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There are ways of making you talk…
This shot started out as a completely different idea in a completely different location. It’s interesting how the creative process works in that way. You come up with something and you start working on it, and it just isn’t that great; but then because you started you are led on a process that concludes with an outcome that is generally more awesome!
The secret is to start.
Starting is the best way to develop your creativity. I find that when I have an idea and act on it almost immediately I get more and more ideas. If I don’t write down my ideas when they come – they go.
So for me the start is writing down the idea. Then I have some time to mull it over and think outside the box for effects and lighting and figures and sets.
With this particular shot I first set it up randomly on top of my jewelry kiln that I use to make my Relic Wowflutes. The top of this kiln was the cleanest spot in my office, so naturally it has become my spot for taking indoor shoots. I could not get the lighting just right because there’s a window behind it that brings in lots of natural light; but it dims the shot and turns it into silhouettes.
So I decided to move my shot into the kiln! It has a fireproof material that is sort of fuzzy on the walls inside and gave a nice texture to the “room”. The advantage of moving my shot into the kiln is it gave me complete control over my lighting. It removed any outside source of light. The only light I could see was the ones I put there – a high powered 300 lumin led flashlight!
I used several different lighting techniques that gave me many different results to choose from. I use some translucent Tritan material samples to place in front of the flashlight to get different colors in the kiln/room.
This first shot looked sort of plain which was perfect for Arkham Assylum, but I just thought it was a bit boring with a lot of empty space above the figures.
So then I brought it in tighter by raising my platform (books, blocks – whatever was the right thickness). I also added a few more props so it didn’t look as bare. The story also changed a bit when I added commissioner Gordon with a syringe. I still felt the ceiling was a bit too far away – so I added to my stack.
Once I was happy with the structure of the scene and the ceiling height I then added a few more random props and then it was time to play with the lighting.
The red filter on my flashlight warmed up the scene a bit too much for my liking. I kind of wanted a scary scene that was a bit darker. The red also limited the greens which I wanted to highlight especially with the jokers hair style.
A blue filter added a bit too much coolness to the shot and made for a somewhat purple hue on the ceiling that I wasn’t too fond of. Out with the red, out with the blue. I found that the best solution for the effect I wanted was just the pure white light of the flashlight.
The final step was just a small adjustment in Lightroom with the application of a cross process that added a bit more blue to the greens to match the hue of jokers hair. I also thought that the red of the hand truck was a bit destracting so applying the cross process finished putting the focus I wanted on the joker.