Week 7: Work in Progress

This article is a follow up on my previous one Nude vs Naked & Work in Progress.

In the article I was comparing my indoor and outdoor photographs and noting that the ones taken in my apartment are more unique. Read it here: https://www.lucie-photography.com/post/week-6-nude-vs-naked-work-in-progress

I have decided to combine the outdoor environment with props and style I normally use indoors. Last weekend I managed to do a first photo session focused on this idea. The photos as you see them look nothing like I originally imagined. I wanted to use a very plain environment (an empty or not too overgrown field) where I would set up my so called pedestal (an empty wine barrel) and throw a blanket over it. My original intention was to use a simple surrounding. The image would look cleaner and the pedestal (on which I would be posing) would be more visible. I planned to make myself look like a sculpture (abandoned sculpture in the nature).

I headed to the same location where I have already been before. However, I should have kept in mind that it might look completely different there a month later. It did - the plain field turned into a field heavily covered by crops and it was really unsuitable for executing my idea. Well, lesson learned.

There I was standing and thinking – time for improvisation!

Next to the crop field there was a field with wheat (perhaps?). It looked quite plain and I still wanted to use my wine barrel with the red blanket in the same way I planned. It did not work. With no surprise the blanket kept getting caught on top of the plants. I could not flatten the plants as I did not want to cause any damage to them. Instead I noticed that the blanket looked like it was levitating above the field. I came up with these poses that seemed to emphasise the setting of the props. I am quite pleased with the result – a body on a levitating blanket. These are the results:

Lucie Nechanicka, 2020 These two photos are quite close to my original idea in terms of the style and posing. But as I mentioned it would look better if the surrounding was less ‚messy‘ and the blanket flatter.

Lucie Nechanicka, 2020 In this photograph (the right one) I was experimenting with my facial expressions. I have noticed that in the majority of my work I tend to repeat the same expression – as if I am not present and additionaly have my eyes closed. I will get back to this later.

Now I wanted to look more engaged. As if someone/something disturbed me and I looked around, rather unpleasantly surprised, to see the intruders and confront them.

Lucie Nechanicka, 2020 What is the reason behind me closing my eyes? First of all, I never know how to make my face look ‚good‘ in the photographs, I very often find my face funny and it ruins the whole picture. I figured out the easiest solution to get rid off the ‚funny face‘ is to close my eyes. Then the photographs have more dreamy appeal.

I also find it more bearable to look at myself in the photographs if the eyes are shut. Because I do not recognize me for myself as much as if the eyes are open. Therefore I feel less confronted by the sight of me.

Just to be clear – I am not ashamed of what I do. The reason I feel uncomfortable seeing the‚real me‘ in the photos might be rather something subconcious. Perhaps connected to self awareness and social expectations how people should look and act.

I like the ‚closed eyes‘ look, however, knowing I do it very often I decided to experiment with other facial expressions.

Lucie Nechanicka, 2019 In the last article I also mentioned that the creation process (the shoot itself) is equally important as the final result. I decided to start taking backstage photos of the shoot and display them alongside with the finished photos. For the viewers to experience the photo session in a similar way I did.

The first photo: Crack opening a can of cider is a good start of a photo session! (Yes, we cleaned up after ourselves!)

The second photo: My glorious return from the field as sun is hitting the horizon.

Backstage photographs, 2020

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