So, I have been super busy recently with college - exams and whatnot. But this weekend, I had the chance to work with the wonderful Michael Lewis (a songwriter, actor, singer, wonderful human being). He contacted me a few weeks ago, wanting to set up a shoot for his senior project album cover. Jumping on the chance, we got right to planning and conceptualizing a shoot that would match the songs and mood that he was trying to instill in his audience. Michael told me that the theme was light coming through the cracks, and sent me pictures of film noir, high contrast shadows, and stark differences in the lighting.
On Saturday, we went out around the Clemson University campus and discovered a dark alley with great shadows and light cast from lamps on the wall. Knowing what we were going for, I had cut out some lines on paper to imitate blinds which would give us the stark shadows that he was looking for beforehand. I took this piece of paper and my roommate held it up to the light for us, in order to get the initial shadows across his face. We also experimented with colors, and different natural shadows, but in the end, the blinds look gave us the result we were looking for.
To create the image in post processing, I first fixed any blemishes and cleaned up the beard a little bit on a duplicated layer, as to not mess up the original. Then I created a few new layers. One was the blacking out of the wall behind him by selecting him and inverting the selection so it is just the outline of the wall. Then I adjusted the selection lines and on a separate layer, used the burn and dodge tool to highlight and darken the shadows to get that contrast we needed. A few contrast adjustments and tuning details later, we have the final image!
I will keep you updated on his work, and when the album cover is finished, I will share it with you too! I hope that you are having a great start to your week, and for those of you with exams like me. . . GOOD LUCK