl on a cool car” thing but make it filthy. So, I was specifically looking for run down old cars in the middle of the woods. Unfortunately I searched for around six hours and couldn’t find a spot. Luckily for me there is this cool little thing called FaceBook, so I posted what I was looking for and found about 10 different locations in less than an hour thanks to my friends on there. That how I found the car/location that you can see in the picture.

The next thing I did was look for a model and think of an outfit that would suit the situation. I got lucky again because I have a lot of friends who are down for anything so it wasn’t hard to find a model at all. Also, lets be honest, anyone will do a free photoshoot. So, as I said, I got my model and had her do her hair and makeup because I had a lot on my plate creating her outfit. I found a pattern on line and created her top from a stretchy fabric that I had laying around. It was white, so I had to dye it black. That was easy. Next, I found another simple dress pattern online and created it using duct tape and trash bags. It turned out pretty freaking awesome (as you can see).

Then, me and my model went to the location and shot. It was about an hour session. I took about 200 photographs and tried countless poses. Let’s just say you can never take too many photographs.

The final step in the whole process was selecting the perfect picture and then bringing it into photoshop and editing it. Selecting the perfect picture took longer than the edit itself to be honest with you. This was because I had soooooooooooo many great photo’s to choose from! After selecting the perfect picture I dragged it into Photoshop and cropped it to the selected size that I want. That is always my first step. Then my next step is to edit skin. I used a technique called frequency separation. Here you make a duplicate for the original images two times so you have the original layer as the background and two copies of it as layer 1 and 2. Then on layer one (the middle layer) you apply a gaussian blur. I use about a 6.0% when it comes to editing the skin. Then on layer 2 (the top layer) you go to the tab on top and click “image” and then apply image. Here you will open a window where you have to make a couple adjustments. The source layer should be the layer you had selected when you clicked this. In our case its layer 2. Then by layer you want it to be the layer we applied the gaussian blur to (layer 1 or me). Leave the channel as RGB. Then change the blending mode to subtract. Leave the opacity at 100% and the scale should be 2 and the offset should be 128. This step can not be done any other way. It is the only way that frequency separation will work. Then you hit “apply” and boom layer 2 turned into this really weird grey thing. This is perfect. So now layer 2 is a grey thing, layer 1 is blurry, and background is the original image. Now on layer 2 change the blending mode from “normal” to “linear light” and BAM you have the original image. What this did is we separated the details from the color in the image. Using the different tools on photoshop like the “spot healing brush” or “patch tool” you can get rid of pimples or wrinkles or even scars on layer 2 and you can fix discoloration and shadows and hi-lights on layer one. This technique is literally god sent.

Now before I moved on I had to select the layer 1 and 2 and then merge them by right clicking on one of the two layers and selecting “merge”. The next thing I did was I went into the liquify tool and made sure her body was on point. I elongated her legs, made her thighs thicker, took the stomach the neck and the arms in a little bit, made the boobs bigger and fixed up the hair. You need to be careful because if you aren’t subtle things and look really fake really fast.

Next I went and added a “selective color” adjustment layer. Using this you can select a specific color family ( such as reds, blues, yellows, greens, backs, whites, ect.) and manipulate them individually. I wanted this to be a very cold photograph, so I added a lot of cool colors- like blue, purple, and green, to my shadows.

Lastly I selected a font. I wrote out my words. I masked out part of “junk” to make it look as if it were behind her. I got the color of the font from a sample in the heel she was wearing. Then I added the black bars to the top and bottom to make it feel like it was a screen shot from a movie. The very last thing I did was add grain because I like it.

About tylerjamesxo

Summary A few sentences long. Should include: Who are you? What is your focus/? What do you aspire to? Whatwill be found in this portfolio (in broad strokes)? Check for spelling, grammar, capitalization, etc. Spend some time refining this. Should NOT include: Information not relevant to this portfolio (“I have a brother named Steve, and a fish named Jimmy”) Informal language (“im TOTES into teh database programming!!1!”) ‘shout outs’ (“Hey Jimmy! Say hi to mom for me!”) Think about the tone you want to present publicly and to your faculty. After your summary, list the following categories: Software expertise [list all software in which you are proficient] Related Work [Work or internships related to DMA. What was your job title? Where? When?] Exhibitions [Any time your work has exhibited- public screenings, gallery shows, etc. What? When? Where?] Publications [Any of your images or writing that has been published. What? When? Where?] Conferences [Any conferences you’ve attended. What? When? Where? If you presented, also post the title of the presentation. Organizations [Off-campus organizations you are a member of. Do you hold a special position? President, Treasurer, etc?] Clubs [Campus clubs you are a part of. Do you hold a special position? President, Treasurer, etc?] Volunteering [Any community service or volunteer events you’ve been involved with] List all of these categories, even if some of them are blank for now. Make it your goal to fill out something in each category.
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