(All pics. snapped on 10/01/11)
When the owner of this amazing steel fabrication plant, offered it up to me as a potential venue for a new set of self-pics., I was positively beside myself with glee! Ya' see...recently, one of my beloved readers left a comment on the Labor (Day) of Love post - citing (and inquiring about) the fluidity of my poses in many of the pictures that I post - after which, I got it in my mind that maybe I oughtta try and swap out the curvy, willowy movements on which I (perhaps too often) rely - for poses more sinewy and harsh. And, what better place to attempt mimicking hard lines and sharp angles - than in a warehouse, not only constructed with - but also a storehouse for - the very quintessence of rigidity: unmalleable, heavy metal I-beams.
I arrived at the plant, late in the afternoon on a cold, rainy Saturday - and as the owner showed me around the vast space - my mind was agog as I tried to process the plethora of potential photo-ops, all right there at my disposal. I also knew though, that there was no time to delay - as the muted, diffused, natural light that filled the room just enough so that I could avoid turning on the overhead lights - would lose its intensity with each passing minute.
After settling on where and how to begin, the owner asked if I'd mind very much, if he stayed and watched while I worked. Feeling sincerely indebted to him for his generous offer to let me shoot there - naturally I said, "No, that's fine. But I will be naked...just so you know". (Dur) Here's the deal with that, though...it's not so much that I'm shy about my body (obviously) but more that snapping self-portraits in front of an audience (no matter how great or small) inevitably hinders my flow. Nothing against him personally, it's just that it's that much more difficult to get into any sort of a groove if I'm engaging in a running dialog, ya' know? Not to mention, naked or not - I definitely become uncharacteristically self-conscious while experimenting with what stuff works, and what doesn't - if the eyes of another are upon me. I'm a solitary artist, what else can I say...
It does bear mentioning however, that most of the images included in this post would never have come about, had the owner not suggested moving some of those heavy-ass, metal doohickies to different spots (and so kindly helped me do so) in order to get myself situated in places where I would not have been able to otherwise...like in the picture above, for example.
Sadly though, my excitement over being able to climb up and dangle from that crane, was short-lived. After reviewing each photo as soon as they were snapped, I realized that unless I could get myself into position and perfectly still in 10 seconds (which was nearly impossible since the chain always swung at least a leetle bit, once I grabbed onto it) - in that light with no flash - the images were doomed to be fuzzy. Adding to my chagrin, I had completely neglected to effect anything even remotely angular...and instead, absentmindedly resorted to poses that by now in my pics., have become a dime a dozen.
Although for the most part, I completely whiffed on tapping into the desired "angular" theme - I did (thankfully) manage to keep it in the forefront of my feeble mind for this "plank" set of pics....having latched onto the idea following an incident that occurred at my ex's office, the other day. My son performed this maneuver on top of his dad's desk - boasting, "Check it out, Mom. I'm the only kid in my class who can do this" which I of course, (correctly) interpreted to be some sort of challenge. As soon as I proved to him that his rickety, old mother could do it too, I started mulling over scenarios where it might just work in my pics....et voila!
When it came right down to it though, several factors made this image more difficult to capture than one might ever think...not to mention - slightly less than awesome:
1.) It's physically taxing to do this move, repeatedly. I mean, whenever people ask me what I do to stay in shape - and I answer honestly by saying, "I do no formal exercise because I'm too poor and have no time, but - my self-portrait shoots do sometimes require an enormous amount of exertion" - this is what I'm talking about when I say those types of things...
2.) Again with the holding perfectly still nonsense...I swear to goodness, if I even moved a fraction of an inch, my feet were completely blurred and obscured.
3.) Out of the 20 + times that I successfully got myself into the "plank" position - there were only two frames in which I was parallel to my perch. All of the other times my feet were either too high, or too low. Admittedly I can be overly o.c.d. about such details, nonetheless - it was still incredibly frustrating...
...and 4.) my insistence to feature as much of the scrummy back (and fore)ground in these pics., ultimately left me with the nagging feeling that my being in them was borderline pointless.
The locker pics. proved to be a continuation of my apparent inability to switch from typical, curvy autopilot poses - to the stiff, akimbo stances that I'd hoped to manifest - and I resorted instead, to the safe but gratifying race against my camera's 10 second timer.
(Just look at how filthy I got rolling around up there!)
By the time I snapped this last group of pics., my camera was balking at the lack of good light, and we were forced to switch on the overheads - which was fine - cuz surprisingly, I actually kinda liked the artificial light that they cast on me and the objects below. But only 9 frames in, juuust as the lamps were getting good and warmed up, my camera decided to quit.
I was to be going home (I believed) having failed to deliver, since I only marginally broke free from my usual drill. Adding insult to injury - I was shocked to discover, that I only snapped a paltry 80 pics....in what had felt like a far more industrious hour and a half.
There's this part of me that's super bummed, because evidently after all this time - I've inadvertently become conditioned to pose in an almost robotic-like manner...that I'm regrettably stuck in my ways, whether I care to accept it or not. And another part reasons, "Yeah but...perhaps creating a signature style isn't really such a bad thing". But there's a competitive, determined side of me that refuses to admit defeat...and if that side has its way, I'll revisit and conquer those damned hard angles yet...