To commemorate National Metal Day, I created a special poster featuring a picture of myself. I originally wanted to do two posters that went together, but I couldn’t get the second to look the way I hoped, so I decided not to do it. The second poster would have had fire to match the orange lighting on my front side in this poster, which is lightning themed. I read a number of different tutorials online on how to make lightning in Photoshop as I was working on this little project. I love coming up with something I want to do and then getting to learn lots of neat new Photoshop tricks to make it possible. It’s also a good reminder that there are so many things I just don’t know how to do yet, because there are still many tools in PS I never even touch, but I am learning!
To shoot the image for the poster, I used two flashes on strobe stands, the flash in back of me with a blue gel filter and one in front with a red gel filter (if I had orange I would have used it instead). I then white balanced and color adjusted the photo carefully to shift the red to orange to match the color of fire a bit better. I also purposely over processed the photo using a Topaz Adjust filter in Photoshop to give it a more dramatic and cartoonish look.
National Metal Day was on 11-11-11, because it’s the only day this century that goes to eleven 3 times, and that’s a very important thing for any guitar amp made for metal. On a normal amp, when you are all the way to 10 on your amp and all the way to 10 on your guitar, where do you go from there? Well amps with knobs that go to 11 are one louder, so you have that extra little bit when you need it.
Along with paying homage to metal, this poster references 3 different favorite things from my younger years. The lightning references Ride the Lightning by Metallica, one of my all time favorite albums. The Thrasher t-shirt and yellow camo pants are from my younger years as a skateboarder. I also used to have matching camo DC shoes which were sweet. Lastly, the position I am taking and the orange lighting on my front side are a reference to the original Doom video game cover, one of my all time favorite video games.
The guitar I am holding is my Ibanez “frankenstein” RG strat. It’s a frankenstein because it was assembled from parts I had laying around from 4 separate guitars, along with a few after market parts I wasn’t using. Nothing about this guitar is normal. The neck came from an RG-120 which I had re-drilled to fit an RG-550 curly maple body (its tinted a deep blue which is why it looks black in this photo). The tuners and Ibanez Double Edge Pro bridge came from my Ibanez RG-1570 which I upgraded. The pickups are DiMarzio Super Distorion’s. The 5-way switch is made for a Fender 3-way single pickup setup, not for dual humbuckers. So I figured out a truly unique wiring for these pickups that gives me some interesting tonal choices on the different positions of the switch. Even the pickup mounting plates for this guitar came from a different model Ibanez (I can’t remember which) but they match the deep grey powder coat finish of the knobs, bridge and tuners. Eventually I would like to mod the neck to put a locknut on it, since floating trems don’t work real well without them.
So ‘nuf with the yacking and hype, check out this poster!