I’ve always loved the 1967 Casino Royale movie poster of the woman covered in a skin of a playing cards – take a look here – and wanted to experiment with putting skins on my own subjects. This piece of work has been on the back burner for a while but the final prompt came when Martha Stewart tweeted an image of herself covered in tattoos.
Thinking that it’s always good to practice on yourself first I decided to do a self-portrait. I set up my studio (got it nice and warm) and roped my husband in on the project – asking him to press the shutter at the appropriate times.
I tell you, the hardest part was not the actual taking of the photo but getting my body into that unnatural position. I’m not sure if the original 1967 model was human but I could not get my leg to do what she did. Maybe I just need to do more yoga. So thanks to Photoshop, my pose is a combination of 2 photos of me – the body and the outstretched leg!
After putting my body together I went about making a new skin for myself. I found some stock images of playing cards and stitched them together to cover myself. The tricky part was cutting out the pistols and my hair… I almost didn’t bother but wanted to keep it true to the original. Then it was just a case of playing around with blending modes, filters and new layers of cards to get the look that I liked the most.
This project is very different from my usual style of portraits of women but it appeals to my love of photo manipulation and using Photoshop to create fantasy composite images. It was really fun to do (my husband certainly enjoyed it!) and I loved creating something completely new. I’m going to keep trying new styles and techniques; it helps keep my little grey cells awake and pushes my creativity in new directions. Stay tuned for more 🙂