Beano…

Coffe in Hand

Sitting at the bean overhearing conversations of sailing, writing, photography and business. What have these beige walls heard, these faux leather brown seats and wooden chairs witnessed? Love born and lost, friendships made, arguments had, and the deals done.

All of them deals really, to make money, to make love, and to make laughter.

Just sit quietly and become the wall, the old wooden chair, and the brown faux leather seat, and sipping coffee, include yourself silently in their conversations. Sip lightly into their lives, and watch and listen, as they pass from this coffee shop onto the next.

Clarity…

Solid grounds not so solid. A false sense of safety gives rise to beliefs and expectations not supported.

You run and, with reckless abandon, play loose with your life because it will never happen to you. Until…

It’s completely unexpected. You never really see it coming. Never fully realize whats at work, flowing swiftly and powerfully and smooth. Eroding silently, the ground you stand on. Unseen…

Ripped from light, darkness pulls fast from below and all you’ve built drops into the blackest part of who you are. Falling…

This unwanted transformation is, just maybe……………… exactly what you need.

Because, as you lay in the dark amidst what remains, you become aware of the light that shines down into where you are, and looking up, eyes fixed, you see a bit of clear blue clarity above, that beckons you out…

to a new beginning.

The Train Part 2…

Here is the final image. I placed the train into the composite and added texture to each component as the model was simply to clean. It needed to look like it had seen some miles. I desaturated the cars as they were very red and looked very plastic which is what you would expect from a scale display model. Steam was built in PS using custom brushes and a Wacom Tablet. The light at the front of the locomotive adds to the realism and nicely plays off the dark rock face above the trestle. I decided that the perspective that the model was shot at didn’t quite match the build to that point and a better fix was, other than chopping a bunch of the mountain away, was to simply create a tunnel. As you can see, the cliff has had extensive relighting and colouring from the original source material. This helped achieve the overall mood I was looking for.

A lot of work which paid off  buy winning a place in Applied Arts Photography Annual.

Train Hero for web

The Train Part One…

Concept and Initial Lighting Direction

It started with an idea and an initial pencil sketch (which went missing) of a train chugging up a mountain side about to go over a trestle bridge. I thought it would be a great exercise to combine traditional photography of practical elements and 3D in a composite that would push my comfort zone as it were. So after visualizing what I wanted it to look like, I created a very rough model and landscape/terrain in my 3D software to see where the best realistic lighting would be (image below). I didn’t want the train to be in full sun because I wanted the lights and steam to be visible. So I placed the “sun” peeking over the other side of the valley so it’s shadow would cast just above the train.

B&W POV 2 Light test copy

Gathering the Elements

Next was gathering the elements to make the landscape that the train would be running up. Several trips out to shoot various cliffs, trees, and skies to add to the library and ultimately to the final image.

Cliffs 0015

Skies 0005

Cliffs 0043

The Train…

The train was a scale model I rented from a local model train shop. I shot it in studio in several sections since the Depth of Field was unable to hold through the length of the model. I took each image into PS to create one seamless train in perfect focus from front to back.

Model Train

The next element to create was the trestle in 3D and using the virtual camera, find the correct camera angle to match the position of the train and to blend it into the created mountainside. The rendered trestle looked like this…

TextureedC5 copy

And then what it looked like dropped into the evolving composite…

Train Sketch 2 copy

Next up (tomorrow) will be the final touches. Add the train and all the effects such as steam etc. Finesse other compositional elements and fine tune.