Adobe Live Photo Composite

I made this photo composite after I got invited to participate in a livestream for Adobe. The idea was to go over the photo composite process live and explain what went into the creation of the artwork, answer questions from the audience and so on.

I'm happy about how this photo composite turned out so let me walk you through the creation process. Here are a few close up shots:

The references:

References are important because they sort of define the rules of the photo composite game we are playing. They will determine the style we are pursuing. 

Both Erik Johansson and Storm Thorgerson have been my biggest influences. If you follow my work you can clearly see how their work has informed a lot of the artistic decisions I have made when developing my own body of work.
But in order to come up with a good concept to execute it is a good idea to establish the common threads that make for a good surrealistic piece in this particular style. Photo realism is the most obvious one but there are others that come into play:
The concept:

Back when I was a kid in the 80's at family gatherings we used to play this board game called Boggle (you probably remember it - see image below). The idea of the game was to shuffle the letter dice and then you have a very short amount of time defined by the sand clock to come up with words containing such letters.

I remember clearly me being very bad at this game because I always needed more time. I remember telling to myself "If I had more time I would win!" and imagining the sand clock as a giant one with endless time for me to come up with my set of words.

So that's where the idea or concept for this photo manipulation comes from. A childhood memory turned into a surrealistic piece of artwork featuring a giant sand clock at a quarry being filled constantly with sand as if that's how time is made: by endlessly filling the clock with sand by a set of miners / workers using heavy machinery:
The assets:

To the surprise of nobody this being a project for Adobe Live, all assets for this photo composite came from Adobe Stock®. It took some time to find the right pieces, making some tests but I was able to find what I needed. The trickiest one being the clock. I found a 3D render that I was able to retouch and manipulate in order to make it feel more organic and not artificial as many renders look like.

Retouching & photo compositing

All assets needed to be retouched and prepped for integration. The whole process of photo composite was done with Adobe Photoshop® which is and always has been my image editing software of choice. In total it took me about 6-7 hours of work.

Here is a layer breakdown of the photo composite process:

This is on of the materials used to promote the live stream. Adobe's marketing team gave some guidelines and I prepared this very simple and straightforward image of them to use in social media.
If you want to check the live stream out, here is the YouTube video for replay:
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