As part of the A-level I've been embarked on, I've been working on a project based around the theme "Boundaries". In light of the recent goings on with completely innocent photographers being tarnished with the "terrorist brush" (see numerous articles on the BJP for example - here, here or here), I chose to focus on the suspicious nature of people, and how often their snapshot vision of a scene is interpreted in a completely incorrect manner. So I decided that to try and highlight this flaw, I was going to shoot a series of potential crimes in progress, in various locations, with different models and lighting. I garnered a rather alarming looking list of possible offences, and tried to construct scenes in my head and then on paper for how I would like the result to look. These images are the final selection that I have submitted as part of my coursework.
This is the final image I'm doing in this series for a while. It's part of my A-level coursework, and I feel that I've got enough for the time being. Some are far from perfect, and I'd really like to do a few again, and have ideas for a few more. However, it's time to call it a day as far as the coursework is concerned, and get the workbook & prints sorted out.
So for the final image, it was very interesting to hear & see people's reaction to the topic and the image. In the interests of ambiguity, I decided that in this image, I didn't want any faces in the frame. So I decided to place the female model on the ruffled bed with just her legs showing and the male leaving the room with his back to the camera. I put one SB900 in the corner of the room, camera left diffused and angled towards the top corner of the room so that it reflected back into the room. I applied a couple of red gels, though I had a devil of a time getting the room to turn red when the flash fired. If I put too much power through the flash, then I tended to end up with a pinky colour. If I reduced the power from the flash, then I got red, but not a great deal of light. I tried adding another red filter, and this helped a little, but not much. I then put another SB900 and a shoot through umbrella outside the room aiming in to try and silhouette the male. I also applied some red filters to this light. As you'll see from the image below, which is straight out of the camera, I've had to do quite a bit in post.
The crime in case you are interested was rape. As soon as I told people this is what I was doing, there many reactions voiced, the majority of which were of a shocked and disapproving tone. Had I said that the scene was murder, then the reaction would have been totally different. Just an observation.
For the next image in my Crime? series, I wanted to do something drug related. I fixed a few ideas in my head as to how I envisaged the final scene, though I had a few problems deciding how I'd get drugs of some kind into the scene, yet still maintain the degree of ambiguity around which the project revolves. Having done a little research, I put together a wrap of cocaine (icing sugar) and got some tobacco and large rizlas to use as my props, booked a hotel room at the Crowne Plaza by Manchester Airport with some Air Miles I've been accruing (I did try to blag it for a couple of hours, but they were having none of it!), and arranged to meet Amy there (the great model I used in this earlier shoot).
For both the images, the weather outside was so grey and drab that I made a decision to draw the curtains and just use a selection of the lights in the room combined with a couple of SB900s. For the first image (Amy sat at the desk), I positioned one strobe immediately to her left, on a stand with a shoot through umbrella wedged between the window and the desk. I popped another strobe camera right on the other side of the bed from Amy, so about 2 - 2.5 metres away from here with a snoot directed straight at her.
For the next image with Amy walking through the door into the room, I positioned a light and a shoot through umbrella just inside the bathroom door to her right, and another back camera right diffused just to try and boost the background light a little. I experimented quite a bit with this scene, but I think that the halo effect of the pin light in the ceiling reflecting off the door around Amy's head make this one.