Portraits: Creativity & Steampunk

Conference Program


By Judy Host, M. Photog., Cr. Photog., Certified

Sponsored by Sigma

WhenPosted in June, Offered Once
WherePosted in June
SkillAll levels
CostIncluded in your registration

Sponsored by Sigma

This program is for the photographer who is ready to do something fun and different. Branding yourself as a “Creative” is the purpose and how you go about creating a unique look to your work.

For me, that was Steampunk. According to Wikipedia “Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam powered machinery.” It also refers to any of the artistic styles, clothing fashions or Victorian-era fiction and films from the mid-20th century. That, being said, there are apparently no boundaries as far as how to portray a Steampunk person or fashion.

Photographically speaking, how fun to have that kind of freedom and with that in mind, I have pretty much gone crazy with my styling of Steampunk design imagery. This doesn’t have to be a difficult thing to do. With very little costuming and a lot of imagination, you can take a simple outfit and with a pair of goggles, a SteamPunk inspired hat and/or a leather corset and you’re ready to go.

The location or backdrop also helps to create an illusion of another world of sorts adding to the fantasy of it all. I like to use a variety of lenses in my work. It all depends on what perspective I need for the job I’m doing. My first step to any project is to create a storyboard and pre-visualize how I want my images to look. It also depends on whether I’m inside or outside, how large a space I’m working in and whether or not I’m using natural light, which I do most of the time, or studio lighting.

I also get a lot of questions about my usage of textures and graphics in Photoshop. I am without a doubt, a Photoshop Junkie. I have been using textures and graphics in my work for many years and spent a lot of time on tour teaching them to my peers through a company called Graphic Authority. These days, I use Adobe Paper Textures, which is a free download from Adobe, and a process they have made extremely easy to use. The hard part is always trying to find the right combination of textures to enhance the image without making it all about the process.