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Cherry stems

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The latest Business World issue featured a photo illustration on the cover that even though simple in elements, took a bit of time to arrange. 

The task was to come up with an interesting photograph dealing with the theme of how the cherry industry impacts the local economy. 

The first idea that I attempted came from our managing editor who suggested using a slot machine with cherries coming up on the window. The idea fit well with the gamble that growers take with cherries considering weather conditions but trying to make the photograph easy too read was too challenging for me.

In a search for cherry images though I noticed a few pictures of cherries whose stems formed the shape of a heart - cherry love I suspect. I started sketching ideas off of that and came up with a symbol of economics using stems to form a dollar sign.

Off to the store, I found the first cherries of the year - $7.99/pound yikes! and brought them back to the office. I found my first problem in that the stems of early cherries are very short with not enough length to form any kind of dollar sign. 

I remembered at my mother's house a neighbor's tree had small, ornamental cherries with very long stems. They had very small and green fruit on them but I brought some of those back to the office and found they would do very well if I used their stems on the fruit from the store.

Another trip to my house to pick up super glue (stems don't hold their position well) and I had the elements to the photograph. Taking the picture was very easy with a straight forward lighting set up. I then used Photoshop to improve the places where the stems had to be attached to the red, ripened fruit and illiminate the shiny gleams of super glue off the white paper background.


Finished photograph
With some basic Photoshop skills, the finished product looks somewhat realistic.
Elements of the photo illustration
Stems from my mother's house, cherries from the grocery store.