Photographer Matthew Bowie and I started talking about collaborating on an ongoing series of unique images last month. Not long after that we set out to look for a background plate for an existing image that Matthew had shot. It turned out that the weather, being rarely accommodating, was overcast and not right for the existing image. However this dreary day in the park at Montrose Harbor in Chicago had to be a perfect setting for some image … you could just feel it in the air. As we were walking and discussing ideas we happened upon this picturesque scene full of fall color with a bit of a uniquely deserted feel.
Within just a few minutes of tossing ideas back and forth we had the idea for this image of a cyclist passing by just at that moment when a fast gust of that Chicago wind picks the leaves on the ground and what seems like a wall of leaves heads straight for the cyclist. A sort of pivotal moment of realization when a bizarre circumstance happens and the subject is just caught in it. Given I had a bike close by I volunteered my modeling services for this one; I was also more than excited to get an image of the Raleigh Record bicycle I had fixed up this year and to star in this fun image.
After the shoot Matthew and I picked out the hero image and then came up with a rough treatment. In the following days came the heavy lifting on the retouching side. Aside from some cleanup, hundreds of leaves had to be cut out with over 3000 total leaves placed and set in motion. Moving gravel was created coming from the bottom of the wheels to give the impression of the fixed gear bike coming to a sliding halt.
[Above: The original captured image.]