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Some photographers are driven to capture the world as it is; Brooke Shaden wants to capture the world as it isn't. Her work—exhibited in galleries nationwide—is inspired by empty rooms and open vistas, which she fills with otherworldly imagery, pieced together in Adobe Photoshop. In this episode of Start to Finish, Brooke shows us how she creates her painterly, painstakingly crafted images, starting with the very first proof-of-concept sketch. We follow her on location as she styles and poses her model, explains how she introduces props, and shoots just the few frames she needs to fulfill her concept. She then composites the image in Photoshop, reconstructing the room in which the image was shot, adding the model, and layering in creative color and texture. Along the way, she talks about developing the custom texture library and characteristic color profile that have become important hallmarks of her work.
(MUSIC). And I want to capture life as it is in my imagination. I'm much more interested in painting as an art form. So I try to create very painterly images. Dark, whimsical, fairy tale. These are words that I continually use to describe my style. One thing that I know about the picture today is that I love a center composition. Putting paint on her skin would give it that sort of bark look, where it might look like an old birch tree or something like that.
(MUSIC). For this, in particular, I had to take half of the room and then mirror it to the other side, creating the illusion that we were inside a confined space. I started photography, with a blank room pretty much. I was just so inspired by the possibility of what I could fill that space with. And I've kind of come full circle now, where it's like, how can I get really creative now? What can I bring in here, that I might not have thought of a year ago? (MUSIC).
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