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Behind the lens: Fishing line

Mike McCusker, winner of the crowd vote in our Weirdness contest, tells the story of this wonderfully surreal image.

"I started a project called ‘Objects out of place’ with an eye on compiling an FRPS panel entry. I wanted to show how different things could look when they were not in their usual context or environment. I think fish look pretty alien once out of water, and so once I had the idea of using a fish I started scouting around for an unusual place for a fish to hang out. I looked out of the window and noticed the two stripy socks on the line and thought ‘BINGO!’

I asked my wife to pick up a mackerel from a supermarket and she asked the in-store fishmonger for the best-looking mackerel he had. The clothes peg did not hold the fish, so I had to use some thin wire and then hide it within the peg. I then raised the line high up with a prop to lose any background objects. It was a sunny day, so my wife held a large diffuser over the fish and socks to soften the light.

I did the conversion with the Black and White tool in Photoshop CS6. I then noticed that the left-hand sock had an ugly crease, so I cut and pasted some of the right-hand sock to cover it up. I finally toned it using the Curves tool. And that's pretty much it."

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