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Blog: photographer Craig Okraska

DEDPXL 07 (part 2)

As mentioned in part 1, a lot of thought was put into creating my images for DEDPXL 07.  How many opportunities does one have to win such an amazing prize?  

I pride myself on being resourceful, so I thought I'd run some other ideas by fellow creative, Pat Nash.  He's a great graphic designer and is a good dude help brainstorm things like this.  I mentioned my radio idea and he shot back with an idea using AM/FM headphones and some kind of conspiracy theory scenario.  Fantastic!  I immediately had an idea of finding an old-school camper trailer parked in the desert, and using a friend of mine who had the look of someone who might be a conspiracy theorist.  The basic idea would be this guy standing on top of a 1970s trailer, staring into the sky with bewilderment, and tuning in to some esoteric radio frequency (aliens? WWIII? bigfoot sighting?). 

After a little legwork I managed to find a cool little trailer.  I wasn't however able to move it from its current location, parked in front of a house in a middle-class neighborhood.  I decided to photograph the trailer anyway and thought maybe I could get crazy and do some massive photoshopping.  

After securing a good image of the trailer I began pulling together supplies to photograph the conspiracy theorist.  After rummaging around for some good props and something that would work for the radio headset, I figured the best way to approach the image at this point would be to go for a portrait on a seamless background.  My plan was to create the portrait, then work some photoshop magic to make something work.  Long process short, it looked horrible.  I wasted about an hour of my life trying to pull it off, but the lighting was just a little off to make it work.  Given a little time I'm sure I could have pulled in off, but unfortunately I didn't have the time.  It looked so bad I'm way too embarrassed to post the result.  

So, scrap that idea.  I was pissed.  All that work and nothing to show.  The deadline was literally the next day and this great idea was in full flame.  Commence sulking...

In her infinite wisdom, Anika suggested I choose one of the outtakes from the portrait session and submit it to the contest.  It was all I had left so I went with it.  After all, I was pleased with the lighting and the mood was entertaining to say the least.  There was a story there and people like stories.  Ok sure, I'll reluctantly enter the image even though it was a fraction of what I had envisioned.  

Much to my surprise, there was a positive response from he DEDPXL community.  Even though I liked my other entry of Anika painting, there was much more response to this photo.  Interesting. End sulking...

Stay tuned for DEDPXL 07 (part 3).