One of the great things about my 365 project, is the necessity to experiment, or riff, on different styles and techniques.  To keep the daily image fresh and exciting to both me and the viewer,  I have to constantly push out of my comfort zone.  Today, I decided to borrow some ideas from Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte.  His work is crazy, witty, and though-provoking and has always been a favorite of mine.

Using his work “The Pilgrim” as inspiration,  I didn’t want to copy the entire painting outright, but just riff on the theme, like a jazz musician might approach a standard melody.  To that end, while not in this particular painting, I added the clouds and blue sky that is prevalent in much of his work.  Below you’ll find the final image followed by a visual step by step of the process from start to finish.

Day 304 of my 365 photo a day project.

A Riff on Magritte's The Pilgrim

A Riff on Magritte’s The Pilgrim

Riffing on Magritte – The Process

The first thing I needed to find was a space big enough to set up a backdrop and my DIY lights.  I didn’t really find it, so my basement laundry room had to do.

The set up. Talk about DIY!

The set up. Talk about DIY!

I didn’t have enough space to stand in the space and still be on the backdrop.  So I had to sit.  At this point in processing, I expanded the canvas size.


Me in my Sunday finest.  I was worried about the olive green hat color, but that was actually easy to fix.


The following images I removed my face.  In the hole that created, in Photoshop, I added the inside of the white shirt and the suit collar.

In these final 4 images, I added the back brim of the hat and made it black, added the sky and clouds, color corrected, and added a couple of passes of Topaz Impression for a subtle painted look.

This image and most of the others from this project are available as prints and digital downloads.  You can also check out the rest of my portfolio here.  And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss anything.