Its easy to fall into the ‘waiting’ trap, Waiting for something to end, waiting for something to start, waiting in line. But here’s the thing: that ‘waiting’ bit, is called life. Live life, through the good and the bad. Don’t press pause, you miss so much.
My original idea didn’t include the bubble, I decided to add during processing. For me the bubbler symbolises my own life, and how it can become quite insular at times when I focussing on the wrong things.
Construction: Nikon D700, 50mm lens, self timer. I took the image of myself run my bedroom using a step ladder. My body is multiple composites, layered in Photoshop. The background is one I love from the house I used to live in, such beautiful light and space. The bubble came from an image @unsplash, a cool website where photographers share free images.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing cracked or broken pottery. Where the broken pieces are joined with gold.
‘Wear you scars with pride and rejoice, for you have healed, and become stronger and more beautiful than before.
Celebrate your unique history, for without it, you cannot be what you are to become.’
This is my final image in the Albatross series. There are a few more I want to create to slot into the middle, but this is the end piece.
Kintsugi is the result of the journey through the albatross project. It is healing and rebirth. Getting this image right was really important and it took a long time in post production.
Nikon D700, 50mm, f4.5, 1/80, ISO 500. The gold paint was warped and transformed to create different and connecting shapes. I used a lot of dodge and burn to create highlights and shadows in the correct places and researched Kintsugi objects to see how the paint reacted in the light.
I thought I was crazy. My mind didn’t work in the way it always had. Instead of firing quickly, it had almost ground to a halt. Cerebral thought was like walking through treacle. Everything was foggy, a record stuck on a scratch, a computer powering down. The most basic of tasks required my full attention, making a cup of tea, driving. I couldn’t make a decision, closed questions only please and I couldn’t always answer those. I was a computer which didn’t compute.
But below this robotic exterior, something was screaming with all its might. I couldn’t hear it, but I could feel it. It was small and far away, but it was powerful.
Is this what it is to be of unsound mind?
Dedicated to those times when you think you’re losing it. You’re not. It just feels like it for a while.
Nikon D700, 50mm, f8, 1/50, ISO500. I photographed the subject and the screws on the floor in one shot. The rest of the screws were photographed individually using a hair grip to hold them. I photographed different angles and rotations as well focal distances to ensure I could blend them into the original image and create believability. Finally some tweaks in curves and textures were added.
We are all damaged in some way. No one journeys life unscathed. Look closer. Be present. Be kind.
Nikon D700, 50mm lens, f4, 1/60, ISO 500. This image was a test shot for ‘Voices’. The floor boards are a laminate pallet laid out on my bedroom floor. The lightening was too directional for the image I wanted in “Voices’, but I loved the atmosphere and the pose. This was a simple edit in Photoshop, using curves to change tones and emphasis the light and dark. I added different textures to the background and the subject to create the ‘damaged’ effect.
Voices, internal or external, they all do damage. Negative self talk is hard to unlearn and extremely damaging. Understand that one flippant negative comment can stay in someone’s internal monologue for a life time. Be kind.
Nikon D700, 50mm lens, f4.5, 1/80, ISO 500. I took the picture of my back first using the 10 second timer. I no longer have access to my previous shooting space but want to keep a continuity of style for this series. This image was shot in my tiny, carpeted spare room. Therefore I expanded the frame by taking pictures above and below the main image of my back and to the left and right. To create the floor, I bought a panel of laminate floor boards to construct a wooden floor and laid them out on top of the carpet. I took multiple pictures of my mouth holding the camera in front of my face. Finally I used Photoshop to stitch all the images together, adjusted light and colour in curves and added texture.
There’s nothing graceful about putting yourself back together. It’s messy, it’s damn hard and it’s lonely. The only person who can do it is you and giving up is a lot easier. Recovery is a process and it’s takes time. It’s personal. It’s different for everyone. And when it’s complete, you will be different. Wear your scars with pride. Broken bones heal stronger than before, and so will you.
Image shot on Nikon D700, 50mm lens, f4.5, 1/40, ISO 500. I shot the main image 6 months ago, but wasn’t sure how to make the stitching believable. Then I had an idea but thought it was a bit gross. Eventually I went with the gross idea and bought a loin of pork from the supermarket. I slashed and ripped the skin and then sowed it back up with a darning needle and garden string. This second image was shot in a different location. I was worried about lighting differences making them difficult to blend and impacting on believability. I made sure the light came from the same angle – window light to the right. It was an experiment but I was really pleased with the result so I used it in the final image.