When The Lights Go Down
This photograph was taken by Laura Shearman at the 2007 Camarilla Conclave in Sydney. I didn't notice it the first couple times I looked through the photos from that event but as soon as I did I knew what I had to do with it. This Nosferatu Invictus, the Rag Man is notoriously dangerous. I wanted to show him as a deadly shadow, seen and unseen moving, almost gliding through the streets.
Finding the right street in itself was awkward as I needed dank and deserted but colour as well. I wanted the colour so I could remove the colour information surrounding the Rag Man so it looked almost like he was sucking the colour out of the world where he walked. Even though he's semi transparent, I put a shadow underneath him to indicate that he's not a ghost - he is really there and to add a bit more darkness around him. The shadow at the top of the picture was a mistake! I meant to simply darken down the top of the picture - too much of the picture was too light, but to my horror I drew over the street layer instead of a seperate layer and didn't realise until after when I went to decrease the opacity and it was too late to undo. I don't think it's really ruined it though. Thankfully. The original street was quite gay, bright and happy, so I decreased the contrast and saturation until it matched that of the Rag Man. The steadily increasing opacity as you move up from the hem of the cloak to the hood of the Rag Man was done by cutting out in sections the cloak, four bands of roughly equal height until reaching his midriff, pasting them into new layers and gradually increasing the opacity from the bottom up. The waist doesn't really look as though it's transparent at all but there was nothing except darkness in that section of the street scene. I didn't feel it necessary to add anything to show the transparency, I think the effect has worked fine as is.
Already one friend has claimed this as a favourite of theirs. What was most unbelievable about this picture is I did it just after finishing A Perfect Team which took me on and off, in around recovering from Conclave and working, a week. But When The Lights Go Down took me one hour. It's the quickest I've ever completed a picture like this. But I had just gone to see The Seeker and inspiration was virtually leaking out of my ears until I finished this pic and started The Light and The Way Amongst the Dark and the Lost.