It was the first sunny day in weeks, so I grabbed the opportunity to go and shoot for this final assignment. The makeup took longer than the trial run and I seemed to battle a bit this time, but in the end I think I got it to work. This time I had the proper fake blood which worked really well. It stayed wet, but was sticky to the touch and held its drips very well.
I lugged all my equipment along in case extra lighting was needed, but I managed to shoot with natural light which was a bonus. Navigating with camera equipment across wet logs, stumps and narrow pathways was tricky. My husband was hampered by the mask he work which allowed very limited vision and I slipped on a mossy root and managed to do a face plant with my camera in my hand. Thankfully I managed to keep the lens up so no damage there!
I think I’m going to go with a series of 3 images. The first I’ll call “The Stalker”, the second, “The Shooter” and the last “Trophy Photo”. I have whittled down the first two photos, but still need to make a decision for the final image, which will be one of these below. Comments most welcome.
So to begin with I dabbed a touch of liquid latex to my son’s forehead and then proceeded to layer bits of torn tissue covered by latex to form the prosthetic. Each layer has to dry properly and a hair dryer becomes very handy at this stage. Once all the layers have been built up, I then proceeded to poke hole with a sharp nail scissors in the middle of the prosthetic – this is the difficult bit as you can’t really feel how deep you are going and I didn’t want to cut into my son! Once that was done, I proceeded to widen the hole to an approximate bullet hole size. I then applied black grease paint to the inside of the hole to give it depth. Then I applied foundation to the prosthetic to blend it with the surrounding skin. It was at this stage that I realised that I’d made the prosthetic a little too big as it was crinkling around the edges just above my son’s eyebrows. Next time I shall know to make it smaller.
The next step was to apply some red grease paint in and around the wound. Then I added touches of green and yellow to reflect bruising and basically kept playing with the paints until I thought it looked realistic. Unfortunately I hadn’t been able to purchase fake blood at the store, so I tried a red cream, but that was a little too orange for my liking. I tried mixing in a little black to deepen the shade, but the black was too overwhelming. After much trial and error and dropping the card I was using as pallet to mix the red and black, only to discover the card had landed face up between my butt and the side of the chair I was sitting on, covering my pants in grease paint, I eventually was satisfied with my result.
The different stages of building this make up are documented in the gallery below. All I need to do now is source some viscous fake blood.
I made good use of an open window of a few rain free hours today and went location scouting for a suitable forest in which to shoot my final assignment. There is one forest just around the corner from where I live that I’m quite familiar with and which has a nice open space for lighting and such paraphernalia but it is a well beaten path and I’d prefer to find a location where I’m don’t have to contend with looky-loos.
So I ventured up the road and up to the knoll and came across a location that looked as if it might be suitable. I couldn’t see in so that was a good sign. Although the forest (Kealy Woods Park) is surrounded by houses and a school, it was rather deserted.
I followed a few paths through the forest, taking photos of interesting angles which could be potential locations for some of the shots I’m planning. As I got deeper into the forest I noticed that there was a huge rock outcrop in the centre. I managed to clamber down the path over tree roots and logs and came to the bottom of the cliff. Immediately the scene from the Lion King came to mind where the lion is on top of the rocky outcrop surveying his kingdom. This spot was quite remote and offered some space for lighting equipment. Not that I have much of that. I’ll mainly be using my flash on a lightstand, and reflectors, if needed. The natural light was quite beautiful, even though I was there in the middle of the day. So early morning or evening will be even better with some longer shadows. I retraced my steps and found the path leading to the top of the rocky outcrop and found a good spot for a downwards looking angle.
So I think I’ve found my quiet location I was looking for. I didn’t come across a single soul while I was there. Some of the photos I took can be seen in the gallery below – they are basically straight out the camera, only some highlight/contrast and clarity adjustments were made.
I had identified my subject for this assignment quite a while ago. My theme is going to be “anti-hunting/anti-poaching”, but I plan on giving it a bit of a twist. I was inspired by the TV series “Zoo” where animals go on the rampage and start hunting humans. I am constantly sickened by the photos of poached rhinos or elephants, hunted for their tusks and pointless game hunting, which are shared with me by friends and family back in South Africa. I started to contemplate what would it look like if the shoe was on the other foot, or if you (the human) were me (the animal)…
Initially I thought I would just do one photo, but I am now leaning towards a short series. I will have to see where my intuition takes me.
As the narrative will be totally fictional, I will be emphasising that by photographing in non-indigenous spaces. I couldn’t justify a quick trip to the savannah pleins of Africa to do this shoot.
So on my to do list is to scout out a suitable forest location. I’m looking for some place that has a bit of open space where I can spread out my lighting equipment and preferably where there isn’t much foot traffic. I think I will also need a bit of dense forest as well. Luckily there is no shortage of forests where I live, so this is the easy part.
I also have to procure either a real or a good fake rifle to use. I will most probably go the route of a toy rifle as I don’t want to have to get involved with gun permits and so on. This will also allow me the flexibility of being able to go back and reshoot as I need without having to have the gun’s owner tag along.
I have acquired an animal’s facial mask and I think I can get away with only using the face mask. I can dress my husband up in hunting clothes to compensate for the animal fur, without losing any translation in the message that I hope to bring across. Thankfully I can use my family members as models for this assignment.
I will also need to research how to do bullet hole makeup. I have watched a couple of youtube videos on this and it seems to be something that I can do fairly easily so I’ll do some practice shots of that as well.