Brise Soleil a conceptual photo composite illustration by Michael Maersch

Brise Soleil


For over two decades I worked as a Location Scout for filmmakers making commercials and feature films and photographers shooting for print ad campaigns.

I shot film at that time and would drop exposed rolls at a ‘1-Hour Prints’ shop, run home with envelopes stacked with little photos I pasted together as 2-frame, sometimes 6, 7, 8-frame panoramas that provided my clients a clear, wide view of sites I thought would work for their projects. On occasion they bordered on the “artsy-fartsy” side of things.

And today I have a wealth of potential “background plates” for use in my “conceptual” illustrations and a reference library at my fingertips reminding me of “what” and “where it’s at” for ideas I’ll cook-up in the future.

This two-frame ‘joiner’ is an example of a process I’ve been experimenting with; taking a well-exposed image and creating three to five “bracketed” versions I then put through Nik’s HDR Pro software to create a sort of hybrid ‘high dynamic range’ final image.

Every time I look at this picture I ask myself why in the world I ever left Milwaukee – but then I’m reminded each Winter when I watch the morning news over my first three cups of coffee...