How I created the LE52Weeks-9: CD Cover

How I created the LE52Weeks-9: CD Cover

LE52Weeks-9: CD Cover, originally uploaded by Jon W. Howson.

The specifics for this assignment was as follows:

The music group is a String Quartet. The music they are playing is this piece:

String Quartet in F, By Maurice Ravel

This image will be a square… as CD’s are square.

You have two options:
1. Musical instrument on location. (Violin, Viola, Cello)
2. Musician with instrument on location

Yes, I know most of you do not have a spare cello sitting around for a prop… So we will make a third option:

3. Get creative… How would you make a CD cover without a quartet, or the instruments? I can think of a few ways… can you?

How I approached the shot

I knew just before the deadline for this assignment that I would be attending a residential orchestral weekend away so I knew that I had access to a number of instrument and players. I choose to work with a cellist that I had worked with before, and decided to go for a close in shot of the instrument with the idea that it could imply any of four instruments within a string quartet.

I decided to approach the shot with a single light source to have a dark and mysterious feel to the image. To narrow done the beam of light from my off camera flash I decided to go with a black straws snoot grid with the aim of targeting the light solely around the bridge area of the cello. The resulting shot is as seen below.

Unedited Picture hosted by Photobucket

From here it was a matter of selecting a crop, obviously square, and then processing it in photoshop. The part where the image really started to come alive with more contrast and bringing out the colours was when I converted the image from the colour mode of RGB to LAB. From here I chose to apply the image, changing the blending mode to Soft Light and experimented with the different channels. Finally a text layer was applied to complete the CD cover.

What do you think to the final result? How would you have done things differently if given the same assignment?

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