I’m a person always up for a challenge or a great creative idea. Creative ideas are my blood and the air that I breathe. But when Melanie, an artistically-minded Yellowknifer, wrote me to see if I would be able to do a nude shoot of her – I was in for a challenge. Melanie’s idea, or question to me, was brilliant: could I photograph her in a way that would make it look like a classic paintings which she has a strong appreciation for. Although I had absolutely no clue if I could pull it off or not, I said yes.
Last week Tara – one of my talented assistants – and I prepped for the shoot. Pouring over pictures of paintings from masters like Bellini, Bouguereau, and Titian – both images that we found online and images that Melanie sent as her inspirations – we selected some that we thought we could pull off a similar pose without too much difficulty on the post-processing (more on that shortly).
Melanie arrived, and after a few minutes of nerves, she did beautifully, and pulled off some poses that were straight out of a different era. I was careful to match the lighting as close as possible to what I saw in the paintings and Tara concentrated on the set-up of each scene (we photographed 8 or 9, total), and Melanie’s pose.
So after the shoot, it was now my time to panic. I am not much of a Photoshop guy. Lightroom, yes. I spend a lot of time in Adobe Lightroom. But this was something that would require A LOT of Photoshop, to properly have Melanie become a part of the painting. My goal was not to have her 100% become part of the painting, but somewhere just close enough that you have to stare at it for a minute to see where she does and doesn’t fit. Sort of like a 3-D representation. But for a person who really doesn’t know that much in Photoshop, this would definitely be a learning experience for me.
So….after an insane FIVE hours of Photoshop work, here’s the first that I’m going to release in this new series which will be titled, Visions of Venus. The name of this particular work is Venus Disarming Cupid, originally painted by by the Italian artist Alessandro Allori in the Renaissance period. Here’s our updated interpretation of his great work. Watch for more from this series in the near future.
PS – Melanie….you’re a rock star.