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Photographer John Lund flips his wig in this humorous self portrait and stock photo.
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Stacks of money, dollars, cash and currency in a stock photo.

Stacks of money (dollars, currency, cash) piled high (tall stacks of money) featuring 100 dollar bills in a business concept stock photo.
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Stacks of Money (dollars) Piled High in a business stock photo.

There is a whole lot of money represented in these tall piles of hundred dollar bills stacked high. "Stacks of money" is a popular search term, and this image was created to satisfy those hungering for such a photo. From start to finish the project took me approximately one day. I used $1,300.00 in one-dollar bills, and several one-hundred dollar bills. I created several different stacks of money, sometimes using all the money for a single stack, and sometimes making several stacks. I photographed the stacks using my Canon 1ds MKIII camera and using a single speedotron 2400 watt second strobe shot through a translucent white umbrella placed above and slightly to the left and in front of the stacks of money. I also used a large white foam core reflector to the right of the money piles. I shot about forty variations of money stacks, then utilzed about twelve of the stacks to composite the final image together. I used the pen tool to create clipping paths around the dollars, an arduous process, then turned the paths into selections with a one-pixel feather. Then it was simply a matter of copying, pasting, moving and sizing the various currency components into place. For the background I used the Photoshop gradation tool.


Creating a stock photo of money for business, finance, personal fianance and success concepts.

When I first decided to create a stock photo of stacks of currency I attempted to use clean,new money in bundles of 100 bills. It didn't work. The photo looked dull with no character. I keep a grocery bag of cash, mostly one-dollar bills, in the studio for use as props when these types of images come up. I used those one dollar bills to create the stacks. The result was a lot more lively, and gave the light all those ragged edges to add texture and interest. Before I photographed each pile I would place a hundred dollar bill on top. It took me about an hour of playing with the light before I came up with something that satisfied me, light that really brought out all those edges and the subsequent texture, that gave us plenty of shadows but not shadows so deep that the image would block up. I shot the money on black velvet figuring that I could then easily strip out the money by using the magic wand, color range, or the extract filter. None worked to my satisfaction, so I ended up making clipping paths. I won't kid you...it was a pain in the butt and took hours to do! But I think the result was well worth it.


A versatile and flexible stock photo showing huge financial rewards in the form of money stacks.

To keep this money stock photo as versatile and flexible as possible I created it so that it can be cropped in a wide variety of ways. It can work as an extreme vertical, a magazine cover format vertical, a wide banner ad, or a magazine spread. The is plenty of room for a masthead, for headlines, and/or for body copy. I tried the image on both black and white; the image has considerable more impact on black. Now I have to think of more ideas for all those little piles of money that I photographed! Because cash is such a central part of all of our lives, and is also symbolic of such popular concepts as success and well-being, there is a huge need for all kinds of related imagery. This photograph can also work well as a background image. It can represent investment, personal finance, banking, the lending industry, mortgage issues, capital investment and more.

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