I DID IT!! I finished this month’s project before the end of February. Take that self! I know it may seem a little weird to be this excited by what may be a small accomplishment. I feel like with the last year being as weird as it has been, you need to celebrate the small successes when they happen to keep you sane. Also, what better way to stay motivated than to celebrate your accomplishments! This month we look to the future for our inspiration. I am a fan of many sci-fi movies/shows/games that tote the cyberpunk line. Tron, Blade Runner, Vexille, and The Matrix are some of my favorites. Consider this month's piece my homage to the genre.
Cyberpunk “What use was time to those who'd soon achieve Digital Immortality?”
― Clyde Dsouza, Memories With Maya
For those who may be unfamiliar, Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a dystopian futuristic setting, featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order. Although we are not 100% sure when the genre of Cyberpunk began, it is generally agreed that it was created during the 1960s and 1970s by New Wave authors who desired to present the world in a setting where society tried to cope with the ever changing world of technology. As some of you may know, I am a millennial. I think this is why I have always been drawn to this genre. I have seen such a wide array of technology develop during my lifetime. I remember using a rotary phone, but I also remember my first smartphone. I remember dial up tones for logging onto the internet, and the creation of MySpace. I mixed tapes and spent three hours downloading one song from platforms like Napster and Limewire. But the weird thing is that I was young and still in elementary school when some of these inventions were created. That means I basically grew up with technology we know and love today, and I learned to adapt to newer software and gadgets as times changed. And that is what these writers in the 1960s were writing about, but ahead of their time. They were imagining worlds where we developed technology at such a rapid pace that we eventually caused our own destruction or trapped us in some kind of cyborg hellscape. I think because I have been around for so many advances in technology, I can appreciate the sentiment behind the ideals that created this genre, which really helps me to get lost in these types of stories. My Cyberpunk woman took me roughly 3 hours of processing time. I used both Lightroom and Photoshop. It has 30 layers and 11 Groups, and is a cozy 592.2 MB in size. Stock images were provided by pixabay.com and pexels.com. Although I did not face too many challenges with this project I did still learn lots. I was sure that I was going to struggle with the creation of neon lights, and their various effects. It turned out I could create the various glowing and dual-tone effects with little to no problem. Surprisingly the problem I ran into was controlling how vivid and bright those lights were and how those lights affected the skin. I spent quite a bit of time outside of the below video just adjusting and fine tuning the lighting so that it would look natural, and not like glowing blobs on the subject's skin. Even when I thought I had desaturated things “too much” it more often than not would need to be desaturated even more. As a person who colour corrects images on the daily, this definitely tested my abilities. I highly recommend anyone wanting to test or improve their colour balancing techniques to work with neon lights. I don’t think there is anything that is quite like it, and it has some unique challenges I don’t think you see anywhere else.