An idea to an image….. Concept Photography

Learning photoshop is quite a journey. The program is massively deep and somewhat complicated and for this reason can also be very frustrating. It’s for that reason that if you are to learn it the only way to is apply yourself and stay hooked no matter how slow it may seem you are progressing. I have spent hundreds of hours learning, trying, doing, redoing and back to learning and I still know maybe only 5% of the program. That fact also excites me because I have soooo much more to experience with it. Photoshop seems to have no limitations for someone who knows how to harness it.
Post production on photography to me has always been retroactive. You take an image and then bring it home to the digital darkroom. Normally it is here where your decisions are made. It is here where you give the image more life and help it tell the story that you intended it to. With concept photography the coin is flipped and you have a story that you need to tell in single image. That is not an easy task to say the least. This project was my first venture down this road and while I knew it was going to be complicated I was fairly surprised at how much the small details influenced the final composite. The trip for me started obviously with the idea. The idea was all about the internal conflict any runner has. If you are a runner this is easily understood. Running will always come with a love/hate relationship for me. While I love the way it makes me feel and how it positively affects my life I rarely am excited about a run before it starts. Then every single time when I am done I am glad I went. That was the idea behind the photo. Visually show this relationship between mind and body. I titled this image “Different Ideas”.  The one idea being stay stationary and never make yourself invonvenienced and the other stop being lazy and get moving.  To me happiness is not generated from comfort.  The hardest part about this to me was trying to figure out how to visually show an idea. What would this specific idea look like? Then with the idea strong in my head how do I get photoshop to show the same thing. While I came very close to my vision it is not perfect as I am finding no project ever will be perfect. This composite has 70 layers and I have found the importance of organization in your layer stack:)
Ultimately I did this project to push myself in photoshop and learn something new along the way I can apply to a different project. Learning doesn’t have to be boring and it also should have a concrete result at the end for you to compare future work to.  Before this project I knew very little about digital painting.  I still know very little but much more than I would had I not put the time into this piece.  I need to thank Mark Newton for being my runner and also my wife for being my always helpful sidekick. Now it’s onto the next project! Always learning, always moving forward.

Matt

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