Photo Retouching “Chiron Of Thessaly” 115 Layers In 57 Hours

I love classical history & the myths of places like Greece & Turkey.
Since I was 19 I’ve been lucky to have travelled around many of the ancient sites of Greece and have a holiday home in Turkey which enables me to visit the many sites it has to offer too.
So anyway it was only going to be a matter of time before I started my second image inspired by this interest, the first image being “The Last Sacrifice Of Dienekies” which I produced for a video for my Digital Photography Training site a few years ago.


I decided to some Photo Retouching and create a self-promotional image based on one of the many Greek Myths and after several ideas, I decided that I’d create an image of Chiron the wise and gentle Centaur.
I envisaged a scene where he would be stood on the slopes of  Mount Pelion, the residence of the Centaurs with cliffs and a cave in the background.
The horse was not a problem to source as a neighbour had one that was perfect so this was shot first within just a few days of the idea.
The next problem would be finding the high cliffs and a cave if possible. This was actually the easiest part of the image as I live just an hour away from the beautiful and awesome location that is Cheddar Gorge here in Somerset.
The location was perfect and within an hour or so I had all the elements I could possibly want for my Mount Pelion lookalike including some very brave mountain goats high up on the cliffs.
Sourcing a suitable model that suited my vision for the shot I thought may take a little time to cast but once again I was proved wrong. I remembered a model called John who I was talking too about another shoot several weeks before who was very keen to be involved and had the look I was after so a date was set for the shoot at my studio at The Monks Yard.
Before this, though I had to get some suitable props together and I managed to source these once again locally in Somerset at a very reasonable cost.
Bath Theatrical at Frome is an amazing warehouse full of costumes and props and reminded me of the scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark where they store away the Ark in the wooden crate inside that huge warehouse (there goes my imagination again !).
The shoot with John the model went well despite him feeling very under the weather but being the professional he is he just got on with the job and never moaned.
My initial plan was to shoot outside in the grounds of the studio as I needed soft diffused light to match the other elements already shot. I decided against this idea as being October it was pretty cold outside and felt it was unfair to expect John to stand around half-dressed when he was feeling so groggy.
I decided that the light was perfect in the glassed roofed side entrance to the studio and it was just large enough for the shots needed and also heated!
We managed to complete all the angles I wanted plus captured some individual shots of the props for my archives in case I ever need them.

Professional photo retouching can be time-consuming to produce the final detail needed. The final working PSD image for this image consisted of approx 115 layers and took 57 hours to complete.