Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Light Thief

Ever feel the need to stretch  yourself creatively?  I've had that bug for a while now, feeling far too comfortable in my skill set, doing mostly pictorial work, even for fun. So I decided it was time I got of my arse and did something a little more conceptual. I'll admit what helped was seeing a Creative Live webinar presented by fine art photographer Brooke Shaden.

I've had a bunch of ideas floating around in my head waiting for me to do something with them, and watching Brooke at work made me just mash them together, shake them up and see what fell out. Not exactly the theme-driven approach Brooke uses, but when I realised it could actually make an interesting picture, I couldn't wait to execute it. 


The first element I wanted to use was my location: This bunker-like concrete structure in Leith Valley. I've lit the interior before, and it seemed to me like a portal to someplace elemental, like the lift from Hell.


See what I mean?

The next step was to add some more light for the effect I wanted to create, like the thing really was a portal to another dimension. The idea was that I could layer these in photoshop later for just the right effect.



Next came a character and a model to portray them.  This was a spur of the moment project so...


...I got into costume.  Thank goodness that's the old suit I use for gigging with my band. I got covered in mud by the time I was done. Just taking a test pop with my wireless remote in hand here.

Like Brooke Shaden, I wanted my character to be anonymous. Brooke often uses uses hair to mask her character faces - originally because like me, she didn't use models other than herself for a while. As you can see, I'm not your Fabio flowing locks type, although I'll admit that in the 90's, I had a ponytail for about 15 seconds.

I was really challenged as to how to hide my face with something that wouldn't hijack the picture.  I thought about using foreground foliage, but that didn't seem right.  Sunglasses?  Too Blues Brothers. I'd already struck out, looking for an appropriate brimmed hat in the Op shops around town. Mask? Too Zorro. Blindfold? Too loaded.

Then I struck on it. One of the elements floating around in my head would do, something central to a lot of my work. It would really transform my shot into something intriguing, a story.  It was

I would make myself anonymous with light.

More in due course.

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