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Where inspiration and the making of images begin…

Still life

Inspiration and ideas

I find myself resonating with the idea of still lives representing the human present in another time that is not now. By putting together everyday objects evoking certain emotions and letting the negative space around the built narrative support the tone of the image. Mixing decay and freshness, dust and immaculate, nostalgia and melancholy, Like the past echoing into the present. Documenting and playing with the daily banalities and perhaps the sparks that gives us a glimpse of light and ignite a desire to keep going. Wolgang Tillmans takes photos of everything and anything. For him, “Everything Matters”. In a way, this is a credo to a celebration of life. While observing the everyday and the more celebrated moments, I am also interested in bringing in somewhat absurd yet fitting elements into the image.

Many of the work I am inspired by is lit by natural lighting. The quality of the light is most often diffused, the colors sometimes seem kind of washed out. the light is sometimes hard, coming through a window, causing dramatic lines and shadows. Both these types of lighting can be reproduced in studio. The softer light can be achieve with a key light placed farther away from subject with soft box or mylar and reflectors. to bring more light into shadow areas. The harder light can come directly on subject, perhaps using flags or cookie to block the light in certain areas

The secret language of flowers

As within most things, I value the semiotics of photographs. Our visual environment is loaded with signs and symbols and I believe an image is the perfect opportunity to exploit semiotics to the fullest. They offer a narrative, are a source of emotional reaction in the viewer, they support an image’s meaning, make it relevant and give it sustenance and character. There is a quote that made an impression on me years ago while I was attending hair cutting classes at Bumble & Bumble in NYC years ago. Hung up through a wall of books read “Without history, there is no future”. Everything has an origin, a history to be known and acknowledged. Knowledge is the key to sustainability. As is putting intention and meaning into our daily practices.

For centuries, flowers have been used to transmit messages through images, a dried flower accompanying a letter or simply through an offered flower arrangement. The origin of flower symbolism goes back to ancient Japan where the practice is referred to as hanakotoba. Flowers are seen in paintings dating back to the early renaissance. Each flower carefully chosen for its significance. Flowers also remind us of the ephemeral quality of the living experience. This too shall pass but the image remains. I have been interested in Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Asides from the significance of flowers used , creatively put together by a person following certain rules of the practice, ikebana is a form of spiritual practice as it connects the artist with nature and engenders a meditative state, often in silence.

where still life and human subject meet..

playing with images of still lives within the image, extravagant almost clownish costumes.

Set design

dreamy surreal space, accompanied by a few abstract, absurd, perhaps disproportionate props. Feeling of models being in a space, not necessarily a defined, recognizable one.

model lighting and posing

Lighting is on the harder side, prominent shadows.

Model is positioned at a 30-90 degree angle from the camera, with the head tilted or straight somewhere around 2 or 10 o’clock, looking straight , or towards the camera. I want to give the model a kind of softness, a feeling of introversion, pensiveness yet still engaged with viewer.

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