Challenge: Heavy Metal Song Titles (Expert Editing)
Collection: Challenge Submissions
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED
Location: Seattle, Washington (USA)
Date: Dec 13, 2011
Galleries: Emotive, Music
Date Uploaded: Dec 15, 2011
Okay, let me start by saying I am not a Heavy Metal kind of guy. Closest I get is maybe Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida which isn’t very close at all. I think it means ‘hold the bus’ in Italian, but I digress. I’m more of a Paul Simon kind of guy, or maybe Jimmy Buffett, or Carly Simon, of (thank God I’m a country boy) John Denver.
But I’ve got a good WPL Team – The Long Shots – and I’ve been inspired by them.
Still I’m way out of my comfort zone and this image is giving me nightmares; Now for the story of the image.
Alessandro alexkc plays in a heavy metal band and sent us a list of the top 50 heavy metal songs of all time. DI didn’t recognize a single one. Went to the Internet and spent awhile listening to them. Utterly painful! My wife looked through the list and suggested looking for themes in the words themselves, don’t be distracted by the music. Good suggestion.
I came across Ace of Spades by Motorhead and figured I could shoot that. Googled Ace of Spades images and saw this neat Ace with a skull in the center ace. And went looking for skulls I could photograph. At the university I found a display of animal skulls and shot photos of a dog-like skull; Very long; Very creepy. I can work with this.
I then went to Paul Allen’s science fiction museum looking for the terminator skull. Didn’t find it but stumbled on an Avatar exhibit including the fighting mech from the movie. Shot that. (BTW – this is a terrific museum – go if you’re in Seattle.) And I shot some creature masks.
Came home and shot an Ace of Spades playing card. Took all these images and played around a lot with blend modes to assemble the composite. Used PSCS5’s 3D features to rotate the card. And the rest is history.
Usually I can predict my score pretty well but in this case I have no idea what voters will think. My solid prediction is between 4 and 7. It depends so much on whether voters are metal junkies or not. And it demands that voters set aside the notion that the image must be a photograph. I created nothing here. Every pixel started out in a photo. But the assemblage is as far from a classic photo as I’ve ever gotten.
Have fun with this – I certainly did.
Too numerous to mention, but generally …
• Shot animal skull, isolated it, and reused it twice, once in the main photo and once on the card.
• Put title and logo on the playing card and shot it, isolated it, and dumped a small skull onto the center ace. Used PSCS5 3D to rotate it.
• Shot the Avatar mech as a 7 shot HDR series, tone mapped it in Photomatix and did some color correction.
• Shot the creature mask and did some standard PSCS5 developing to bring it out.
• For the assembly, I started with a dark red background and sprayed it with a brush to give it some texture. Laid the Avatar mech on top of that. Laid the skull on top of that. Laid the card on top of that. Messed around with blend modes I never use, and masks. Did a bit of dodge and burn clean-up, and clone tool clean-up.
• Resized using Perfect Resize.
• Sharpened using PSCS5 USM.
• Save for web using Perfect Resize
• Date: 2011.12.13 (11-12-13, hum)
• Camera: Nikon D3
• Lens: Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED
• ISO: Various
• Aperture: Various
• Shutter: Various but pretty fast – all hand held.
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