Barrel Rider, of course, is one of the names Bilbo Baggins used to describe himself to the great fire serpent Smaug in The Hobbit. So why did I rip off the name to describe today’s experiment in textural effect? Well, the word barrel is an obvious fit. A few days ago while rummaging about my large canopied garage at Rosewood, I stopped to admire an antique wooden barrel I’d salvaged some years previous and had been using as a sawhorse. Brushing away the sawdust, I realized I’d never taken any photos of its ancient, textured grain and rusted steel bands, and quickly remedied that. Back in the studio, I retrieved another texture I’d come to love—a close-up shot of scratched and hammer-dented steel—and began playing around with layers and opacities for a new ABM band-graphics ad I’d been meaning to create. Setting the overall finished backdrop to dark tones to contrast inset text and artwork, I found the effect resonated almost sinisterly, and as the words barrel and sinister came together in my head, it really wasn’t a tremendous leap to that scene from Peter Jackson’s second chapter of The Hobbit where Bilbo is nervously chatting with Smaug in an effort not to become lunch.