Auto mechanic

Auto mechanic in shop

                                                                              Click on the image for larger view.


One of the assignments for my digital illustration class was to complete a series of images based on the verse from fortune cookie. Apparently the instructor and her husband ate a lot of Chinese. She passed around a hat full of fortunes and each student picked one. Mine read “You will always be Successful in your professional career. “
I could have photographed myself holding a camera with a long lens or in a studio surrounded by lights, soft boxes and umbrellas, like “Here I am, Joe Photographer,” but that seemed narcissistic and amateurish.
I opted for irony instead. Given the state of the economy, why not take the fortune and turn it around? What would I be doing if I weren’t a commercial photographer?  A Volvo mechanic!
The inspection on my car was about to expire so I took it to Dennis Auto in Kensington.  Dennis Auto specializes in repairs on Volvos and I have been going there for over 20 years, so it was not a problem when I pulled out my Canon G9 and tripod and started taking photographs around the shop.
I chose to do the series as composites. After selecting a frame I liked from the shop (in this case, the car on the lift) I photographed myself in front of a white backdrop set up in by backyard. I opted for natural light because I didn’t want to set up lights.
After making a mask around my figure I dropped it into the shop photo. I downsized my figure with the transform tool and refined the edges with a black brush on a mask.  I added two layers of high pass one vivid light, one hard light to make it grungy.