Under The Lens

During one hot sticky Sunday in June,  I met with photographer Angela Jimenez and her lovely assistant Cantina for the Sign Post photo shoot.   We met on the street outside of the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX).  When I saw them, I immediately felt at home.   I was eager to get started, though a bit nervous about the whole thing.

Angela and I were back and in forth over the last fewl weeks conceptually mapping out the imagery for the shoot.  Each and every time, I came up with abstract images that seem to lead to a theme of self reflection.  As a listened to every song on the CD,  I was looking for the big picture and that’s what spoke to me.   When I stepped back and looked at it as a whole, it became very clear.

The night before I was asked to bring in props and so I went on a scavenger hunt for objects that we could build different scenes around.  I went to Enchantments, one of the largest stores of its kind in New York, looking objects I could use.    I left with one Crystal Ball and 4 pumpkin colored candles encased in glass.  I combed the streets in the East Village and came upon a novelty store and found a vintage hand held mirror.  We made good use of all of them.

There were a few prominent images that we built our theme under namely: The Veiled Woman, reflection of Eyes In The Mirror and Martina Under Candlelight.


The Veiled Woman

Angela has an amazing eye for detail.  And you could tell she was literally building a scene from scratch, but it worked.  The Veiled Woman was an image of me at the center of the universe.  The effective use of the light made me appear as if I was being beamed up to an alien ship through a funnel of light surrounded by celestial objects.  All of this was done by carefully veiling me through a colorful scarf with careful use of light at the right angles.  I have not yet decided yet but this image screams of the album cover itself.

The origin of the Veiled Woman was inspired by an image I saw the Internet.  It was an opaque image of a woman’s face thinly veiled by a silk scarf.  You could carefully see the outline of her face.  We re-created something similar but went the additional mile of creating a vortex of light with me at the center.


The Crystal Ball

There were several shots of me posing with a Crystal Ball but the money shot are two photos: one that is an upside down photo of me inside of the Crystal Ball while I’m holding it right side up.  It’s a photo of opposites.  During the second image, the camera instead focuses on me instead of the Crystal Ball.


Eyes in the Mirror

Eyes in the Mirror is an interesting trick of capturing reflections through mirrors.  Through the use of two mirrors and careful positioning, Angela photographed the reflection of me instead of me directly.  It was an interesting concept because I was one of the ideas we spoke about a few months ago.   During an Internet search, I came upon the eye of Horus and I was quite intrigued by this Egyptian symbol.  During my scavenger hunt, I was actually looking for the eye of Horus but came up empty handed in terms of objects so we decided to create the effect ourselves through mirrors.

I had always wanted to work with mirrors.  The technique involved careful positioning the two mirrors at the right angles to capture both the light and my eyes exclusively and it worked.


Martina Under Candlelight

Our first attempt was to create an altar with me at the center.  We settled by using just candlelight candlelight to illuminate the canvas, mainly myself.  The room was pitch black with only the pumpkin color light in the backdrop.  Dark Caverns was playing in the background for effect and I felt like I was in the stillness of the night.  It was a very serene scene.  The result were images of me sitting under campfire light.

We worked very hard that day for three hours but everything seemed to come together. I got a chance to see some of the outtakes of the shoot that day and I was very impressed.  We left with a plethora of images that I’m going to have fun working with as well as the designer.

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