Use Your Illusion/Teenage Riot

Magic and Illusion - First Photoshop Task

Magic and Illusion – First Photoshop Task

 Following on from last week’s task of ‘taking urban photographs’, this week we were tasked with taking a seemingly normal photograph, and using Photoshop, creating an element of ‘mystery’ and ‘illusion’ within the photo. It was a free-reign task, so instantly my mind went to the magic and illusion music creates. (Can anyone else tell I’m channeling my inner Clash/shoegaze?!)

The Impact: Without sounding overly cliché; Music can be a thing of magic, mystery, and beauty. It can come from dark, grey parts, but still become this thing of beauty. The idea of the guitar smashing but becoming this new power of beauty (butterflies) after it has been dismantled is something that I look for in my own musical endeavor. Bands like Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and Pavement inspire me on a daily basis, and in my creative work. They aim to break down what music really is (Especially Sonic Youth), and create this new beast of power, and beauty. To those who don’t understand it, it can seem like noise and nothing more, but, like this image, once you can see where the influence is, what the meaning of the music or image is, it can take on this thing of beauty that only some people can interpret. If I was to take my creation one step further, I think it could easily be coupled with, and explained by this song:

The Process: The image started off as a background of a wall mural, taken using a tripod to create a still background, then taking the photo with Marshal Reilly (Big thanks to him for taking part) pretending to smash a guitar – The act of actually smashing the guitar would have been hearsay to students with little disposable income… I think used the magic wand tool from photoshop to cut the subject out of the second image, and place it into the blank mural background. I then added shadow to add realism, and blended the two together, and blurred the depth of field – This stopped the photo from looking more like an obviously copy & pasted photo.

Next, I cut parts of the guitar out to create the broken effect, and spread the shards around slightly around to give the effect of it being splintered with some power.

Finally, I used stock photos of butterflies from Google – some individual, some in clusters – and changed the colour to black and white. I positioned them to appear as though they are coming out of the guitar, positioning them, and layering them behind the guitar.

© GBuxey 2014//TheRealDealShowReel

Thanks to Marshall Reilly for posing for the photograph!


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