Whoa! The saga that is the Atari Aesthetic juried art show at the brink gallery got a lot more exciting last night. I am quite proud to be able to say that my photo won the "Best In Show" award. Yeah, that's right! I won! (I don't really think that it was called the "best in show" award, but it was called something like that. And I won. So I'm going with it). I was even handed an envelope that said "Mr. Big Winner" on it. And guess what else? I got a gold joystick too! How cool is that? An actual Atari joystick that is painted gold. I've never won an academy award, but at this point, I don't need to. I just won a gold joystick. Damn! I definitely have to give a high five to my buddies Bob and Aaron for agreeing to "model" for me on a dreary Saturday several months ago. This image was created in my garage studio and involved a bit of homework. First, I had to track down the yellow suit at a medical supply store, buy the gloves from Ace, purchase a Russian gas mask from ebay and rent a fog machine from the local rental center. My friend Lou has been into video games his entire life and I knew he used to have an Atari console. Turns out he still has it...in the original box, with the original receipt taped to it. This thing cost $129 in 1982. Ironically enough, this is the exact Atari we played as kids growing up. Once it was all roughly in place, the Atari was suspended from the rafters with a ton of fishing line. I shot a little over 200 photos trying to get the light right, the smoke pumping and the right "look" to the scene. At the end of the day I knew I had something to work with. Then, all it took was Photoshop and countless hours of cloning, enhancing, color adjusting to get to a finished look I was happy with. I usually don't do nearly this much PS work to any of my images, but this was a special occasion. So I went for it.
Here is the finished image that was in the show. I am pretty stoked on the whole darn process and rather proud of it. I love the feeling of taking something from fuzzy idea to tangible result and then putting it out there and seeing where the world takes it.