Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Making a Composite

Photos © Greg Funnell (
I was recently tasked with shooting a fictional ad campaign with a group of students from Bedford University. It's not something I'd usually do except when they told me what they were after I thought it sounded like it could be a lot of fun. One of their concepts was to use the slogan 'State of Emergency' whilst having an image that reflected that impression, calling heavily on the genre of the comic book and the concept of superheroes. I referenced films such as Sin City and the Fantastic Four in order to get some ideas.
The Sin City poster follows the graphic novel genre and was therefore a good starting point, showcasing the classic low angle, strong lighting and aggressive urban feel.
The first challenge was where to shoot it. I wanted it to look like it was shot at night and I also wanted a urban backdrop. However to try an find a suitable location and the logistics of shooting on site with our budget meant that I was going to have to cheat it. In order to get an urban look with a slightly grungy feel I wanted residential rather than office blocks in the background. Therefore I started to scour my image archive a found some images I'd taken back in 2006-07 in Hong Kong.

First problem was that were shot in the day, in fairly bright sunshine, so my photoshop skills were tested as I attempted to turn this into a rainy night scene!

With the background sorted I opted to shoot the models on a blueish background as it meant that cutting them out wasn't so important. Each model was shot individually and then comped into the group shot of the three of them. I lit each model with three lights, using a a hairdryer and plant sprayer in a low-tech but completely adequate way of making them look like they were outside in a rain storm (...with a bit of imagination).

Once that comp was completed it was just a case of popping them onto the backdrop of the city and adding the rain and some ambient touches to give it a slightly more graphic novel look in order to get the image you see at the top of this post.

1 comment:

Tim Ireland said...

This is genious. Utterly brilliant!