I have potentially found a new muse to work with, in Kentucky, about an hour from me. I can’t emphasize the importance of a muse which is a willing participant for different projects / regular model when one or both of us gets an idea to play out. A must have for artists / photographers who like to stay inspired and prevent complacency. She is represented by a friend who runs a small freelance talent agency, and she made the effort to reach out to me, and follow through with plans we made to shoot at this abandoned house she knew of. I was interested in an old or abandoned barn or building, this was perfect!
She was comfortable with up to implied nude, and was eager to do something creative and artistic, different from what she’s done with other photographers. She came to the right guy, LOL. It was an overcast early December day, slightly windy but about 60 degrees, was pleasant to be outside. We pulled up to this old abandoned house off the road, and went in behind it so no one could see us. I was in Heaven with the character and the decay of this place. Looking at it surrounded by overgrown brush, and no leaves on the trees, the overcast conditions, and hearing some whistling of the wind made it a perfect experience. My first thought was I’d like to know the story of this house, who last lived here, and the circumstances of the house becoming abandoned.
Boom. An idea came to mind. I wanted her to look tattered and possibly kidnapped, and she came back to this house that was familiar to her as a ghost, but no one was there, and hadn’t been in some time. Or maybe something happened to her at this house, and she haunted it. Either way, same end result with different possibilities. That’s where my mind was going. I’d start with some shutter drag / long exposure photos using the tripod, and go with some ghosting. The exact concept could be decided by the viewer, but not hard to get the basic idea….the aesthetics are what I was after first and foremost….we had a great opportunity to use a great canvas for such an idea….and I’ve seen it before, you just never know when it could one day be gone. Sometimes the time to act is now.
The longest exposure I could use without the background being overexposed was 4 seconds. To correctly balance the exposure, I used an aperture of F32, the narrowest possible. I could have went slower if I used a neutral density filter to darken the background, but 4 seconds was perfect. When doing long exposure, you have to factor the maximum time your subject can remain still, and the amount of time needed for the subject to move across the frame. To do this double exposure, I had the model get in one stance and be still….then make a very robotic and quick movement to another spot, then remain still again. All during the time the shutter is open. Not easy. Also, the cool thing that happened here, is during the transaction of her moving, there was some natural opacity of her blending in with the background. The result I thought was awesome, and eery. Hope you enjoy!