Sally Brownbill

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Archive for Daniel Gregoric

12/9/2014

19 shots, 15 litres of milk & 10 m2 of black plastic

– posted by Sally

The Creation of Man by Daniel Gregoric

I started with the concept of making a series of images inspired by creation narratives using liquids. This was inspired by sci-fi films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, and to a lesser extent Terminator (not that I would ever watch a tacky movie like that!).

As part of this series, I knew the final image would of course be 'The Creation of Man'. So in keeping with the liquids theme I set about creating an image of a human head made of liquid. This was always going to be relatively complex, and I received some great help from my lecturers and mentors on the finer details of executing the idea (as well as a few fairly sceptical initial responses about whether this would be possible!)

The pre-production involved in this was mainly in sourcing an appropriate (white) mannequin head to force my liquid over. The choice of liquid was milk, as it didn't stain as badly as paint in case of any spills. I also had to find a way of keeping the liquid from spilling all over RMIT's studio - which is where a kiddy pool came in very handy! This all had to be wrapped up in black plastic in case of a colour cast from the brightly coloured pool.

Once it was time to shoot, most of the hard work was in wrapping up the set in plastic and making sure everything was safe by keeping cords and flash packs off the ground. Electricity and liquid don't mix! The lighting used was simply a beauty dish in very close to give a soft, symmetrical shadow under the chin. I then had a (legend) friend of mine pour the milk onto the head for me while I shot images. We had to experiment with different pouring methods. For instance, a pour from height gave a great splash, while a very gentle pour from close to the mannequin gave nice smoothly textured detail in the forehead. We also tried different sized jugs for some variety. The main things that had to be 'in the can' on shoot day were a few different options for background splashes, and liquid texture on each area of the face, ears and neck. The shoulders were shot separately from another plastic mould that I sourced.

Post production was where everything finally came together. Basically I had to first go through the plates and pick my favourite splashes for the background, facial features and textures in the 'skin'. Then began the process of masking each area that I liked together in photoshop. In the end the post production was slow, but not too difficult, because I had made sure to shoot lots of options for each feature that needed to be covered.

Daniel Gregoric is a final year student in the RMIT BA photography program

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