I needed to come up with a graphic for a Lent project so I did the only reasonable thing... I dumped ash from the fireplace all over our oak dining room table.
Yeah, that look you're making with your face... multiply it by ten and you're getting close to the look my wife had on her face.
Good news... it worked.
Better news... it cleaned up nicely.
Best news... I'm still married AND allowed to sleep inside.
We are currently under quite a bit of snow and it is flippin' cold outside (we actually 'owe' degrees - negative temps outside) so I was very happy I had not burned through the 'men will be men' allowance on this one.
So getting to the deets of how I made this work...
I laid a black plate on the table... then I laid thick wooden L, E, and N letters on the plate... then I poured ash on and around the plate - covering everything. Then I carefully pulled the letters out and scraped the T.
As I tweaked little adjustments to the ash to 'perfect' the LENT there was a learning curve... DON'T BREATHE! The slightest exhale when dealing with precision placed ash is... well... it ain't good.
PROCESS: Remove wooden letters from ash... refine 'text'... surrender to need for oxygen... grunt - remove ash from eyes... begin again... repeat entire process three times... learn to breathe to the side like popeye... get distracted and allow mind to wander while internally congratulating your self for working out solution... forget to breathe to side... repeat process - again.
Organic looking LENT - like a priest wrote it on your head with his thumb.
I mounted the camera on a tripod pointing straight down from above the controlled chaos adorning our formal dining furniture and popped off shots with a remote trigger.
How did I get the Carmelprays.com text and logo so perfect and readable? Um, Photoshop displacement map of the vector logo. Needed to be brand consistent and very readable so had to go the 21st century 'techno cheat' method for that piece. Not proud of it but got the job done.
From there I did a little Photoshop magic to do a few more variations - but the part everyone comments on and seems to be drawn to (The phrase "powerful image" has been tossed about... he says modestly.) is the organic LENT so that was well worth the effort to do it 'old school' - and ultimately worth the risk of sleeping the proverbial (frozen) dog house.
I wish I'd done this all in camera but time and the need for clean edges on the logo and CarmelPrays.com text did not allow - those perfect edges are even harder than you think to get organically.