The shot: Airtight
Photographer: slave to the lens
I usually sketch out ideas, some rough and some fully fleshed out. Like many of my more unusual images, this was done as a trade shoot. I shot promo work for this musician under the condition that he do two of my sketches, of my choosing. With this one, I kept him in the dark (after an initial conversation to determine whether it would be in his wheelhouse). I did this because I wanted catch the initial bewilderment of waking up to such an absurd situation without his over-thinking it for weeks before — and I think this reads well in his eyes.
This particular idea was born from a trip buying props for a film I was propping, and the fact that the blow-up doll was elderly just made it a must shoot. Her teeth are on the nightstand.
The Camera was a Canon 50D, with a 17-85 zoomed out, shot as wide and positioned as high as possible, and the aperture is f/3.5. I put the camera wide and high because it’s such a great way to lay shame bare, just like a security camera. It felt voyeuristic.
The lighting is a bare Hensel 500 head, blasting off camera low-ish, like mid-morning sun after the marine layer burns off — just hard reality. But, I should have changed the clock. I hate missing details!
I’m not great at post, but this was pretty straightforward. I did some sharpening and carving highlights and shadows. I muted most of the warm tones down a good bit to make it colder and starker, like waking with a hangover.
I may revisit it and bring a bit more blue in from the window, but I largely move on after saving an image. While there are plenty of subtle things I’d change, I still like it. The actor did fine work and overall I’m pleased. It seems to get laughs and second glances, so I’d say mission accomplished.