I originally purchased the mic in this image for another photo shoot, but when the team for a “Film Noire” shoot saw the mic, they immediately wanted to work it into an image, and I can’t blame them. It’s a real Shure 55 “Elvis” mic, iconic and quite collectable. I am not sure if it can be made to work again, but it would be worth the effort!
This image is another one from my “Broken” project. I had the pleasure of working with “Rae Gun”, an alternative model who brought a lot of creative spark and enthusiasm to the shoot. (As an aside, it has been my experience that alternative models — tattoos, piercings, different hairstyles etc. — have almost aways been amazing folks to work with!)
The prop is the remains of a metal bucket that has been rusting away in our back yard for at least 5 years. I think it’s a perfect prop for the Broken series.
This image is from a photo yesterday afternoon with a multi-talented actress/model/poet. It is simply lit, with a simple backdrop, and no funky post processing. And it just may be my favourite portrait from 2011. After years of shooting anything but formal portraiture, then forcing myself to try it this year, it is ironic that it has now become far and away my favourite genre, because of images like this. It is simple on one hand, but on the other there is a lot happening with the model’s expression and her energetic and bright personality. Faces and expressions like this are as much a monument to the human spirit as any cathedral or crumbling ruin.
Canadian literary critic Northrope Frye was famous for his work The Great Code: The Bible and Literature, about the pervasiveness of biblical themes, metaphors and symbolism in Western literature, and as I worked with this image I was struck by the fact that while the model and I were not consciously trying to do so, to my mind at least we created an image that reminds of of the story of the Annunciation, with the combination of the head scarf, the lighting, and the model’s upward gaze. It’s ironic that at a time when I am at best agnostic (with atheist tendencies), I am still affected by the universality of the story.
One of the highlights of my recent trip to Italy was peering into the crater at the top of Mount Vesuvius. None of the pictures of took at the top in my mind capture the scale and terrible majesty of the site.
In contrast, this image of some worn steps on the trail up the side of the mountain really works for me, in a way none of the crater shots do.
My wife and I just returned from our trip to Southern Italy, so prepare for an onslaught of pictures!
I’m starting with Pompeii. Even though this image was made with a DSLR, to me almost every image of Pompeii needs to be monochrome, to capture the sense of history that exudes from this famous site. A truly incredible place.
With this post I am starting a new series called “Broken”, where subjects (not just models) will be posing with objects that are broken, damaged, incomplete or otherwise imperfect. In this case, the model suggested the concept of the Fallen Angel, and in a sense made herself the broken object. In my view, her expression, especially the look in in her eyes is absolutely stunning. Something indeed has broken.