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Double take: Photographic artist multiplies himself

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's a masterful piece of photo staging and Photoshopping. Charleston free-lance photographer and mixed-media artist David Stephenson composed the accompanying photo, titled "Perception of Self," from several shots and an obvious assist from Photoshop.

"This took about 2 1/2 to three hours total, from conception to completion, with a majority of that time focused on setting up the shots," said Stephenson, whose day job is working as a freight handler in a warehouse.

"The biggest part of it is getting the color temperature right through all the shots. If you set it up properly, you cut each portion out and you can never tell they're separate shots," he said. "One of the tricky parts is, if you have any of the characters interacting, is getting the motions right."

He had a time of it getting all the camera angles right, shooting on a 10-second timer and "positioning all the different versions of myself where they don't overlap."

Actually, cutting the pieces and putting them together in Photoshop is "probably the easiest part, if you set the shots up right and get the camera set up correctly."

Stephenson had experimented with shots like this before, but this is his most ambitious effort so far. "That's the most extensive one I've done.

"I'd like to get into more of that kind of shot and take it further and do some different environments. It's a really fun thing to do. I'd like to do some with a little more interaction. Once I got into it, I liked the part where I could portray a little bit different parts of my personality. I guess that's an aspect of it, being able to be different people a little bit."

To see more of Stephenson's work, visit www.dtstephenson.com.

Reach Douglas Imbrogno at douglas@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.


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