a pigeon in front of the moon
Photos by Robin Lopvet
VICE Magazine

Transform Tool

"Collage is ultimately the only form of creation," the Paris-based photographer Robin Lopvet writes of his work. "Everything I do comes close to an immense and serious parody, without cynicism." Here, he takes the viewer inside that process.
28 May 2020, 10:00am

This article appears in VICE Magazine's Means of Production issue. Conceived of pre-COVID-19 and constructed during it, it explores the organization and ownership of our world.

Here is the process of editing:

I took pictures of my friend Alex (he is my favorite model, my friend since we were 15 years old). I asked him to do some “yoga” in my basement.

I had a large set of pictures, but I liked the position he had on this particular one.

I almost did nothing on the picture-development part, and I started photoshopping right away.

First thing, I removed his genitals and his head with the stamp tool.

I use my big flash a lot, so the light is quite easy.

Then I cleaned up his skin a little bit, removing some dots on the leg and the back (professional photo editing gives me some automatic reflexes).

I liquified him to make his arm and back really round, to change the shape of his body.

I cropped the picture to make it square.

At this point, I imported another file: a burning candle I did days ago.

After cutting it to just the candle, I created a big fat one on the left of the picture by copy/pasting some part of it.

I cleaned the background of the picture because I felt like it disturbed the view and the composition.

A little bit more skin retouching, and I did one big bended candle, to double the shape of the back of my model.

After this I multiplied the candles in the ground, to give a “pattern” side, and bring more like a ritual thing, adjusting the size to make it less unreal.

At this point I felt something was missing on my character, and I had this “fixing gum” on my desk.

I gave it a shape in between Pinocchio and “the Duck” of Olivier Cablat and incorporated it, remodeling the shape, adjusting lights and tones.

I added shadows to the head and the candles, just a little bit of sharpening to the whole image, and I was done.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.