Friday, July 6, 2012

Under The Never Sky


Under The Never Sky, originally uploaded by margotwood.
Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi is the latest young adult novel that truly inspired me, well one scene in particular.

This is a dystopian / romance / survival story set in the future where most people live in pods, protecting them from the outside, savage world. Aria, the young protagonist, gets thrown out of her pod and left to fend for herself in the wild "outside." Along the way, she meets a native outsider, Perry, who agrees to help me find her way back home.

That is the plot in its most simplistic, basic terms.

There is a scene in this book, in chapter 18, that really stood out among the rest to me. No it wasn't the action scenes, or the vast descriptions of lightning storms, it was the simple scene where Perry teaches Aria how to tell if berries are poisonous.

It is a calm, sensual and sexy scene - and as a outdoorswoman/hiker myself, I really appreciated how Veronica Rossi turned a basic survival skill into something HOT. So, kudos to Miss Rossi!

Since this scene stuck with me, I thought I would do a photo inspired by it. Since there are three things Perry tells Aria to do with a berry to tell if it's poisonous, I felt it would make a perfect 3-part photo, which I'm calling a triptych (thanks AP art history!).

The hardest part about achieving this piece was the middle photo, the touch part. The lens I use is a closeup lens, and I was struggling with using the tripod, remote and getting far enough away so the camera could auto focus. This one is probably my least favorite of the three, but overall I'm actually really quite proud of this mostly because of the lighting. Most of my photos have such rich, deep contrasts and while these do as well, they also have a certain lightness I think works well.

If I could redo these photos, I would. I would take them in an actual forest to get the color scheme that I feel would fit the book better, but unfortunately, I live in New York City, so I had to just make do with what I had and decide to instead do closeups, and focus on the sensuality of the moment rather than the accuracy of location.

I hope you enjoy these fauxtos and if you've read the book, would love to hear what you think! (And if you haven't.....)

12 comments:

  1. I love this. It takes me right back to that scene in the woods. I really love the messiness of it all. The blackberry smeared on her arm and fingers, her lips stained with juice. My favorite is def the third one. It really heightens the heat of that moment.:0)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't read the book, but I adore triptychs, and this one is particularly striking! The close focus really punches up the images; I feel arrested. The second and third photos are my favorites, but I love how each one works the same elements (lips/cheeks, hand/wrist, berries) into new meaning.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, gorgeous! You've nailed the sensuality of that scene and how those berries would seem irresistible to a Pod dweller like Aria.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm in the market for a new camera and I'm just wondering what you use? And I love your photographs! They always inspire me to read the books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous! I'm glad I can inspire someone to read the books! I consider my job done then.

      I shoot on a Nikon D7000. I have three different lenses I use, but for this shot I used a 50mm fixed Nikkor lens. If you're looking to get a new camera, I highly suggest checking out this website/blog, it's highly regarded as THE place to go for unbiased camera reviews by a great photographer. It's what I reference all the time! http://kenrockwell.com/

      Delete
  5. Is there a finish on Photo Shop that you used for these photos? The colors are AMAZING and the way the photos look make me want to touch up my wedding photos! Thanks! Also, general comment, I love your site! I am a YA librarian and your photos always do great job of portraying the characters and events from the books. I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! For these photos (and for most of mine) I only work with natural light and since I knew I wanted a softer light, I waited until just before dusk when the natural light is nice and soft. I did not shoot these in direct light either. In Photoshop, I lightened things slightly with the exposure (very slightly) and then reduced the saturation lightly as well - that way the tones would be subtler.

      Also, the best way to achieve this kind of look is with a great lens. I used a 50mm fixed Nikkor lens which is, in my opinion, one of the best natural light portrait lenses out there. It gets great detail, definition without blowing colors out.

      Lighting is tricky, and no matter how good you are at Photoshop, if you took the photo is bad lighting, nothing will change that. It is imperative that you're lighting be exactly right when you're shooting. Everything else is easier to fix in Photoshop if you've started out with a good base! I hope that helps and feel free to shoot me any more technical questions!

      Delete
  6. Love, Love, Love this! That was one of my favorite scenes too! Thanks for sharing this! I just posted a review about this book and someone shared your post with me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. These work so well, even the touch one, which you're not a huge fan of. They're just beautiful, and totally work for that scene!

    They also make me think of The Hunger Games a little bit. :-p

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ok so this one is just perfect. You know this is one of my fave series ever ( I need to know if you have read TTEN yet because I am dying to have like an in depth conversation about it since I read it in freaking like August) but this scene is such a small one but it is one that also really stood out to me as well. It was just such a small, tender moment. And now I'm going to freaking find this passage in the book and read it again.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You're amazing. These are incredible and capture the scene perfectly. I think I'm in love with your work. No, wait. I *know* I'm in love with your work. :) Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete