Monday, February 2, 2015
This is the first in a series of photographs inspired by the young adult novel THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton - one of the most beautiful and well-written books I have ever read in my entire life. This is the kind of book photographers like me dream about because it is so insanely visual and lyrical. If you haven't read this book, I cannot stress enough how much you need to read this amazing work of art. Because that's what the book is. It's art. Now, onto the fauxto....
I am planning on taking several fauxtos inspired by this book. Each image will depict very specific characters or moments in the story and in this shot, I am portraying Fatina Inês and this exact sentence from the book:
"When the priest set the host upon the rose of the young Fatima Inês's tongue, however, the holy wafer burst into flame."
No bodies of Christ were harmed in the making of this fauxto, but a few rice crackers did get eaten. To get this shot, I had to do it in two parts: first, photograph some fire(!!!) and then photograph Fatima receiving the holy host.
You know what's a pain in the ass to photograph? Flames. It is really difficult to capture detail when doing macro fire photography and to be quite honest, I don't really have the equipment capable of getting incredibly detailed close ups, so I had to just work with what I got...which was a Wood Wick candle, a tripod and my 35mm fixed lens. Oh yeah, and using my left hand to fan the flame so it would dance (dance you monkey! dance!) while also trying not to burn myself, my hair or my apartment down.
Next, I photographed myself eating some crackers. That was basically it. I asked The BF (aka The Darkling) to stand in as my "priest" and just hold the cracker on my tongue while I pushed the shutter release button down with my right hand. I am super profesh, you guys.
Then came the tedious part. Photoshopping the crap out of these flames because holy mother of all that is annoying is it hard to make flames on a cracker look realistic. I have three different versions of this fauxto. One where the flame was big and dramatic but had minimal detail, and one with a small, skinny flame that looked way more realistic. What I did was combine the two and make really, really tiny edits until I got it in a place that wasn't sucky.
Anyways, that's what you see here and I am pretty jazzed about it, but even more jazzed about the next fauxtos for this mini-series within a series. All I need to acquire for the next Ava Lavender shots are a pig's heart, some blue ashes, a dead canary and a set of incredibly realistic-looking wings that also happen to be 12ft long.
Check out The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton!
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Have suggestions for YA fauxtos? Share them with me in the comments below with any specific ideas you have in mind!
Labels: young adult