Let’s face it, if one thing is really fascinating me it’s the human behavior. Where many friends of mine would comment a situation by a “oh Man, it’s so mean from him… !”, my first reaction is not to judge. My first reaction is to question. “Why did he act like that?” is the first thought crossing my mind. And then after comes the judgement.
In fact, very exciting are people with a tiny personal disorder, this very tiny border between normality and psychosis. And the fact that some of us combine the two of them. That’s typical for the guy you thought he was normal until that very day arrives and you discover he was a serial murder. But it doesn’t have to be murder or something dangerous, it’s interesting enough when it is about phobia. Or any other kind of problem.
So, how to combine pictures and such situations ?
Scary creepy shot isn’t it ? Well, I met one day a man whose father told him as he was 11 years old he should not be left alone with such a knife in is hand… Well, this kid became an adult and has a very normal life today. But now, imagine what could have happened to this child… the fears… This shot is about this story. By the way, the father never did anything wrong and never beat his wife or children.
To create such drama, you need a story. Like the one above. The you need a setup. I have noticed that the light is very important. And to create a tension, you need a contrasty picture. And use lights to create spots of light (knife, face, window). The main light is a gridded beauty Dish with a CTO gel. The background is lighted with a blue gelled strobe. The picture is underexposed in the sense that only the knife has the correct exposure. On purpose.
What is happening ? Is this man threatening someone on its knees? Or is he having suicide thoughts ? The window was important for me since it symbolizes the link between what’s happening inside and the world outside.
It was tricky to shoot and it would have been way easier to have a model since I had to shoot and shoot again so I could place myself and the knife a their right places. And the game of ratio between background and main light has been difficult to set. My main light was illuminating the background too much and the blue color was actually too bright.
Why me on the picture and not a model ? Well, I did not dare to ask my friends for a “crazy” shoot. :-)