An artistic eye: Tom Hanslien of DigiSurgeon talks about why an intrinsic design flair is essential in post-production for the arts.

Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum - Opera: Passion, Power and Politics - exhibition hero poster.

In the last couple of years, I’ve been drawn into some exciting publicity work for several of London’s leading museums and galleries. I love all things to do with photography, creative expression and art, so it’s a treat to be part of the team creating campaigns for the latest exhibitions. When it comes to attracting art lovers and visitors, these venues look for eye-catching and compelling visuals for posters, websites and advertising.

Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum - Opera: Passion, Power and Politics - exhibition hero poster.
Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum – Opera: Passion, Power and Politics – exhibition hero poster.

Working with Village Green Studio and their fantastic 3D visualisers, who collaborated with the Victoria & Albert Museum to create this theatrical, sumptuous and classy image that featured in their publicity for a new exhibition about Opera in collaboration with the Royal Opera House. From early conversations with the art director, I understood the desire to enhance the 3D imagery to create a rich and appealing canvas of activity but simultaneously draw the eye into certain elements of an otherwise busy picture. It was a nod to the showy costumes of traditional opera with a daring, contemporary twist to attract the attention of a younger audience.  I enhanced key elements of the 3D-rendered image and used colour and contrast adjustments to balance the palette of colours ensuring the finished visual created the correct impression flamboyance with style.

The Barbican's Film In Focus: discover the power of the moving image - hero poster.
The Barbican’s Film In Focus: discover the power of the moving image – hero poster.

I finessed the image for the Barbican’s Film in Focus event. The client’s brief was for a publicity poster, created from the some of the same assets as the promotional video and animation. Sometimes the hardest projects are those that seemingly seek a simplistic look. My challenge was to make it look good with very limited assets. Together with the art director, I was instrumental in selecting the most suitable iris – the core image within the poster. Using my eye for design, I shared my thoughts on the best files to work from and then worked up and finessed the composite image to achieve the right look.

Tate Modern presents The Radical Eye: Modernist photography from the Sir Elton John Collection.
Tate Modern presents The Radical Eye: Modernist photography from the Sir Elton John Collection.

 

The much-anticipated modernist photography exhibition at the Tate Modern – The Radical Eye – was a similarly a challenging project as the imagery we worked with was so iconic. A hero image was selected for the collection (owned by Elton John) that we all agreed was famous in its own right, but lent itself to some subtle enhancements for the publicity campaign. Balancing the need to remain truthful to the original image and the need to create a fresh feel to engage potential visitors, working with the Art Director we experimented very subtly with colour tints and treatments, and also bringing out a tiny hint of shadow detail on elements you don’t normally see until we were satisfied I had created the desired impression.