Smoke to glue a dance together

September 08, 2010  •  Leave a Comment

In this post I wanted to write about how we created the Dance of Life shoot which I've just put online. This shoot is continuation on the earlier Wild Hunt shoot with Annicke, but with a slightly (and literally) darker theme.

Both shoots were actually taken on the same day, but we wanted to take some extra time for post processing. During that time I tried a variety of conversion styles to get from original RAW's to the JPG pictures, and we ended up liking two completely different sets of end results.

Both styles are present in the end result. The first series of photos use slightly desaturated color tones for the skin. The remainder of the photos were created by a selective black and white conversion, keeping a distinct tone of blue intact. By tweaking the white balance of the originals this resulted in a beautiful almost black-light effect on the bodypainted lines.

However, just putting them together would cause an abrupt change of style, and lack consistency. I decided on using the poem Annicke wrote for the set as a basis:

 

" Pure emotion of the human body
Movements tell about a single caress
Recognition of all that is in me
All that leaks out of my heart;
They leave burning marks on my skin
As I dance the dance of life "

 

For me this poem speaks of the dance of life as the path though life everyone takes, a never ending dance from birth to death, though that still might be a bit hard to visualize in one set of pictures. I therefore took the liberty of re-interpreting it as a more abrupt transformation: the dance depicts a shamanistic dance to guide the dancer from the human realm to a ghost/spirit realm. Using smoke effects we created a series of pictures in which the dance slowly evokes smoke, which then transforms the body from one realm to another. The smoke itself was added using multiple layers of available public domain smoke textures*, each recolored and transformed to the movements of the dance. The final result hopefully shows this transformation.

 

* I really appreciate that sites such as "Lost and Taken" exist. Amongst all pay-for-each-item commercial stock sites these can be really helpful when creating something without any budget.

 


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Ork de RooijOrk de Rooij

Ork is een fotograaf uit Utrecht. Hij vond zijn passie in fotografie van mensen, zowel tijdens evenementen of juist in de studio. Ork staat bekend om zijn gedreven aanpak, waarbij hij open staat voor innovatieve ideeën die zowel het model als de fotograaf verder brengen in het maken van de perfecte foto.

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