I’ve been working on a couple really cool collaborations lately and this newest image, well, it’s one of those collaborations. This one was a bit different for me though - You see, normally when I collaborate with another artist I prefer to actually shoot the images with them. At the very least we combine images we shot separately to create one final piece. For this picture though, none of the pictures are mine. Here’s how it went down …
This nifty dude named Jordan Taylor Wright (aka Taylor Cut Films) discovered my Instagram and asked if I wanted to collaborate on an image. He has an incredibly awesome Instagram stream, you should definitely take a gander, but on top of that (as his handle suggests), his true passion is for motion. Be sure to hop on over to his Youtube and watch some of his stunning video work and even learn a thing or two from his tutorials. Basically Jordan is pumping out top quality content left and right and I obviously agreed to make an image with him.
So he sent me a hefty chunk of random photos he’d taken on his worldwide adventures and gave me free reign to see what sparked some inspiration. This was no easy task. The raw images he sent were already so awesome and definitely inspiring; I flip flopped back and forth between several pics trying to decide which to use and what to do with them. There was this one of him standing dramatically in some colored lights that I kept coming back to. I’ve recently been getting very inspired by cyberpunk themes (basically “Blade Runner” aesthetics for those who don’t know), and this image was just begging for some colorful futuristic flare.
I had intended to use one of my own images for the background, but just couldn’t find quite what I was looking for. I decided to tap back into Jordan’s vast library of images from his travels and asked if he had any nighttime city images, preferably Tokyo-looking. He delivered right away. This guy has been everywhere!
Once I had the background in place this image fell together so easily. I’ve always loved working with vibrant colors, but this project let me push that to a whole new level. Pinks don’t really pop up in my photography all that often, so I really went for it. I enjoyed that there was already a few different colors of lights to build upon when I was doing my digital painting and highlighting. The green from below really gave the image that certain something. Not sure what that something is, but it gave it and I liked it.
After a point, crazy colors or not, it just wasn’t look cyber-punk-y enough for me, so I decided to Photoshop in some glowing visor goggles. I created them from scratch in Photoshop, mostly using the pen tool and layer styles. I filled the pen tooled shape with white, then set it to the “Overlay” blending mode. I created another solid white copy of the shape, and then in the layer styles palette I turned the fill opacity down and added a series of outer glows, inner glows, gradients and things to get it emitting a soft light. And as per usual I made use of the sci-fi lens flares from Raw Exchange that I’m obsessed with, and duh, of course I added in some particles from them as well.
So, as weird as it seems to now have an image in my portfolio that I didn’t shoot at all, I am a Photoshop artist at heart and a heck of a lot of Photoshopping magic went in to bringing this image to life. I want to send a HUGE thank you to Jordan for appreciating my work enough to reach out about this collab, and for just being a genuinely great guy/newly found source of huge inspiration. He is a prime example of someone who had a dream, worked hard, honed his skills, and crafted an amazing life. Props man, you keep doing you!