Friday, September 2, 2011

Matt Kloskowski's Compositing Book

This isn't going to be a true review of Matt's book.  Let's just say I have a stack of books by Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and Joe McNally and a bunch of other people associated with Kelby's NAPP.  If you've followed the postings here you probably know that I do a fair amount of compositing.  Never the less, I'm a firm believer in the fact that there's always something to learn.  That continues to be true with Kloskowski's newest book.  As I read through the book (the power was out over the weekend due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene so I was literarily reading through the book rather than following through the examples) I'd sit there and said "yep, yep, yep, aha".  Every once in a while there was a nugget that was new to me.  Using an inner glow to get rid of a little halo of left over color was one such nugget.  Very cute trick and it's now in my hip pocket whenever it'll be needed.  I think Kelby's sense of humor must rub out on the folks working for him because Matt's book is written in the typical irreverent style of Kelby Media.  I'd much rather read a book that teaches while not taking itself (actually the author not taking himself/herself) too seriously.  I've bought a number of books from pompous asses and, for the most part, they sit in a stack of books that have the first two chapters read.  I just can't handle someone who might as well, figuratively, write "I'm better than you" at the start of each paragraph.  What they say might be the key to my becomes the world's greatest Photoshop expert, but I'll never know.  I just can't get through the book.  Books out of Kelby Media Group, their DVDs, the online training, their online TV shows and about any other thing they put out have an easy going style and, while they treat the subjects with respect, the authors/stars all have a self deprecating sense of humor.  To find out which tricks from the book were used on today's image, hit the "Read More".

There are two big lessons that were used on today's image.  One is technical and the other is more inspiration.  Which of the two are more important?  Neither!  Both are equal.  Going back to Kelby and Kloskowski, they just did a discussion on the talk show "The Grid" this week about sweating the small stuff.  Is it more important that I got all the "t"s crossed and the "i"s dotted or is it more important that I was inspired by Matt's book.  There's the old saying about "give me an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters (that's word processors, pre-computer) and an infinite amount of time and I'll give you Shakespeare.  The "mechanical" stuff is one thing.  Anyone can train and become a good mechanic.  There's a huge gap between being mechanically capable and being creative.  Luckily Matt's book ignites a creative spark.
The first lesson is to pay attention to the details.  If you have shadows, make sure they're all going in the same direction.  It's little thing like that that will trip up some composites.
The second lesson is to be bold.  Take a ballerina and composite her into an old factory or something.
As well as a composite is done well, it photography and art at the same time.