Shooting Challenge: Retro Album Cover

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Retro Album Cover

In the age of rdio, the album cover is a bit of a lost art. The beautiful cardboard print of LPs has devolved to thumbnail blip. For this week's Shooting Challenge, I want you to recreate a classic album cover.


The Challenge

Recreate a famous album cover (or parody it). Use a combination of your own photography along with as much Photoshop and Illustrator as you need. (Feel free to ditch graphics if you want to be pure in the photography itself, though.)


The Technique

This week reminds me a lot of a past challenge we ran: steal (results here).

The greatest difficulty of this piece will be nailing a theme. Almost every album cover is a snapshot of highly stylized theater. It's all the absurdity of rock and roll (or folk or whatever) distilled into a single frame. Everything from filters to subject/costuming will be key. Though obviously a few of you will choose subjectless covers to sneak around these logistics I'm sure. (Hopefully not everyone will! Oh, and no doing the White Album.)

The Example

Our lead shot is from that past "steal" challenge. It's the winning shot by Gretchen Pitluk, a clever Barbie remake of Pink Floyd's Back Catalog.


The Rules

0. No watermarks. They're so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, December 10th at 10AM Eastern to with "Album" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameAlbum.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameAlbumWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

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