Assignment 48: I Coulda Been A Contender
Okay, so I lied last week. Again I let myself procrastinate and didn't find a model. This week's assignment was to create an image of dejection, disappointment, and dreams fizzling out. Using light and shadow, composition and framing we were to illustrate the line “I coulda been a contender…” It was to be a very emotional photograph, one that will make us realize all that was lost and all that it means. Fortunately, that was the mood I was in. I was fresh from the funeral of a dear family friend, who passed away after a very brief illness. He was one of the good ones, someone that could always be counted on, and it hit a lot of us hard.
The image was to be black and white, and landscape orientation, which would fit across a full spread of a magazine with some room on one half of the image for text. Fortunately for me the shot did not have to be of a person… but a person had to be in the photograph to sell the viewer on the disappointment and sorrow of watching one’s dreams go up in smoke.
Hmmm...where to go with this one. After doing some image searches for inspiration, I decided to take the image to the height of desperation. I found a bottle of booze, gathered some pills, and set up a scene in my studio. Again I would play hand model...but it was better than being fully in the shot.
I shot the scene from overhead and kept to minimal lighting while making sure you could tell what everything was. I flagged off a softbox with a black card at the top of the image, so only half the light was getting into the scene. I also set up a light with a grid (which narrows the spread of the light) and bounced that off a white card to the left of the scene. The white card then illuminated the bottle of booze and some of pill bottles. I also wedged a small white card next to the camera to bounce some light down on my hands and the pills. After taking several shots with my hands in various positions, I converted the image to black and white and darkened the right side of the image further in Photoshop to allow for text that was discussed in the brief.
Next week's assignment is to shoot a covershot for an Industrial Magazine. I'm tempted to sneak over to the house next door to take some pictures of the big machines being used to do the construction...we'll see if I get that daring.