As a conceptual photographer, I was commissioned to create a photo composite that would highlight one man’s lifelong passion to protect a forest from the illegal off-road vehicles that threaten to destroy it.
With any composite, the first step is to make a realistic setting and then combine the components to create an alternate reality. It’s capturing an idea more than capturing a moment.
To tell the story of Al Horner, who speaks out candidly about the destruction of this forest, it was essential to select one of his beautiful landscape photos to be used as the canvas that would cover up the blight of the Pinelands in New Jersey.
I started by assembling a full-scale mock up in my backyard – see the before photo below. I made sure the camera’s focal length, height, and angle, matched Al’s existing landscape photo. I did this again when photographing some distant trees, and a damaged meadow. In PhotoShop, it was important to line up the horizons of each photo. Matching the perspectives for all the combined photos made this viewpoint believable and surreal at the same time.
Sponsored by ArtC Promotions, you can see the print displayed at the Perkins Center for the Arts in Collingswood, New Jersey.