Saturday, 15 November 2014

Ying & Yang or The Need for Personal Vision

So back when I shot the  A Distant Shore Series with Jodie Winyan there was a second series, Tempest

Tempest was shot on the same day in my living room with the same Bowens Gemini light & 1.2 mtr Octobox. Oh, and 10 metres of white, sheer, material.

Now whilst I had had plenty of time to prepare for this shoot most of my energy had been focused on the 'Distant Shore' theme. This second theme was always about two distinct images and how to achieve them. The first theme had a story to guide it. Give it a direction to develop in as we shot.

Whilst having two distinct images in mind for the second 'look' may have proven enough for, say a fashion shoot or advert, I was in full on story mode and keen to shoot as much as possible. I already knew the first series was going to yield some great shots so I was determined to make the most of this new setup.

After twenty minutes of trying every possible pose we decided to stop and so avoid repetition. All that was left was for me to pick out the best shots and edit them. No so easy when your vision only went as far as two key images. Coming off of the success of the first series my expectations were high but without I a clear story in my head I was struggling to build a sequence that was of any merit. Not to mention the editing and post processing was just a series of experiments as I looked for something that would work.

All the while this is going on I also have real life to contend with. Which means these images were taking longer than usual to complete. Then one morning I turn on my PC load up Lightroom and hate what I see ! There was too much Photoshop, too many layers and manipulation. The focus of the pictures was lost because the 'over editing' was destroying them. I needed to start again, strip back, simplify. Only now I had a better idea of what to do.

An important part of any story is the journey and that includes the creation. This set of photographs was being difficult. I was not making it easy for me to see past the surface. So I made that part of the story. I made our 'Tempestuous' relationship the thread that linked the images in the series and informed the style of edit.

What could have been a disaster was saved by using the experience of creation as a key part in the presentation and style of the work.

'Every project is personal'

I've always believed that. Now more than ever !

More t.k.

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