MIND|Castle Studios

From concept to completion
December 9, 2007, 3:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ll write a more thourough intro ASAP. But I want to give a huge thanks to Kathy Carlisle and Shannon Sewell for providing awesome *models/outfits for the shoot! you guys seriously rock! By *models I am talking about their children, ALL OF THEM ARE STRAIGHT FROM A GAP AD. THEY RULE!

Also, Kathy….you set up some wonderful lighting, man-o-man gotta love those sharp eyelights!!

You are both complete inspirations.

~Casey W.

I thought I would post a sort of before-and-after and the steps-in-between for making the blog header image…. The whole concept for the shoot sort of evolved, but it started with a couple sketches that I made awhile back and thought hmm….that might work for some interesting photos.

Here are some quick sketches I did to get some ideas for framing, clothing, etc. The small drawing on on the right is a portait I made of Kathy’s daughter Jalena! In return, she made me a self-portrait of her riding on a super-powered rocket santa sled (I will scan that one and post it later, its awesome).

Here is the original photo form the shoot. As you can see, the lighting was spot-on (nice work Kathy 🙂 ). This photo is pretty much fully unedited except for a little post white balancing in Bridge. I didnt set it right on my camera during the first part of the shoot and alot of the images were showing up a little warm. A quick fix in Bridge, and its all good again.

While I was editing photos from the shoot I was sitting there thinking…..”hmm, I wish I could have taken these photos outside” Then I took a peak outside. Total whiteout, everything was covered in snow. It was one of the first times I had seen that much snow in Seattle. I just sat back and looked at all the snow falling, it was awesome. I opened up a new document in Photoshop and started to try and make some snow. I cranked up iTunes with the Harry Potter Soundtrack to get some good vibes and started jammin

To make the snow I used a paintbristol-like brush in Photoshop and then used the cutout filter to give it some sharper chunky edges. I ended up making layer after layer with different opacities to give it some depth.

I composited the snow over the photo and noticed it looked a little still and uninteresting….I added some motion to it with the motion blur filter and also the killer, warp tool! I love that thing, I use it all the time. I wapred the snow kind of at an angle to match the flow of Jalena’s hair in the photo.

In this composite I added some more whispy snow texture to the bottom of the image. To make these, I basically typed “111111111111” with the text tool, rasterized it, and then used the warp tool to pull it out and make sharp streaks. I added some blur to them too to give them some motion. I also made some more snow and added it to the corners of the image. To make this snow I made a lens flare on a black layer, set the composite mode to screen and then applied the cutout filter. I used curves to brighten the edges of the snow and then replicated a whole bunch of them and combined them into one layer.

I added a texture layer over the whole image to give it some depth and color. The texture image is made from a combination of a whole bunch of outdoor winter photographs that Danielle I took, along with Tana Huffman at a photoshoot a couple days earlier.

I took the textured layer and duplicated it and then added it over the snow layers using the softlight composite mode which is awesome for adding texture. I colorized the layer a little bit more adding some more blue into the snow.

Here’s the final image with all the layers on top. The snow layers where added in screen comp mode and then the textures were blended into that with using softlight. I also added some reflections of the bottom rims of the goggles to highlight them a little more. The reflections were made by warping a lens flare on a black layer and then comping it onto the goggles with screen mode. And finally, I added some text and “wah-lah” finished. Enjoy!

I’ll be posting some more photos later on of Jamie, Tre and Shannon’s daughter Emma! Once again, I just want to thank Kathy and Shannon so much for making the shoot happen. You can check out some of the photos they took from the shoot on their blogs. They all rock, I love them so much. Great memories, good times.

~Casey W.


13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

WOW. Casey I knew you were good, but boy, I did not know you made that snow by hand!!! Holy cow!! This is so amazing!!! I still don’t think I do this is even after you explained it all! WOWZERS 🙂

Comment by moorephoto

You’re beyond brilliant, Casey! An amazing picture and an amazing shoot you put together from scratch – we all can’t wait to see the pictures from your collaboration with Shannon and Kathy! 😉

Comment by Tana Huffman

You’re too much! I don’t whether to break-up with you guys, or to just keep loving you. I think I’ll just keep lovin’ ya. This is amazing to say the least. Your talent is out of this world and you two make one of the most beautiful teams I know. Jalena is going to love this and it will be something that she will treasure….especially since her “boyfriend” made it. K

Comment by Kathy Carlisle

Very cool man…I only wish I understood what half of that meant-LOL 🙂

Comment by Fred Egan

What a brilliant way to work with an image! I love this:)

Comment by Lisa Carpenter

Thanks for all the awesome comments! all of you rock!

I am working on making a link to a downloadable texture of the snow. Hopefully I can get it up soon 🙂

-Casey W.

Comment by mindcastle

Simply put. Casey – you amaze me! this is incredible! So creative!

Comment by Ali and John

I’ve asked for Photoshop for Christmas. Do you come with it?? 🙂
Nice work man!

Comment by Katie


Comment by mikehedge

“I’ve asked for Photoshop for Christmas. Do you come with it??
Nice work man! – Katie”

hahaha, I Wish. That would be awesome….”The New Photoshop CS3 Extended Casey Warren Edition”

Comment by mindcastle

This is some amazing work! Good stuff!

Comment by Dennis

that’s seriously one of the coolest composites I’ve seen in a loooong time! I wish I could do that- no snow in So Cali though. 😦

PS- Go Harry Potter fans! I’m totally addicted!

Comment by Cynthia

That is absolutely beautiful, love it!

Comment by amanda reynolds

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