║ The Creation of Welcome to Life
01 June 2017
Welcome to Life
Welcome to life was my favorite image of the four I entered at the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPAs) in August last year. It scored a Gold Award (90).
The judging process was very exciting. At the beginning the image scored below 90 points; in the silver with distinction range. But a couple of judges scored gold. It was all set for a good discussion (and a good discussion is what you really want to see when your print appears in front of the 5 judges).
I was listening and watching every judge in the room and a couple of them looked at each other and smiled after looking at the print again. They had picked up the concept.
It looked like although they got the idea they were a bit shy to explain what they were seeing. But one of them was brave enough to analyse the image and the rest of the judges came up to Gold. It was an amazing feeling!
I would like to explain you the creative process I followed to create this special image of mine....
The Creative Process
The original image was photographed in Marismas del Guadalquivir (Spain). Although I didn't like the original image that much, for some reason I decided to include it in a selection of images that I had prepared for my friends from The Light Collective. The selection of images included possible / potential shots for the APPA awards.
Within TLC group we share our images in a private Facebook group and make comments. One member of the team (Paul Hoelen) made a comment on this particular capture that made me think. The comment on my image was just "Welcome to Life".
I have to thank Paul because his comment made me believe on the concept of fertilization, sperm cracking the egg, improve it and create something more obvious for the judges. I had it in my mind. Now I had to create it with Photoshop...
I started to look for images I photographed the same day and I found Image 2. This image had the shape that I wanted. I selected it and added to the original shot (Image 3).
I tried to add the sperm from different angles and the one coming from the bottom left was working best. In Western cultures, lines coming from the left to the right are normally more pleasant to the eye.
As you can see, I also gave a golden tint to the image. I did it because the color composition yellow/gold and green works very well (basic color theory) but also to insinuate the thought of "Gold" inside the judge’s mind. And it actually worked out perfectly because one of the judges mentioned this whilst he was judging the print.
I have to give credit to Paul Jarvis of Pro Lab gave me some excellent technical advice when I sent the image to print to his lab. Some of the corners were a bit soft and I had to clone, cut and paste some bits and pieces to make it tack sharp.