Abstracts And Body Language

Last weekend I spent four days with and old friend and a new one. I had no real plan or agenda for making pictures, at least not anything solid. In fact I had the intent to work on a completely different project should the opportunity and motivation present itself. As fate would have it Alice absolutely loved some of the hardware I had acquired for the black/white project so…


With a few hours to spare before dinner I thought a few experiments were in order. Turns out the hardware Alice liked was perfect in that it provoked some fairly distinct body language variations over time. A not so close inspection of the top image slice should give you an idea of how heavy-duty those cuffs and collar are. Pounds not ounces, in fact they're pretty scary. I insisted Tricia carry the keys as she's was the designated responsible adult for the long weekend.

The combination of weight and extremely restrictive movement seemed to cause a cycle of passive and active expression that were interesting. Even holding those manacles up for a bit was tiring. Something I started with early and refined a bit with the Fragments side project was abstract crops where I cut into my collaborators face at various points or excluded it entirely.

A couple of frames of those passive moments that happen to catch my eye right now. Contrast those to the more active cycle.

Those more active cycles varied even more so in the transition states between active and passive.

My initial feelings are that pairs of these work really well together and deserve a bit more exploration. My other thought with not a whole lot of distance between making these yet is that I think the frames where I included bits of mouth and lips are stronger than other variations I tried. I'll leave that open for now and take another look after some time passes. I'm not at a point where I want to exclude some of those variations consciously or sub-conciously when I make a few more of these.

A random variation where I included no facial bits at all. I like certain aspects of this as well but not quite as much as where I include the lower portion of the face. I went the other way as well by including a bit more.

For these abstracts I'm thinking that that's way to much to include and is far more of a portrait than what I have in mind for the abstract explorations.

End Notes

All photographs made with the Fuji XT-1 and 18-55 XF lens. I happened to use 35mm for all of the abstract framings on this occasion. Processing via Lightroom CC with VSCO FILM 06 TRI-X+1 applied on import.