My Tiny Studio ~ Forbidden Fruit

Having just completed the first compositions of a five set series entitled “The Awakening” in my new visual concept, namely the staging of physical objects together inside the confines of a cardboard box measuring 500x500x500mm, I was at a loss as to how I was going to find inspiration for the next piece.
Well that did not last long, for less than twelve hours later, yes that’s right, my MUSE once again woke me up just after 01h45 that very next morning and began to blast me with new ideas for my next challenge.
In my sleepy state I fumbled around for my cell phone and began to bash keywords into a self addressed eMail so that I would not forget all the ideas that my MUSE was bestowing on me. “Apple”, “Bonsai Tree”, “Railway Line”, “Ladders”, and so this list went on. I find if I do this, I can then at least catch a few more hours of much needed rest before the sun rises on a new day.

The challenge however was that my MUSE had confused me, since I was left with two very different visual concepts for this next project. On the one hand, I visualized a “Garden of Eden” scene, whilst on the other hand, I was considering a composition based on the “Snakes and Ladders” board game. I thought that this would be a nice extension of the first project, namely “The Awakening” which was based on the awesome game of Chess. But then, and quite unexpectedly, I decided to blend the two concepts into one cohesive theme, and so the “Forbidden Fruit” composition started to take shape.

Why a “Behind the scenes” look?

I am a strong believer in not showing the “behind the scenes stuff” since it potentially removes the mystique behind the final Artwork, but again in this case, I believe that you will find it all rather fascinating, more so when I tell you that everything you see in the final Artworks was sourced, built, photographed, and then finally “digitally massaged” into forming the compositions. No additional external digital content was used at all, and this is how I would like to keep it for future “My Tiny Studio” projects, i.e. “virgin content” that has never been used by anyone else.

A deeper look into my thought process, “hidden messages”

It’s no secret that music plays a very important role in my creative process, and to this end, you will often find subtle references to songs and or musicians in many of my works. These “hidden references” may of course may be more obvious to my immediate family as opposed to the general viewing public. Whilst my first project was inspired by the musical CHESS, you will find artists like Fiona Apple represented in this project. There is also a very personal reference to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” included in my “Garden of Eden” scene. I am reminded of our late son Jonathan who almost managed to perfect this specific guitar piece before he himself climbed the proverbial “Stairway to Heaven”.

As always, each new project brings with it the requirement to go shopping, which in itself can be rather fun.

The Shopping List

Sourcing all the various bits and pieces / props for this project proved to be rather challenging. For example, I had to visit five different nursery’s on a bitterly cold day before I found the right size bonsai tree. Then I had to go searching Art Supply Stores for the “wooden hand”, eventually found the right size one. And then off to the Crazy Store to find some “snakes’. On a side note, snakes and I don’t mix very well, and I even got the creeps when handling these rubber ones. Lastly, off to the pet shop to buy some ladders to complete the concept. Also decided to incorporate some tiny Christmas lights into the scene to add additional drama.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Preparation of the composition began with the painting of a “backdrop” for the scene on canvas, (not my strong point). 
I also had to assemble my “Stairway to Heaven” staircase, and painstakingly paint it to ensure that it would blend nicely into the scene.

Initial preparation

Save

And so the final construction of my “Garden of Eden” starts to take shape. This included the strategic and time consuming positioning
of the Christmas lights, and a bit of gardening as I placed the two miniature bonsai trees followed by the suspension of the ladders, 
cutting openings into the sky, and careful placement of the reptiles. Not to forget the securing of the “wooden hand” to ensure that
it was able to hold the shiny red apple. And then lastly, fine tuning of the required lighting. And now, the exciting part; snap, 
adjust lighting, snap again, adjust lighting, snap again. This process goes on for about an hour until I get my required capture to 
take to the next level.

Note to self: “Next time tether your Fuji XT1 to your iMac to enable you to review live captures on the fly as you go”.

Final Steps

 

Save

Save

Camera gear and software applications used

  • All imagery was captured using my beloved Fuji XT1 with my Fujinon 40-150 lens and my Fujinon 10-24 Ultra Wide Angle lens.
  • As previously mentioned, the lighting I used was very basic DIY, but highly effective.
  • Photoshop cc 2017
  • Exposure X2
  • Manfrotto Tripod 055PROBX with 804RC2 swivel head
  • Ariana FalerniWall Display Collection
  • Auto FX Mystical Ultimate Suite 11 x Pack Bundle
  • RAWexchange Magic Brushes

In conclusion

 

This is no doubt the most challenging, time consuming, brain wracking, yet creative and rewarding Photo Artistry project that 
I have tackled to date. It does however announce the arrival of a new and exciting direction that I will now be pursuing, 
as I call upon my MUSE to wake me up at 02h00 again with some new and wacky creative ideas.

I trust that you have found the “Making of ~ Forbidden Fruit” most informative and inspiring.

I am looking forward to sharing my next “My Tiny Studio” project with you soon.

The Final Composition

 

 

 

Save

Previous “My Tiny Studio” projects

You can view “The Making Of” my First Project entitled “The Awakening” in this new series of works right here

Do you want to learn how to create Digital Art like this?

And hey, if this field of Creating Digital Art interests you, why not take the plunge, and start learning how to create beautiful imagery just like the ones in this magazine by Registering on the Sebastian Michaels “Photoshop Artistry Grunge Course” just like I did almost four years ago.

Save

Save

>