Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No Pain, No Gain.

It's what we hear often, usually some form of sporty person will say it, with a bloody nose after colliding with something. He'll often be holding a trophy to prove his point.

What you don’t tend to see is his opponent, also bleeding, but sobbing with his head in the dirt. He felt pain, and gained nothing. But that is a different story.

So why do I mention pain when I should be talking about photography? And yes, physical pain not emotional. Photography is indeed all about emotional pain, that you can take my word for.

Let me now explain. I want to photos that are technically challenging. I'm not satisfied with my work at the moment, simply because there are others, tons of others, who can do what I can. They can often do it better than me. This is perfect motivation to push the envelope.

So I have this concept for a shoot, it involves fire. I could easily reproduce the outcome in Photoshop. But that is just cheating, besides, others can do it. To make sure this concept is sound, I needed to test it since I would really feel bad if I burnt and maimed my beautiful model.

I think I might make a good general, I wouldn’t send my troops into something I wasn’t prepared to go into myself. Random side note.

I called up my friend and fellow photographer, Cuan, and asked if he could take some images of me setting myself on fire. He was at first confused. But after my model asked the same request, he decided it would be fun, if not strange.

Now when I started this blog, my aim was to broadcast my experiences, to teach those willing to follow. This little experience taught me a lot.

First. PLAN!

Second. Do Not Play With Fire! Unless you know exactly what you are doing. I did. I've had experience with pyrotechnics and was trained. I still came off second best.

Third. Something small in your plan fails. FIX IT. Do not try to cut corners so that you don't require that part of your plan. If it was part of your original plan, then you DO NEED IT.

I'm not going to give you the technical details of how I did this, mainly because I do not want people with no experience trying to reproduce this concept and ending up in hospital or worse.

I now know a lot more planning, and fail-safes need to to be added before I do this again. And I need to come out without burns before I'd consider putting my friend and model in risk of any form.

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