Photo Friday- “Song”

Remember taking finals in school?  Maybe you’re still in school and just wrapping up finals.  Last week I completed what is probably my second-best final ever:  Black & White Photography I.

Admittedly, I was a little intimidated when we received the assignment.  We had to shoot a series of images to try and capture the vibe of a song.  Which may or may not sound easy to you, but there’s a twist; we didn’t get to choose the song.  The song I was assigned was “Orange Sky” by Alexi Murdoch, and I’ve linked to a YouTube video above.  Try listening to the song as you look through the photos.

I intentionally didn’t watch a YouTube video until just now, and of course my images are very different.  My first thought was about the irony of capturing the vibe of a colorful song title in black & white.  But as I listened to the song, I felt heaviness and anguish coupled with peace.  Over the period of a couple hours of repeatedly listening to the song, I filled 5 note cards with concepts for images.

To capture this dark, dreamy song, I recruited the band members to do a night time shoot at our church and cemetery.  Stylistically, I went for slightly out of focus, blown out highlights, and multiple exposures.  For compositions, I knew I had to have scenes that somehow told a story and elicited emotion.

This was my first attempt at multiple exposures, so I did the shoot early so I had time to do a second shoot or go a different direction if the pictures didn’t turn out.  We did the shoot in about an hour, and I was very pleased with how many of the images came out like the concepts I had in my head when I developed the roll the next day.

The song goes like this:

Verse 1:

Well I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
Yes I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
With my brother standing by
With my brother standing by
I said, “Brother, you know you know
It’s a long road we’ve been walking on
Brother, you know it is you know it is
Such a long road we’ve been walking on.

Brothers in Christ
Brothers in Christ

Verse 2:

And I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
With my sister standing by
With my sister standing by
I said, “Sister, here is what I know now
Here is what I know now
Goes like this..        

Sister, Here is what I know...
Sister, Here is what I know…

In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, in your love, in your love.”

My Salvation
My Salvation

“But sister you know I’m so weary
And you know, sister
My heart’s been broken
Sometimes, sometimes
My mind is too strong to carry on
Too strong to carry on”

Weary
Weary

“When I am alone
When I’ve thrown off the weight of this crazy stone
When I’ve lost all care for the things I own
That’s when I miss you, that’s when I miss you, that’s when I miss you
You who are my home
You who are my home
And here is what I know now
Here is what I know now

Missing you
Missing you
Windows to the past
Windows to the past

Goes like this..
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, in your love, in your love”

In Your Love
In Your Love

Well I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
Yes I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
With my brother and my sister standing by
With my brother and my sister standing by
With my brother and my sister standing by

Standing under an Orange Sky...
Standing under an Orange Sky…

During the class critique, most people found the images to be eerie, creepy, dark, disturbing, and very emotional.  The instructor was happy I created some very good scenes and captured the feeling of heaviness in all the images.  They weren’t “pretty” photos.  He also said he didn’t think I would have been able to create these shots 2 months ago, so that made him happy.

Hope you enjoyed it.  Probably the biggest lesson from this shoot was to plan my shots in advance and write them down.  Often I’m just shooting to test a roll or to capture memories. But when I try to shoot more intentionally and slow down so I can really focus on composition, I think writing notes either beforehand or during the process will be very beneficial.

Oh – my best final ever – brewing beer in Botany class and sharing it with the class – way back in 1991.  🙂

Do you write out your concepts or visions for composition ahead of time?  Do you think you should?  I’d like to hear some other tips on how you get the most out of your photo sessions.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s