Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stack of $1000 Dollar Bills - My Vision

This is a real stack of U.S. $1,000 bills, with a little wide-angle distortion added for impact. Well, sort of...

Full Disclosure: The top bill really is genuine (and as a collector's item, is worth much more than $1000); however the bills underneath are $1 bills -- they were added just for effect. A friend lent the bill for this still life (and stood by while I photographed his little treasure). This has been a great conceptual stock photo seller.

Lighting & Post-production: The stack was lighted by one large (48"x48") softbox strobe, about three feet from the pile of money. The white seamless paper worked as its own reflector "fill" for the soft shadow effect. (This type of product lighting allows graphic designers to easily "float" the image anywhere on a page. In post-production, you have the responsibility to select any of the not-so-white background and clip it to pure white within Photoshop's "Levels" -- being careful to feather the selection around the shadow area.)

Interesting tidbits: The $1000 bill featured a portrait of Grover Cleveland from 1928 to 1946. Today, the U.S. Treasury Department no longer prints large denominations. In 1929, a $1,000 bill would have been equal to $12,440.55 in our current purchasing power!

(Click on the image for a larger view.)

You are invited to see my "Most Interesting" images on Flickr (based on popularity stats).

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