Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

When Photography goes it’s way…

with 5 comments

This week I was working on a Striptiz portrait of Simon Žižek. He’s excellent sound engeneer, who studied in Edinburg and he’s working with best artists in Slovenia like Laibach or with one of best theater directors Matjaž Bergerand he’s the sound man at Rock Otočec. Really great guy. 

 So I have a brief to do his portrait for Striptiz rubric. OK. Sound and silence are two hardest things to photograph. So I’m thinking big, bigger, big bang…

First I had an idea: OK he will search order in chaos of sound. If I visualize sound chaos I see a picture of traffic during rush hour. When I think of order in sound I see apicture of metronome. Good. How can we combine it. After few days of thinking I visualized a picture of him on a sidewalk inside a shaft, with metronome in one hand and microphone in other hand, recording sound of a feet. Why shaft? To bring him comfortably on the ankle level. I was quite happy with the idea, but… This morning I felted it’s too complex, dispersing viewer’s attention on unimportant details.

So I came out with second idea, that he’ll record silence and when I visualize listening silence I see somebody listening how grass is growing. OK he’ll record sound of a flower in the middle of grassfield.

An hour before I start shooting I passed a road construction yard and there it was a roller mashine that it’s very heavy and it’s used to roll a road. That’s really loud mashine I imagined and now at 19:00 it’s dead quiet. When I see silence I see it much more vividly with roller then I see it with grass. OK. So let’s shoot it with roller under moonlight.

When Simon and myself arrived on the spot I carefully looked at the roller and it didn’t look atractive too me. Still too much conotations I thought and still too much to think about “what artist wanted to say”. Simplify, simplify,…

None the less I started to frame the picture. And I start looking at this cornfield and under moonlight it looked really appealing. I did a test shot and I was right. It looked so good! OK. Final adjustment of the concept. Only Simon, corn and sky. I was also thinking inside the cornfield, but flat 2D composition was better. But already at the set I felt that the scenario of him recording silence is a bit compelled, but I ask him to do it anyhow. The element that makes the picture is cornleafes on the moonlight sky. I was quite happy with the result.

When I came home and I look at them on the screen there was not enough silence on the picture no1 and again I started to panic I need to reshoot the whole thing! I looked all the pictures and I noticed a picture that was shot as a test and on it was plenty of silence! I emailed my dear friend JeanChristoph in Brooklyn and his opinion was exactly the same. Both of us loved picture no 2,  the one with closed eyes and the absence of moonlight makes picture even more silent and it works in a very unpredictable way. I never shot a picture like that! I love it. It’s one of those moment when photography goes it’s way.

simon zizek 1 picture no. 1

Simon Zizek 2 picture no. 2

In Fabrica we had a note on the wall, that was written probably by Oliviero Toscani. “Don’t be loath to discard your beutiful and complex ideas with more simple ones. When you’ll do that, do it again and again and again and when it will be so simple that it will look like anybody could do that, only then you’ll know what God went through creating his first hydrogene atom and a leaf of grass.”

Written by Borut Peterlin

3 October, 2006 at 23:56

5 Responses

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  1. You’re on to something about simplicity. I completely agree. If something is simple it usually means it’s as good as it gets.

    No.1 is actually pretty loud. 🙂


    4 October, 2006 at 01:05

  2. So Do you agree with me that picture no. 2 is better? Quieter?


    4 October, 2006 at 06:16

  3. I do. No. 2 is better although still not completely silent. I can hear the corn.


    4 October, 2006 at 09:46

  4. Fenomenalnih 400 dnevnih ogledov dnevno, pa 1 komentar… To bo treba spremenit! 😉

    Hjam, če bi bral tole vajino pisanje brez, da bi prej pogledal fotke in prebral blog, bi verjetno…ne, verjetno…ZAGOTOVO bi mislil, da se vama je zmešalo! Ampak ok, pustmo to misel nekomu, ki tega dejansko ni storil…
    In ja, moram se popolnoma strinjat z vama… Prva fotka je glasna, preglasna. Že Wilde je v Salomi ugotavljal, kako je čudna, pa krvava, lepa in kot vidimo včasih tudi kričeča…
    Na drugi fotki si jo lepo ubil s flešem i s tem zamrznil svetlobo in tišino… Well done!

    p.s. Kaj pa Jean počne? Filmi še vedno?

    Matjaž T.

    4 October, 2006 at 22:26

  5. I have been checking out many of your posts and i can claim pretty nice stuff. I will surely bookmark your blog.


    16 February, 2021 at 18:22

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