Everything Counts

Last weekend I played around with some things I've always intended to be part of the black/white project — context. Most of my experimenting on approach, treatment, process, etc hasn't really been in any sort of location context which I plan on many different locations and context for the final output.

Early Sunday morning I had the opportunity to make a few pictures with Neesy so of course I wanted to try a few in context. I also wanted to go a bit more towards a wardrobe planned for the final work, something more couture-ish or at least faked as well as I could with what was on hand. We only spent a few minutes playing around with the "black" side of the black/white project. As usual my direction and choices were broad and limited leaving most of what the pictures felt like up to Neesy.

I figured out a few things I intended to about close quarters location and my overall approach. More importantly I re-learned a couple of things that prompted me to look back on all of the experimentation I've done so far to find an obvious commission. So far I've always played around with the "blackk" side of the project first with every collaborator. In every case I either worked exclusively on the black side alone or moved on to the ""white"* side if experimenting with both afterwards.

About a half hour after messing around in the kitchen Neesy and I had time to make some pictures for a completely different project — The Marilyn Project. Take a look at the very first exposure test shot below. I'll call this The Neesy Effect from now on as a way to remind myself of unintended consequences caused by patterns I might develop by accident.

Notice anything? A flavor carried over from what we made in the kitchen a half hour before? I certainly do. Everything counts; Wardrobe, props, location, context, all of it. I've been so focused on all of those things in the here and now while experimenting with approach for the project I've not thought about the pattern I developed of black first, white second and how that is influencing exactly what I am attempting to portray.

While I've largely figured out an overall approach for various circumstances I do have to run a few more experiments of reversing that unintended pattern with some of my collaborators for the longer term project. That pattern obviously has an effect. Is it a universal effect that manifests itself the same way? How is this going to alter my approach when taking the project to locations I have in mind? This is largely the kind of thing I want to understand prior to finalizing how all of it comes together and the reason for all the experimentation. In many cases I learn a lot more than what I intended to learn in the first place.

End Notes

Some observations I've found interesting while working on The Marilyn Project over on Medium.com. The entire project that I'm about halfway through has been made with the Fuji XT-1.

First Frame Follow-Up