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My idea spawned from research into current affairs, in alignment with areas that either I have an interest in, or that directly affect me in day to day life. Something that greatly affects me financially on a daily basis is my car, primarily for fuel costs, and this got me thinking about news stories relating to this. One recent development in fuel is the 3p tax hike due in January, and this story bore my concept: Daylight robbery; George Osborne stealing money from the pockets of car owners. My essay will contextualise my idea in detail, describing the ideological, rhetorical and political theories behind the image, as well as media influence and involvement and designers of similar works.


Finished Mashup + Method

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Here is my finished mashup. It emphasises the fact that people pay too much tax on petrol, and that the government is ‘stealing’ this money from people who can barely afford to fill up their cars.

finished crop

To do this, I used Adobe Photoshop. I started with three initial images, one of someone filling up their car, another of a pickpocket and one more of George Osborne.

daimler-fuelcell-car-refueling-copenhagenPickpocket-cellphone-victimgeorge osborne

The first stage was to cut out the pieces that I wanted. I started with the pickpocket.

I used the pen tool to outline the areas of the picture that I wanted, then applied a layer mask to get rid of the unwanted pieces of the image. This left just the pickpocket, but a lot of missing body, and in it’s current state putting this behind the man in the other picture would result in seeing that it was only half a person.

merge layer

As I knew that only a fraction of the other half of the body would be visible, I decided to duplicate the layer containing the pickpocket, and flipped it so that it was the other way around. I then merged these layers so that I could work on both at the same time.

burn tool

I used the clone stamp tool to fill in the gaps where the duplication hadn’t applied. This allowed me to complete the suit and make it look more like one person. I left the trousers of the other guy in the picture so I could use it as a marker when I duplicated the layer into the other image. I also used the burn tool around the suit to darken it and make it fit into the other picture better than it would at this stage.

adding head


I applied the same cutout methods to the picture of George Osborne, and then after masking the rest of the background out, I duplicated the layer into the picture of the pickpocket and replaced the head. To make it fit better, I used the rubber tool along with the clone stamp tool to get rid of unwanted flesh from the pickpocket and replace it with suit.

original picture1

Here is the original image for the petrol station. As you can see on the car there is writing relating to the context of the image. I wanted to get rid of this, so again I used the clone stamp tool to get rid of the unwanted text and replace it with paint from the rest of the car.

after clone


I thought that the finish on the car looked pretty good considering that i’m appalling at Photoshop normally. The next stage was to allow room for the other image to be placed behind the man but infront of everything else.

top layer

I duplicated the layer, and cut out the pipe, and a large enough portion of the person that would be sufficient to hide the image of George Osborne. I masked out the rest of the layer to create transparency, and it was important that it stayed in its original place so that it acted as a cover that matched the background. This allowed me to slot the picture of George Osborne in-between this and the original image without having to hang over anything.

osborne placed


Here is the image with George Osborne added. I added some more of the burn tool to darken George Osborne more as he would have been shadowed slightly by the foreground man. Once I had done this I started work on the petrol station. I used the colour replacement tool to replace yellow with black. I used this method as it was the only solid yellow piece of the image. I then used the burn tool to flatten out and darken the black more than the color replacement tool had been able to do without affecting 100% of the yellow in the image. This gave quite a nice black effect.


black out station


As you can see from the image below, the black and red in the above image matches the colour scheme of the Texaco petrol station. The reason I used Texaco was because the idea behind the mashup was petrol tax. Therefore I wanted to change ‘TEXACO’ to ‘TAXACO’. To do this I simply used the clone tool on the letter ‘A’, then touched up the outside of the ‘A’ to make it look less flat.


Once I had done this, I masked out the rest of the petrol station and duplicated the layer into my mashup file. I then used the perspective transform tool to fit the name of the petrol station onto the building in two different places. I applied the transformation, and used the burn tool to darken the black and make it match the black of the petrol station.



My final stage was to refine the edges of some of the layers, and then I cropped the image as there was a lot of unwanted image on the right that wasn’t really necessary and took away attention from the point.

Stock Images

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After doing a lot of searching for images to use in my mashup, I came up with these which I would use.

Petrol Station

I looked at quite a few images of petrol stations. My initial idea was to find a petrol station with ‘pay at the pump’ pumps, and change them into politicians from the current government. I decided against because I could I not find any pictures of a good enough quality/size/position to achieve this. My final idea was to have the Chancellor of the Exchequer (George Osborne) acting as a pickpocket with someone filling up their car with petrol. These were the two images I chose for this, the first being the one I decided to use. The reason I didn’t use the latter was because you couldn’t see a petrol station behind, and also it didn’t look like a normal petrol pump (probably because it wasn’t, but at least it was hidden in the first picture)






I spent a while looking for a picture of a pickpocket in action, and the only one I could find that was the right size and the right position, and also not an Assassins Creed screenshot was this:


George Osborne

This was the picture I chose for George Osborne:

george osborne

Brainstorm 2

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Click the picture to see full size

photo (4)

After doing this brainstorm I decided that I was going to do a photo-manipulation of a petrol pump user being pick-pocketed  by George Osborne


Binned Ideas

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Here are a couple of ideas that I had, made a mockup to see what they would look like and then decided against them.

Baraka Obama

Here I was going to mashup a picture of Baraka from Mortal Kombat and President Obama. This was my first response to hearing the word ‘mashup’, so i decided against using it as there was no real thought put into the reasoning other than to have a mortal kombat fight between Baraka Obama and Mitt ‘Raiden’ Romney.


Rise of China

During my research I found stories about the rise of China in recent times, and I wanted to do a piece to depict the chinese taking over the world. This is what I came up with, but I didnt use this story in the end.


rise of china

Research 3

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Here are a few websites I used in my research to try and get some inspiration.

Originally I wanted to do something about the Con/Lib coalition, however whilst doing my research I realised that I should really do something that affects me on a daily basis, something that I can relate to and something that i’ll have lots to talk about when it comes to writing the essay. I decided that I would do something on fuel tax, with an impending 3p rise due in January, this is something that will affect me.

Brainstorm 1

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Click on the picture to see it full size

photo (3)

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