Happy New Year... Yer Goin' to the Moon!

billyboy

Rhode St. Genese, Belgium

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Artist's Description

For anyone who doesn’t already know, I did this pic for the month of january for the Voyeur 2009 calendar, the proceeds of the sales of which go to the Fred Hollows Foundation charity. You can see the rest of the calendar (plus the other lunatics who were nutz enough to contribute!) and find out about the charity here .

It’s been sitting in the Voyeur account now for almost a year (I was the first to submlit… like 8 months in advance!!!) Anyway, I thought it was time it came to rest in my own portfolio where it will live from now on, probably NOT on my main page.

I’m not especially looking for comments as I’ve already had some totally cool ones while it was on Voyeur, but I’m leaving the original description below cause it is one of the most intricate collages I’ve ever done, and of course I couldn’t bear not telling you how it was done…
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Happy New Year… Yer Goin’ to the Moon!

OK guys, here`s my take on the mad month of January… and what better way of calling in the new year than getting naked and sending your cat to the moon? Just shows what kind of dark mischief some of us can get up to when there`s nobody around to keep us out of trouble!

This is a collage made up of 6 separate shots…

I first shot the background scene with the open window, balancing studio flash with the natural light from the kitchen. I figured if anything went wrong, I`d still have an untouched basic shot to fall back on.

I then shut the window, pulled the blind (hey, the neighbors talk!) and ran off a bunch of naked BB shots, with the self timer, in different poses. I held the rocket in all of these as I knew it had to be pointed out the window and it would have been hard to get my hand in the right position without actually holding it. The part of the string hanging straight down was part of this take.

Next I took a piece of firework fuse (blew me away you could actually buy that by the meter in Brussels!), held it with hot dog tongs over some aluminum foil to save the carpet, and lit it when the self timer counted to zero. The fuse burned really fast so I set the exposure different on 4 takes to make sure I got it right… used 1/60 sec in the end.

The cat was next… and Scratch tried to run away so I knew he`d be great! I held him just above the floor, and as the self timer approached zero, I dropped him…. 8 times! Got some amazing expressions that way, this was the best as he looked back at me saying “you`ve done some crazy shit, but now you`ve just gone f`ing MAD!”

Not really knowing how I was going to “tie” him to the rocket, I made some string shots, having used a marker I`d put on the floor during the original shots of me holding the rocket. Here I used one that I ran upwards with a bow knot that I stuck onto my black camera bag at the height I figured Scratch`s neck would be so it would look as if tied to his collar.

Lastly, the fireworks out the window were taken several years ago during a firework display in the Algarve, Portugal. I did a bit of layer blending so the view through the glass of the closed window frame would maintain a bit of its original reflection.

The difficult stuff being done, it was a blast putting everything together in Photoshop… although there were some tedious bits. “cutting out” the spikes in my hair and the sparks of the burning fuse to blend in with the background was a pain in the butt, as was changing the wording on the helium balloon from Happy Birthday to Happy New Year (why can`t you get New Year balloons in May??). I also made sure the light direction was consistent in all the elements and added shadows where necessary. Only other processing was adjusting brightness levels and cloning out some of the dead spiders in the corner behind the radiator. Oh, and I changed the color of the walls and painted the radiator which is actually off-white.

Here`s the original background shot…

Artwork Comments

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