Thursday, November 14, 2013

Having Fun Creating Stock Images

Photo of a fiery mushroom cloud rising up behind the silhouette of a large metropolis.
Sometimes you just have to have some fun making images...the driving force behind this nuclear armageddon image.

Fun And A Mushroom Cloud of Flame
Every once-in-a-while you have to just have some fun. That is what I did with this image of a fiery mushroom cloud of flame rising up from behind the silhouette of a city skyline. Of course, I still intend to make money with this image, though I hardly expect it to be a best seller. Because the image is not something that there are many uses for I am pegging it as a Rights Managed image…though as I submitted it to the Getty House collection it may yet end up as an RF image.

A Metropolis Skyline Silhouette
The image began as a skyline shot of New York. I pen tooled (created a clipping path) of the buildings, created a selection and created a new layer. I used the hue and saturation control to create the silhouette by bringing the lightness slider all the way down. I wanted the city to be a more generic metropolis so I added more buildings from a San Francisco skyline shot to create the final city skyline. Next I experimented with different sunset and sunrise images behind the skyline finally settling on a sunrise shot from Mexico.

A Sunrise And A Nuclear Explosion
It was while I was playing with the sunrises behind the city silhouette that the idea came to me for the “nuclear explosion” image. One particular fiery sunrise image looked as if the city was back lit from and explosion or fire. I went to my archives for flame shots…I had some fireballs from my time at burning man…and was able to fashion them into the mushroom cloud explosion.

Cropping Flexibility And Copy Space
As usual I made the image to have cropping flexibility and room for headlines and copy.  When making stock images I believe it is better error on the side of extra room for art directors and designers to use than to make tighter crops that might be a bit more esthetically pleasing.

Creativity, Science Fiction And Getting Seen

I can see this photo being used as a book cover for a science fiction thriller, or perhaps for a sensationalistic editorial on the danger of nukes or terrorist attacks. Certainly the image can serve to illustrate concepts such as "armageddon, nuclear holocaust, and the end of the world. With stock images you just never know when an art director or designer will come up with some really creative way to use your work.  Of course, the biggest challenge, as always, is getting your work seen by those creatives.