The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Magic Carpet

When I first met the family of Chris, Leto, Alamnesh and Theodore, I was struck by their sense of creativity, interest and engagement. So when the opportunity arose to do a fantasy photo shoot with them, I was intrigued with the direction it might go.

A circus was one of the first ideas, including a human cannonball and fire breathing, while another was based around an amazing troll puppet Chris had carved, with a 2-inch high family running away from it through the herb garden. The tricky bit wasn't creative ideas, it was finding one they could all agree on.

Eventually the notion of riding a magic carpet was settled on and the problem solving steps were begun. Tables were put together in the back garden with a carpet laid on top. A blue tarpaulin was put under the carpet to act as a sort of blue-screen to make it easier for me to cut it out in Photoshop later on. Test shots were started and abandoned because it started raining. Trips up the hills to find a suitable view to place the magic carpet against. And then waiting for the right combination of weather and everyone being available at the same time.

Amazingly we finally managed to get everything together where I was able to take the photo of the magic carpet in their garden and get up into the hills to shoot the landscape, making sure the angles and timing were right so shadows would match up.

Then came the far-more-complicated-than-I-could-possibly-have-realised editing process of fitting it all together. It wasn't just about how to cut out hair so it looked natural against the sky, it was also the finish I wanted it to have. As a straight-forward photo, it didn't work. What was required was to reinforce a sense of a fantasy tale. I went through many different styles, at one point even turning it into a cartoon image. In the end what I felt worked the best was to give it a look of a faded page from a storybook

I have to confess I was a wee bit pleased with the final result.

Click on the photo for a larger version.


Michelle said...

I love it. :) I want a carpet! :-D

Guyana-Gyal said...

Whoaaa, you've worked magic again. The storybook idea was just perfect.

I like the way they're all doing different things instead of just sitting, riding the carpet in the old cliche way.

hope said...


Theanne Crossett said...

Perfect...I love your fantasy shots. This one is truly inspired!!!

injaynesworld said...

OMG! That's absolutely amazing! I would want that in poster size and framed on my wall in a second if only I had the space. It captures such joy and whimsy. Love it!

Kim Ayres said...

Michelle - it would be rather wonderful to have one :)

Guyan-Gyal - what's even more amazing is the cat and the dog staying long enough to be included :)

Hope - :)

Theanne - thank you :)

Jayne - I'll probably be printing this one up large for the next exhibition I take part in :)

Pat said...

Lovely! somehow it makes me think of Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggywinkle

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - the storytelling treatment worked then! :)

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