El Dave Photography

A photographer and his toys. Updated weekly.

Psycho Pirate (2)

8:49 PM by , under

Psycho Pirate

From Wikipedia:
Roger Hayden, first appeared as the second Psycho-Pirate in Showcase #56, created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson.
Roger Hayden is a jailed gangster (later retconned into a young twenty-year-old who was sentenced to a year in prison for attacking his emotionally abusive psychiatrist father) who is a cellmate to Halstead. Halstead's dying wish to have a legacy prompts him to tell Hayden of a secret which he has divined in his jail years, the existence of the Medusa Mask. This golden mask bestows upon the wearer the power to project emotions onto others. Hayden finds this mask and uses its powers to become a supervillain. It becomes increasingly apparent that he is addicted to absorbing others' emotions, though it causes him pain. He is eventually imprisoned after a battle with Doctor Fate and Hourman.

I found Psycho Pirate in the clearance bin at the local KB Toys and knew I had to have him. While I'm not a big fan of the character, there was something about the pose, the body language, that really called out to me.

The first and most obvious thing about Psycho Pirate is his golden Medusa Mask. It's his defining feature, and I certainly had to incorporate it into the shot. While the mask itself is all but featureless, it's presence defines the character. Without it, he's just a schmuck with a silly costume.

The second thing about Mr. Pirate is his face. Initially, I was frustrated with it, because his eyes are painted as looking up, making my usual trick "Low Camera to make figure look Life Size" not work, because it looked like he was just spacing out or maybe had two lazy eyes. Not good for a villain. "Oh no, Psycho Pirate is gazing off into the distance slightly above my head!"

I took several pictures with the mask on, but they all came out a little bland. The combination of his garish costume and the plain mask just didn't make for compelling photography. Finally, I had a flash of inspiration, much like with the Lotus Warrior. "Which is more important, the man or the mask?" With that in mind, I decided to run with him gazing up, with the focus squarely on the mask. Emphasizing the gimmick instead of the man.

Processing in Photoshop consisted of painting the mask with a lighter color to make it pop against the dark colors and shadows I used. All that was left was to adjust the color temperature to add a little bit of blue/green to it, then play around with blurs and add the bloom to bring it all together.

Ok, you know what? Instead of Wikipedia, just go here for more info about the Psycho Pirate.

No more silly EXIF:

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Exposure: 4 sec (4)
Aperture: f/13
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Orientation: Horizontal (normal)
X-Resolution: 72 dpi
Y-Resolution: 72 dpi
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Date and Time: 2008:08:15 21:29:48
YCbCr Positioning: Co-Sited
Exposure Program: Manual
Date and Time (Original): 2008:08:15 20:39:15
Date and Time (Digitized): 2008:08:15 20:39:15
Shutter Speed: -131071/65536
Metering Mode: Pattern
Color Space: sRGB
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 3210.946 dpi
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 3230.241 dpi
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Manual
Compression: JPEG
Image Width: 1880 pixels
Image Height: 2816 pixels

Be good,

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2 Reply to "Psycho Pirate"

Adam Koford on August 15, 2008 at 9:58 PM

Nice work (as always)! I love your blog.
I agree about Psycho Pirate, he's nothing to write home about,and certainly not anything to base an entire universe shifting miniseries on. Oh wait...


El Dave on August 16, 2008 at 9:13 AM

Thanks, Adam! I really appreciate it

Psycho Pirate is totally Big League. Surely anyone who is willing to help split the universe just for an opportunity to get into Power Girl's tights has GOT to be important!