Its been a while since I have last done any composites and tried to really push my ability in Photoshop, but when my middle boy, who just finished reading The Tale of Desperaux , asked me to make him like the mouse (who loves reading like him) in the book, how could I pass on the chance to co-create with him?!
I have always wanted to try to miniaturize a subject, but never had the right concept. So, I picked the book, and he came up with the concept, including the pose and we compromised on the clothes 😉
The first shot was the book, the foundation of the photo. I picked my very favourite book, and turned to my very favourite play in it, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I thought it would be perfect because it is such a whimsical play full of magic and fairies, kind of like the final product we created.
I knew I wanted to have dimension and interesting elements in the book, so I added the magnifying glass. Small details like the difference in print between the large book and what would be in the magnifying glass if it really was that size, was important for me to consider. I simply took the picture holding it in one hand myself. The only thing I was interested in was the inside of the magnifying glass and getting the whole title in it. As a playwright, Shakespeare often wrote of plays within the plays, so I thought it was totally appropriate to visually do the same thing and play with the idea a bit.
The next thing I shot was my subject. Originally I thought it would have been cute to have him dress a little differently, a little more old fashioned, but in the end, the clothes place the whole scene more into a modern era, which to me, speaks to how timeless and enduring Shakespeare’s works are. It adds to the fact that books have the ability to transport us to so many different times. I did want plain neutral clothes. I chose a dark blue and white top as the blue would make E’s hair pop to create a contrast and make him stand out. You notice I wasn’t concerned about the clutter on the floor, but I did want to make sure it didn’t interfere with the shadows as I knew I had to use them later as a base to put back into the book. E is left handed, so I was also very explicit on how I wanted to hold the magnifying glass . What I really paid attention to here was the direction of the shadows and trying to get the one of him and the book in the same direction, shot at the same time so the light didn’t change that much.
The final product took some work, many layers and blending in PS, but he is thrilled with the final picture. What do you think?
Now of course his brother has asked for one too….