Kendall’s Dream (Throw the light meter away because it is of no use at all… )

Three Element Composite

Three Element Composite

I call it “Kendall’s Dream” and I am very happy with it. Is it perfect? “No!” But I have worked hard to achieve this look and feel. Some might call it a “High Key” style but I’m not too keen on labels when it comes to creating composite images. If it were a straight forward photograph then “yes” I would call it “high key”. But given the fact it is a three element composite created in Photoshop I think of it more as an illustration and this is my style, also my favorite kind of work. I start with the camera and a model in a studio, and then there is me and the camera outdoors alone. Then I come to my workspace in Adobe Photoshop and create something. The feeling of seeing the end result is something one really cannot put to words… or at least I can’t put it to words without sounding like a moron. If you are a creative person of any sort you know what I mean. It doesn’t matter whether you are a writer, a poet, musician, painter, performer, dancer or you make bird houses you are a creative person with a creative soul and the energy ebbs & flows. Some days the flow is unstoppable and overflowing and other days it’s (as my father would say) “as scarce as hen’s teeth” (yeah just let that one sink in a few minutes lol). Some day’s creativity is like a distant ship that is a blip on the horizon and you hope it is coming back. So again, if you’re a creative person you know what I mean. You also know that when you really hit a high point… I mean you really “know” it. When I was done with this image I knew I had achieved the look I was going for. I walked away from the monitor for about an hour and when I returned I knew.

Kendall’s Dream is not the end-all to my style; I would say it is just another facet, another tool to have. Although I have been influenced by many, it is Joel Grimes that I would like to thank for leading me to work with composites in this manner. After seeing Mr. Grimes’ workflow and understanding the do’s & don’ts of composites I have started to create my own techniques. As much as this image is reminiscent of Joel’s “high key” images I took a much different approach and I know with time this “different” approach will lead me to an altered style that I can call my own. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

This bright & white style is not just a total Photoshop fabrication; the main element must be lit in studio in a particular way. Throw the light meter away because it is of no use at all… don’t look at the histogram on the back of the camera, like the light meter it is of no use. Histograms and light meters are not creative tools for this type of work. Histograms and light meters are very god for creating a portrait, but this is not a portrait and that (to me) is why I love this kind of work. The freedom to put the model anywhere in the world that I feel like putting her is what adds to the creativity. I mean; sure I could copy & paste Kendall and put her on the moon, but it is not about just sticking the main element anywhere. But rather making her (the main element) looking as if it was there or at least making the overall image appear to be believable. Although Kendall was shot in a studio in Philadelphia under special lighting and the walkway is 10,000 miles away in a remote part of Southeast Asia… well for me that is the fun and the joy of it all. Why even the scenery out the windows of the walkway is part of the whole composite. But when all three elements are brought together it seems believable. Then creating a dream like feel with the white takes the image to that “somewhere between a photo and…” well you get the idea.

Thanks for reading.


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