Danny Hastings - Nas (Album Cover: Nas I Am - Circa 1999)

Danny Hastings - Nas (Album Cover: Nas I Am - Circa 1999)

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- Chromogenic print - #1 of 50
- 16x20
- Hand signed

NOTE: Allow 2 to 4 weeks for shipping.

This photograph made me a "PhotoGOD" because I used #NoPhotoshop and took me 10 hours to figure out the lighting. Creative director Ola Kudu hired me to shoot the cover for Nas' "I AM..." album. He knew I had the skills to deliver a highly creative shoot. The idea was to transform Nas into King Tut. To continue the progression of his covers, going from a boy to a man to a king. I automatically thought of my good friend artist and sculptor Dave Cortes (Google him).

During the photo session. Dave put clay on Nas' face to get an imprint of his face and we almost had an accident because the clay blocked his nostril and he couldn't breathe for a couple of minutes. Sh*t, we almost killed Nas accidentally. No... LOL. On the second attempt, we were successful. We got a perfect mold of his face. He was a great sport. Dave then constructed the rest of the bust by hand and delivered a museum-looking sculpture.

When we saw the final piece, we were all blown away. But I had a huge problem. I was essentially shooting a mirror. Because of the gold reflective paint on the sculpture, there was no definition, everything was reflection. The first shot looked like caca. Ola Kudu was looking at me like, "Photoshop... this doesn't look right". What did we do wrong? This was a mold of Nas, an imprint of his actual face. Why wasn't it looking like him. Then I realized that what defines a face in a picture is the balance between highlights and shadows. But, how can you create shadows on a reflective surface? Eureka!!!! I placed 4x8-foot white boards and black boards facing the sculpture, opened a hole through the boards so I can fit my camera, and instead of pointing the light to the sculpture, I pointed the light to the boards. So essentially, what you see in the sculpture are the reflections of white and black boards to give you the illusion of highlights and shadows.