Once again bored in my studio and looking for something to do, I grabbed a cow skull that my daughter Emily had left in our office. I came up with the idea of putting some lights in the eyes and nose to add some drama to the picture. Since my lights pretty well stay set up, I was able to knock this picture out in about 30-40 minutes.
I first laid down black velvet on my work surface and placed the cow skull on this light absorbing fabric. I wanted to shoot down on the skulls, so I set my camera on my tripod as high as possible and used a ladder to reach the camera to focus. I then placed two Morris Mini lights with red gels under each eye socket. The eyes turned yellow because the red reflected off the inside of the eye socket, gaining a bit of orange tint from the skull. I cross lighted the skull with 4 studio lights, tweaking power until I got the look I wanted. The nose of the cow was dark, so I moved one of the Morris Mini’s under the nose and popped a frame there with the red gel and then composited two images in post.
The photo ended up with about 25 layers and 450 mb of size. Once I got done I came up with the title “Mad Cow”. I wish I had a longhorn skull, that would make a good “mad bevo” the next time OU beats Texas!