This is the second installment of our collaboration swap project and things are going to get a little…weird.
Whenever John and I talk about this project we always complain about how hard it is. We have to keep telling each other that even if our piece sucks, we gotta keep doing it, because that’s how we grow and get better. Despite how frustrating this project can be, I’m glad we’re doing it. I’ve started to become more excited while working on this project.
The photo below is what i did for the first part of the project and the story is what John wrote based on this photo.
“Diana had warned me that her photo was “weird” this time around, and I said that was fine because my writing for her was likewise weird. All the same, I wasn’t expecting the photo Diana sent, and that excited me. Still, I didn’t know what to do for a long time. What kind of feelings did this picture give me? It’s hard to say–I had impressions of a children’s television show, but I didn’t want to just describe the photo or take it too literally. The glowing box made me feel like an entity giving me a mysterious gift and the background resembled outer space, so once again I had impressions of the progenitors of life–but what was the gift? It was only after a night spent feeling disconnected from other people that I realized what this entity was trying to give me, what it was trying to help me realize.”
For this photo I wanted to incorporate my interest for crafting with photography to create a magical scene. I’ve had this idea in my head for a while, but due to poor time management, it didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted it too. I spent most of the time creating the weird doll by needle felting wool so when I was finally done with that I had to rush to put everything together. Originally, I was going to light up the scene with a flash, but that didn’t work too well, so eventually I decided to light paint the scene with a small finger light. I attached it to a piece of wire so my hand wouldn’t be in the frame and covered the lens every time I needed to move the light. The floating ball of light in the doll’s hands was also that flash light (no photoshop for that!). While this photo isn’t the best I could do, I do like it, but I definitely want to redo it later.
The story below is what John did for the first part of the project and the photo is what I photographed based on his story.
“I wanted to do something very different from the first piece of writing that I sent Diana for our initial swap. At first, I was going to write something analytical, like something you’d read in a science magazine. I wanted to write about insects–in particular, I wanted to discuss the biology behind compound eyes. When I sat down to write that piece, however, I found that I wasn’t as inspired as I originally thought; instead, I was inspired by a friend who just sent me a picture of some king crab legs he had eaten. So I ended up writing a poem about the California king crab (also called the spiny king crab) and ended the poem with brief thoughts on the progenitors of life on this planet. Still weird, so it fit the initial bill rather well. In this case, then, Diana’s photo is inspired by my poem, which is itself inspired by a photo…rather meta, don’t you think?”
I was happy when I received John’s poem because it had a lot more visual elements than the last one, so I was able to come up with an idea rather quickly. The only problem was I don’t think I had the skill set to pull off the idea in a way that would make me happy, so I had to come up with an alternative. After reading John’s poem many many times (I basically have it memorized now) I came up with this. For this photo I cut out a silhouette of a crab and made a diver and shark out of clay, which I suspended from string and wire. Then I back lit everything with a flash. I thought of adding some fill light in post production so the clay figures would stand out a bit more, but I liked how the darkness made everything more ominous looking.