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A Perfect Team
Before Description

I can't deny that this is a favourite of mine, I love the colour, the activity, the posing in front of the inferno of the two characters. It's humble beginnings started some years ago when Caroline Seawright took a photo of Aloysius Culpepper and Nil at the December Melbourne Premium of 2005. I still think this is a great shot of the two of them - Nil looking suitably unimpressed and Aloysius playing nice for the camera.

I've wanted to do something with this great picture for years. My thoughts were of them doing security for some elysium or something but it would have been a fairly dull picture and in hindsight, would have been a bit of a waste. Then at Camarilla Conclave in Sydney 2007 they burnt down a Brood haven. Perfect. I pretty much came back from Conclave and started work on the picture that same night.

The house was perfect for what I wanted but far, far too light, with a subtle sepia and taken during the day. Not a happy scenario for two Mekhet. After working on the pic for a while, I just inverted it. Good old 'invert'. Usually so tacky! But it gave the house and sky that dark sinister look I was after. However, not so much the bushes and trees either side of this gothic house. They made it look as though I'd inverted the picture and yes, tacky. So I just decided to cover them with pillars of flame. It wasn't my original idea but I love the way it turned the picture into a true conflaguration. The brood hand I achieved by putting a fire filter underneath a layer of a brood hand the same colour as the house. I didn't want it to be too stand out and if I made it stand out more it didn't look right but I hope it's obvious to most people, or Requiem players at least, what it is.

Inside the windows, I cut out the windows of the original house and used two or three different layers of fire underneath. The real pain was the refelctive light on the shutters, doors and panes. It worked far better on the upper windows than the ground floor ones. I just couldn't get it right and the fiddling with it was making it worse so I bit the bullet and left them as they are now. One section I completely stuff up but it was entirely covered by Aloysius so in that at least i was saved. On the characters I gave a light shadow of yellow on Aloysius left and red on Nil's right (and Aloysius' hand on her shoulder and that side of his hat).

I nearly forgot until someone pointed it out to put some kind of glow and shadowing on the lawn by simply adding another layer and using orange and red and black, then reducing the opacity. There are definitely things I'm not overly pleased with, some of the shadowing on the pillars of flame, the Brood symbol, the shadowing on the lawn could be better, the lower windows but overall, I found this an enjoyable picture.

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