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From The Darkest Picts Of Hell
Before Description
With the Darkest Picts of Hell I wanted to show an ancient, powerful vampire who had been around for more than a thousand years on his home turf - the Scottish moores. I wanted that odd strange effect 'storm-light' has on wide open spaces, playing with perspectives, making everything seem vast and flat but close and... surreal at the same time. It was something that always intrigued me as a kid. The original photo was actually quite easy to work with. The only major change I had to make was editting out the shinai and replacing it with a claymore, which was surprisingly simple. I chose not to edit out Nick's (my model and the player) glasses as I felt that would have been very difficult and resulted in the face looking odd in an undesirable way as well have taking hours. They're not that noticable in the final product anyway. Getting the right tone of skin was hardest. I wanted him pale for after all Tærlach (may he rest in peace - typically the character was killed not long after I finished the picture) was an ancient vampire so would have very little colour left in his skin, and then getting the shadowing on the legs to the extent I was happy with. The hardest part of this picture was, of all things, getting his feet to look as though they were really standing on the moore and having the few strands of grass in front of his feet.

Credit must be given to my two housemates. When I finished the picture, something was definitely lacking. It was very dark (as intended) but with the white, white arms and the blue woad face, the attention of the eyes was drawn to the arms. At their suggesting I placed a hazy, moon, hidden in clouds behind Tærlach's head, thus lifting the focus of the picture and lightening the face without actually having to touch the face or head at all. This is one of my favourite pictures.