Toilet Paper Field
I created this photo composite for an Australian toilet paper company called Who Gives A Crap (I know, it’s hilarious!). They make toilet paper out of bamboo and recycled paper. They care about the environment and they also donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets in communities in need around the world.
The company needed the image in time for Stockholm+50 which is an international meeting convened by the United Nations General Assembly to be held in Stockholm, Sweden from 2-3 June 2022. The purpose of this meeting is to accelerate action towards a healthy and prosperous planet for all of us.
The goal for the image was to show the devastating effects of deforestation in relation to the toilet paper industry. We needed a powerful and iconic visual that represented toilet paper deforestation.
I loved the challenge and I was appreciative for the opportunity to create something different to the commercial work I normally get hired to do.
The company already had the visual in mind; they just needed a little help with the execution, that’s when I and my Photoshop skills come in.
The idea was simple: to show show a devastated area where the remaining tree trunks product of deforestation are toilet paper cores. The image needed to show the contrast between the dead devastated area and the green and healthy forest that remains in danger.
The main kind of trees used to create toilet paper are specifically pines and Douglas-firs trees. Most of them come from the Northern Forests in Sweden, Boreal Forests in Canada, and the Sumatran rainforest. The forest part of the image needed to reflect this kind of foliage.
There was a rough sketch made as part of the brief. I used it as reference for my original drafts. The original intention was to have forest on the sides of the image following the vanishing point while the deforested area with the TP cores was in the middle.
However upon review we agreed that this composition looks like a thin strip of devastation in the middle of an otherwise thick forest, making the problem (deforestation) seem less evident or insignificant. That’s why the composition was revised to feature both the forest and deforested area in different planes of the image, the deforested area being in the foreground and the green forest in the background.
THE PHOTO COMPOSITE
Once I had green light in terms of composition now we enter the production and post production part of the process which was mostly Photoshop work.
For the background assembly I used mostly stock photography. The majority came from Adobe Stock® and a couple came from Shutterstock and Unsplash. For the cores I made like a toilet paper casting. I went to the supermarket and bought different kinds and brands of toilet paper rolls so I could have options in texture when photographing them in my studio.
The cores in the photo composite needed to have tree roots so they wouldn’t look like TP cores that someone buried on the ground. They need to look like they grew from the ground. I made one of them with the roots exposed so this was even more evident.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
So, after hours and hours of Photoshop work I ended up with the final image. Here is a layer breakdown to illustrate the process. The PSB file is 1.23 Gb, it has 292 layers in 47 groups in case you were wondering.
I am really happy with the end result, the company is really happy with the image as well. Hopefully this visual helps bring some awareness to the problem during the event so our leaders can make decisions to solve it.
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