Acclaimed photographer Mikolai Berg approached Happy Finish with the aim of retouching his photo shoot with Alexander Bard - The Swedish philosopher, author, songwriter, record producer, TV personality and religious and political activist. Among Alexander’s many professions, he is most notable for his focus on shifting public consciousness through his inspiring writings and talks on metaphysical subjects. One of his more popular concepts is of the internet being God, which is explored in depth in his book Syntheism - Creating God in the Internet Age.
Mikolai wanted to find a location to match Alexander’s character, and Sweden’s distinctive Tjolöholm Castle, Scandinavia’s only art and crafts style castle, would be the perfect backdrop. He adds, “we were looking to establish an epic and surreal feel to the final result through a specific application of the post production.”
Rob worked closely alongside Mikolai to tailor these images to meet this retouch brief. He crafted mood and depth into each image by enhancing and refining their inherent qualities, each scene reading another page from Alexander’s intriguing story.
The process involved the marriage of complementing colours and textures, and bringing the elegant series of outfits to a life of their own. Mikolai’s superb job in lighting the interior and exterior shots, along with the addition of smoke and props, added to the delight in developing the colour grade.
Rob mentions, "One challenge was working on the creases from the complicated tartan and textured leather clothing, because unlike simpler patterns, this required deconstructing, reshaping, rebuilding an array of intricate patterns, followed by the addition of the original texture to create these seamless results."
Rob added, "One specific request was to reglaze the white teapot, saucer, and giant cup with a red toadstool theme to reflect Alexander’s inquisitive writings on Ayahuasca. This shiny red surface and illustrated spots and reflections called for careful attention."