Thought Of The Day
I want to take some time to document the creation of the composite image above.
Ever since I completed my latest series, “Made In The USA” , I have been trying to think about other ideas that involve the manufacturing process. Maybe there is another series that can be spawned from the original concept.
My usual method of creation exploration involves simply playing around with parts of other images. I have a vast Lightroom library that includes just about every picture I have ever shot. Combing through the archive can be a great place to begin to look for new ideas. You’d be surprised how an image you may have shot, say ten years ago, suddenly has creative potential!
First, I try to select an appropriate stage for my composition. In this case the original image is a shot of an eyelet press in motion with a counter that tallies the output of that machine’s particular run. Since there was very little color in the original picture, and since I was more interested in emphasizing the image shapes and forms, I chose to work in black and white for the entire composition.
Within the original series, quality and craftsmanship were key concepts. The Quality Assurance area of the shop displayed a simple piece of paper stating “Quantity is the enemy of Quality”. Various gauge measurements are made during a production run to ensure that finished parts meet desired customer specifications and tolerances. I knew right away that I wanted to suggest that the viewer explore the Thought of the Day. This is in keeping with my artistic mission in which I try to drive all of my creative work. I want to awaken the viewer’s “inner child” and entice him to use his imagination!
Next, I selected three pieces from three other pictures to be the actors in this composition: the Thought of the Day, the gauges, and the mound of finished eyelets from a press production run. The important elements of the stage image are the press in motion and the material counter. The right side of the staging image seemed to be the best area of the picture to arrange the three actors. My intention was to create a sweeping arc of viewer eye investigation which starts from the Thought element in the upper right sweeping downward, clockwise, through the gauges element, through the eyelet mound at the bottom, and then return the viewer’s eye to the press motion on the left.
Working within Photoshop CC 2015, I began my work of building the final composition. First, I wanted to create a different “look” for the stage or background. To do this, I started with a black canvas to keep consistency with my artistic mission of creating mystery with a sense of history or place. I did not want to have my stage be the entire dimensions of the final result. I used perspective transformation to create a geometric shape that exaggerates and draws interest to the placement and importance of the press motion and the size of the counter.
Finally, each of the three actor elements were also transformed to exaggerate their content to emphasize their role on the stage. In order to make each element blend to the overall composition look, I used gradients on each of the element sides to soften the edges. I also changed the element opacity to further control emphasis.
I have no idea whether this composite will generate another series. I will continue to experiment. You will have to check back from time to time to see what happens.