I've been pushing this project back for a couple months now but finally got around editing it. It all started as a joke when I work at the Dawson F/start photo camp. My co-workers and I started commenting each particular building we saw and I took a quick snapshot of it. That afternoon we looked at our daily images and I saw the possibility for a quick project. so the next day I set a goal to only shoot building corners and this time with a more involved attitude. At that time Instagram was still squares so I decided to go with a square crop and make a nice mosaic out of them. the project went on for a couple days and it's been on pause until now.
A little GIF for the fun winter activities...It's a little slow but...Deal with it!
245 Volvo (1980)
So it has been a while since the last post but it's because I failed to schedule a specific time to work on it. I did have many post topics but never got to writing anything. So stating last week I gave myself 1 hour of social media/coffee break everyday between my early walk and starting work. I should be a little more regular from now on.
So let's get to it...
Noah's image was a one shot deal. I wanted to make things as simple in terms of retouching, as possible but as complex as possible in set-design.
First of all the idea behind this Noah scene was to have him collect animal fetus of each creature this way when the oceans come back down he could clone or re-activate the growing process of each animal. The key elements here are: to make it look like a room/ark, give the feeling of a cave/laboratory and get it all done in a single shot.
The fetus and Bowls.
A friend of mine was assisting me for this shoot so I asked him to bring as many glass pots as he could find. He also brought some food coloring which came in handy for some bowls filled with water. I did the same thing on my side and in the end we probably had close to fifty bowls which was enough to give the illusion of a lab.
A day or two before the shoot I bought isolation mousse. It's the yellow stuff we put around widows when build a house. It was perfect to create the fetus. It comes in a can and has many different enlargement size. Also it is unpredictable but controllable when used, so this meant I could control the average shape but it would have a very bumpy and unpredicted texture. It dries pretty quickly and once that was done I threw flesh color paint and it was done.
I gathered wood pallets at the local woodshop for a week as they only get rid of 1 or 2 pallets a day. The goal here was to quickly convey the idea of the wooden ark floors. I knew there was no need for the walls as the smoke would hide them anyways.
We gathered trolleys and selves from the studio and started building the scene. I had brought laboratory accessories which ended up being a very nice foreground element.
Smoke is always a nice element to add mood but it is the absolute most uncontrollable light diffuser. I knew and expected the smoke to make a large big wall of light if I sent light on it from the back but I never expected it would take so much.
The problem with the smoke machine is that it will shoot smoke with a little velocity and we are not quick enough it dissipates. This caused 2 major issues: #1 the wall of light kept disappearing after 2-3 shots and we had to get back in there and shoot more smoke. This was also a challenge because we had 2 lights for the smoke which means by the time the smoke machine moved from one light to the other we really had only one shot with the wall nice and thick. Issue #2 was that as the smoke dissipates it fell between the subject and the subjects light which means he became more and more foggy as the shots went buy. To solve this we either had to wait or get him to move, which also meant moving the light set-up.
But in the end we managed to get a nice balance between everything for a couple shots.
The edit only took a couple hours and the image was done.
So this is the first official post on the blog. The next few posts will mostly be BTS (behind the scenes) of the Fresco project. I'll try to mix images, videos and GIFs.
So let's get started...
The Adam and Eve was a no brainer...what I mean is that I couldn't create a biblical piece and not include Adam & Eve.
Like every scene of the Fresco, my research starts by a passage and by an illustration of Gustave Doré. For Adam and Eve, Doré's work was conventional and I was looking for something much more imaginative but I was very interested in the expressions and positions he gave to his subjects so I kept that in mind.
My first few ideas for the fresco came from sample images I found on Pinterest of this technological cylinder. At this point I knew I wanted to play with the idea cryogenic incubators and cloning. So I started thinking what part of Adam and Eve should I illustrate, and so after a couple times rereading the stories I chose the moment Adam gives life to Eve. Here are a few of the sample research images. I'm sorry I don't have records of who are the original artists. :( if you do please leave a comment and I'll update the post.
So after a few sketches I ended up with this...
I started thinking what I needed to build the set and got help from various friends to help me evaluate how it could work and where could I get it. I ended up using ventilation tubes, 24 feet by 100 feet plastic tarps, Plexiglas sheets, various blue gels, and panels we had in the studio.
At this point I had already contacted Epic Talent for potential models and was able to take a look at their portfolios.
Brad Hamelin's bright orange hear and beard stroke me and I found I thought it could really strike the imaginary as Adam. Brad seemed very interested in the project and so working with him was so easy. All I really had to do was give him lines of what was happening and the emotion Adam should be feeling and he conveyed them very nicely to the camera. With only a few sample images from Gustave Doré Brad gave life to Adam in the exact way I intended.
For Eve I decided to ask Natasha Alyward. I nice blond actress that would have to take the role of the most beautiful women that ever walked the surface of the earth. Getting to the shoot I wasn't sure if I wanted Eve to be awake, sleeping, animated, or simply frozen (this was before the movie). I showed Natasha some images and asked her the play Eve with-in the cryo-tank. As the shoot went on, we changed the state of life of Eve making her awake a curious, conscious and seductive, but in the end I chose to keep her at rest, unanimated and holly. I was also planning to animate her in the end result but I have not yet come to publish the final result...
I don't think I have to explain in depth the lighting, the background was lit part by part then Adam then Eve, I then added front element that I back lit to give some depth and voila! Here are lighting-diagrams for the techy ones.
So this was a quick overview of the shoot. Comment if you have any questions about the project.
Stay tuned for other BTS content or other final images such as the animated version of Eve.