Saturday, April 7, 2012

Across The Universe


Across The Universe, originally uploaded by margotwood.
This is the sixth in my series of photos inspired by young adult novels. The book that inspired this creepy shot is Across The Universe written by Beth Revis.

This sci-fi / dystopian novel is about a girl, Amy, who in the not-so-distant-future is cryogenically frozen along with a hundred other people and placed onboard a spaceship bound for a new Earth since the current one is not doing so well. She and the other frozen people are supposed to be woken up in 300 years, but Amy is unexpectedly woken up about 50 years too early and now Amy is stuck on that ship and mystery, murder and a budding romance ensue.

So why did I decide to do a photo for this novel? Well, the idea of doing a photo of a cryogenically frozen girl was just too good of a challenge to pass up. The scene where Amy is being frozen is raw, haunting and made me feel very, very cold. Literally, I think I had chills while reading it.

So if you read my earlier post you'll know that I had some trouble coming up with a way to execute this shot. The most important things to me were making sure that I got the blueness of the liquid correct, a tube that goes down Amy's throat and that Amy has red hair.

My original thoughts were to shoot this in a pool with a disposable underwater camera. I contacted my gym who has a pool and they were a little weirded out about having me reserve the pool all to myself so I nixed that idea. Next I thought about doing the shot in a bathtub, but I couldn't find a bathtub that was big enough. Then I thought about buying a giant aquarium and filling it up with colored water, but nixed that idea because it would be expensive. So finally I came up with a solution.

I decided to honor the beautiful color of this book and have Amy be lying down, like the black silhouetted girl on the cover. To get the frosted, frozen effect I took the glass from an 11x14 frame, wiped it down with blue Listerine and stuck it in the freezer for an hour. Once it was frozen, I took it out, where it promptly froze over the way I wanted it do when you take frozen glass into a warm room, and then held it in front of "Amy" and took the photo.

As for the tube. Well, I did contact a doctor about cryogenic freezing and what kind of tubes they would use. He said they'd most likely use something like an endotracheal tube in a size 7....whatever that means. After some googling, I realized I would never get my hands on such a tube unless I robbed a hospital and since I don't know any currently practicing doctors in the area, I figured I'd have to come up with an alternative.

So can you guess where I got the tube that's in this photo? It's from a pet store. It's the end of a blue tube that they use to pump water out of fish tanks! Cool huh? So in total, this photo cost me $20 to make and I could achieve from the comfort from my own apartment.

Seriously, never underestimate the power of creative problem solving.

But a big thanks goes to Beth Revis for writing such an inspiring novel! I hope this shot does the book justice!

21 comments:

  1. This is such an awesome photo!! I never would have thought it wasn't taken underwater :)

    I'm really impressed with all your photos, they ROCK!!

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  2. You have completely outdone yourself! Love it!

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    1. Thank you m'lady!! Now I have to figure out how to pull off a photo for Cinder....

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  3. Seriously! You pulled off the feel of this amazingly! Beautiful, yet, wow that tube, so creepy!

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    1. You should have seen me try to explain this photo to the woman at the pet store. I was like "I swear I'm not trying to kill anyone, this really is for a photo!"

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    2. HAHAH she should have seen the tweet where I said you Murdered me >.< now it fits even better!

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  4. Friggin awesome. Might be my new favorite. You captured Amy perfectly.

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    1. Thank you!! It took me awhile to get the right shade of red for her hair. Had to do a bit of red head research for this photo!

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  5. Reading about the process for this particular photo was especially inspiring! I never, never would've guessed that this was an shot underwater. The idea of Listerine on glass is so clever! And the pet store tube. Great work, and I can't wait to see the next one. :)

    (Psst: you left out the number in the first sentence. Is it fifth in the series?)

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    1. Ahh, thanks for catching that. The nice thing about having a bunch of book lovers and future authors follow these posts is they catch all my grammatical errors. Love it! :)

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  6. Wowsers...this picture is awesome! It is beautiful in a kind of creepy sort if way! I love the colors!

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  7. Margot, this is fantastic. The photo, the story behind it. I look forward to your posts each and every time!!

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  8. Wow, that's really amazing! You've captured the imagery from the book exactly. Really makes you think more about things from Elder's pov, huh?

    Thanks for sharing! I'll have to go check out your other photos!

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    1. Thanks! One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Elder first sees Amy. I like how he described it as just seeing a flash of red and then realizing it was Amy's hair. For some reason, that one moment really stood out to me and I wanted to create a photo of Amy from Elder's POV, so I'm thrilled you picked up on that as well!

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  9. Wow. Wow. WOW. I had initially been directed to your site from one of Revis's tweets about getting you to do a shot from Across the Universe and I've loved all the shots you've done for this series.

    But this one. IS. FANTASTIC. I sat here for 10 minutes, just staring at the shot. It's exactly how I picked it when I read the book, and the shade of blue is also pretty perfect. But I mainly love how simple it is. I had imagined more tubes attached to Amy, but this shot DEFINITELY does the story justice. It's creepy enough for you to want to know more, to go out and buy the book just to experience why this would be a scene in the novel. I'm going to get that book off my bookshelf when i get home and reread it again! EXCELLENT JOB! Can't wait to see what else you come up with in this series.

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    1. Sallie, you have no idea how much your comment brightened my day. You know, I thought about adding more tubes to Amy as well but I had the same thought too that simplicity would be better. Beth's writing style while descriptive, was also simplistic and had a beautiful quality to it even when she was describing something horrific, like when Amy wakes up and yanks the tubes out of her throat.

      Have you read the second one in the series yet? I haven't gotten around to it, but maybe I should do a follow up photo for the next book in the series....Any ideas?

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  10. ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!!!
    Lady you just got yourself a new stalker!!! *cough* ME *cough*

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    1. I don't know if it's socially acceptable to adore one's stalkers, but I don't care. Social standards be damned, I adore thee Priya! :) Got any good book recommendations for photos?

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  11. So creepy and perfect for the book. Also, that model is amazing, because just thinking about what I was posing for would send me into a fear spiral. Those scenes in Across the Universe are physically painful to read. Nice work!

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  12. I loved this book so much, it took me a long time to write the review because I wanted to say something more articulate than, "Gah! Loved! Woo!" and other rambling exclamations.

    Nice photo!

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