Desktop Wallpaper: Craig Passero

I shot this photo with Craig Passero in early November, a few days after Hurricane Sandy had made landfall in the Northeast. The power had just been restored in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, but most buildings downtown were still unplugged. It was eerie and dramatic, and this photograph was created. Care to know more? Scroll down for a walkthrough.

960×640 (iPhone 3/4)

1136×640 (iPhone 5)

1024×768

1200×800

1280×800

1440×900

1920×1080 (widescreen)

1920×1200

2048×1536 (iPad)

2880×1800 (Retina display)

The Making Of:
The city was moody in the wake of Sandy, and downtown was still pretty dark. It was about to be sunset, but you couldn’t tell because of the heavy cloud coverage. I think it had actually been raining earlier in the day. We were riding downtown and rolled up on these aluminum benches; a popular skate spot, not so much for bikes. My dude Allen Ying shot a memorable photo of Stevie Williams on these benches, which instantly sparked some inspiration to create this photo. Hanger was pretty much the go-to for the spot, and luckily Craig was carrying a plastic peg in his bag. He had no problem doing it, and it’s actually the opening trick on a crazy line he filmed for the next Whammo mixtape.

I found my angle (50mm) using the lines of the bike path, the highway overhang and the Brooklyn Bridge all as eyepaths to lead you to the action. I had only two flashes with me that day, both Lumedyne 200w Action Packs. I set one up as a rim light, placed roughly 18 feet away, metered at f/8, or perhaps f/9.6 (his shirt is a bit blown out). The other one was placed to the left, about 9 feet away, powered down to 100w and metered at f/8. I shot at f/5.6 so that both flashes would have a highlighting effect, popping Craig out of the dark background. I had envisioned more pan-blur (used 1/60 shutter) but didn’t get as much on this shot (see below).

Here is what the RAW looked like-

Brought it into Photoshop and rotated it to make the horizon straight-

Took a crop (the crops on the wallpapers will be a bit different because of the aspect ratios)-

Here’s where it gets weird– the “Pier 17″ text in the background was a little too distracting, so I opened up one of the earlier shots in which I had panned a bit more, blurring the text-

Made a selection of the text and copied it into the good shot-

Created a layer mask and smoothed out the edges-

I wanted to add a bit more drama to the sky and city, so I created a Curves adjustment layer, brought the midtones down and gave it a bit colder hue-

I forgot to screenshot the mask, but here’s what it looks like-

What I did was brush in Craig and his bike at 100%, then gradually decreased the opacity but increased the size of the brush so that there would be a nice, smooth transition of lightness surrounding the action that would easily fade into the surrounding darkness. That might sound confusing- I should do a video of that, yeah?

The only thing left to nitpick was this one light from the bridge sticking out of Craig’s head-

Did a quick clone stamp to get that out. Now to sharpen. How I sharpen (there are many ways) is described here. I’m working with the lightness channel in Lab mode, which converts the image temporarily to black and white. I landed on 500% sharpen with a 0.2 pixel radius (for 2880×1800; I used a different amount relative to the size of the image– I only sharpened 200% on the 960×640 wallpaper)-

Here’s a quick 100% zoom to check out the difference that sharpening makes (before and after)-

So then I saved this image as the master template and made a different version for each display resolution. It might display weird in your browser because it is in the Adobe 1998 color profile and most browsers prefer sRGB- it will look normal on your desktop. The reason I chose Adobe 1998 is because it has a wider color gamut; it’s barely noticeable, but it’s there. If you are obsessed with quality, like myself, I have uncompressed 16-bit TIF versions of all of these, just email me (scott at scott marceau dot com) and I’ll hook you up with the real shit.

If you’re still reading this, I thank you for caring because this stuff matters to me. I hope you enjoy the photo and use it as your desktop background. There will be more of these, probably a new one every month or so. Join the Flickr group, upload your best riding photos and maybe the next wallpaper will be shot by you! Push it a stop!

Tags: , , , ,

208 thoughts on “Desktop Wallpaper: Craig Passero

  1. I blog often and I really appreciate your information. This
    article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for
    new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  2. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything. However think of if you added some great visuals or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this website could certainly be one of the greatest in its niche. Terrific blog!

  3. 80. I was just seeking this information for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative sites in top of the list. Generally the top sites are full of garbage.

  4. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!

  5. First off I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Appreciate it!

  6. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all. However think about if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this website could certainly be one of the best in its field. Fantastic blog!

  7. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  8. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My website goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  9. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thank you

  10. Hi! I know this is kind of off-topic however I needed to ask. Does building a well-established website such as yours require a large amount of work? I’m brand new to running a blog but I do write in my journal everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

  11. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would genuinely benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks a lot!

  12. First of all I want to say great blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thanks!

  13. My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

Leave a Reply