Halloween Series Making horror in photoshop
LAYERING SCARY IDEAS
This first idea involved the idea of someone sitting in their car at night looking at their phone while someone scary watches them from the distance. I had actually been at this park the night before and would often look up to make sure no creepy weirdos were sneaking up on me.
My original idea was to have something like this with just my head in the foreground. But knowing that I would be releasing these images on Instagram mainly, I thought I should push the imagery a bit more.
I think this image works alright, but I was hoping for something scarier. This was a little too "Cartoon Scary" for my taste and I wanted to go further.
I ended up doing a little work to my face in the reflection to help push the spooky atmosphere, overdoing it a little for the small screens of Instagram. I also struck a balance between the reflection of the main character and the image of the ghost demon to help sell that it's a real mirror and not a hole in the wall.
This next scene I actually shot and edited early on, but didn't release because I thought people might think I went too far. I think it's one thing to make a scary scene, but another to show me slitting my own throat as a devil and having that image available to current and future employers. Eventually I figured the scene would speak for itself when viewed within the entire series.
From inspiration to execution, something happens either based on lack of skill or lack of creativity. I originally saw a ghostly shadow figure online that was shot through a frosted glass window. The image had a big impact on me and I wanted to take it further with some interesting colors and poses that weren't in the original.
After shooting many many different poses with the self timer...
I settled on this image which isn't really what I wanted. But having stated that I would release a new scary image every weekday, I kind of set myself up for having to get the job done despite my best efforts. Lessons learned.
Bringing it back into the slasher movie genre, I decided to go back into the bathroom. M. Night Shyamalan says that the scariest image in movies is a closed door...
In the not-scary-but-interesting category, I wanted to see if I could replicate the effect of the "Replicant" lighting from Blade Runner. I know how to do it, you basically need a special coated glass called a beam splitter shoot shoot through and to bounce a light off of into your actor's eyes. Unfortunately, I didn't have a beam splitter and to get this effect you really need one. The idea was to have an android removing their finger with a pair of pliers. The "Replicant Eyes" would help sell the idea that I was an android, rather than just me removing my finger.
I tried a few ideas that I planned out but didn't have time or motivation to complete...
I also tried out some ideas from the past which I re-edited.
This next idea was one of my favorites. It was also fun to shoot because some people walked by as I was shooting the different layers and they thought I was crazy.
I ended up shooting a lot of demons that couldn't be shown because foreground or mid-ground demons were blocking them. But I played around with special brushes on the alpha layers in order to get some of the demons turning into leaves or just disintegrating into nothing. This took a long time to edit but I love the expressions and the final image.
Having grown up in a family where both parents worked in psychiatry, I imagine some people feel this way sometimes.
FLOATING HEAD MONSTER
This final image was a lot of fun and actually pretty easy to shoot once I figured out how to do the lighting. The idea is that I'd be an infinite head. So the lighting I created for the top head had to be the opposite for the bottom head. I used a strobe on a light stand and just changed the height of the light stand to reflect the change in angle.
This was certainly a fun series to work on. I got a lot of positive feedback and a few "ew" responses. Either way, it's always good to push yourself and give yourself a new creative direction. I'm looking forward to my next series.