Darren McGee, Jeff Stasko
I Love New York Tourism, 2007


Darren McGee works as a photographer for I Love New York Tourism, part of the NYS Dept of Economic Development. We spoke with Darren about his recent project, created in coordination with in-house graphic artist Jeff Stasko.

"Our goal was to come up with a poster commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the French & Indian War and to draw interest to the upcoming events. We decided on highlighting both a French Soldier and Indian showing the connection of the French and Indians working together against the British (featured in the battlefield scene). We wanted the poster to have “mood” bringing the characters to life. We knew there would be separate elements and we wanted to be able to gel those elements together. We did that through color and lighting creating the mood, then most importantly Primatte.

"While it's not my intention to make the viewer think I actually photographed the French solider and Indian on location, I wanted the silhouettes of each to be extremely clean. Doing a conventional silhouette would have been extremely difficult, at best. I was aware of the use of “green screen” for film and video use but was unaware of its use in stills. I stumbled upon Digital Anarchy’s Primatte through an Internet search.

"I downloaded the free Primatte trial and did a few tests. Once I was sure I could get the results we sought, I purchased the program then did more tests (This time without the watermarks). Testing was extremely important because this needed to be flawless, as the poster was reproduced to 24” x 36” and any green cast would defeat its purpose. Once I had it down I shot the images and created the masks using Primatte. Jeff then pieced them together as seen in the final printed piece. "


ABOVE: The final I Love New York poster.
BELOW: Original visual elements of the poster.