So, one of the projects I have been working on recently and been kind of keeping under wraps is a photography collaboration with Stephanie Whiteside, and I’m happy to say that I can now start showing some of the results of what has, so far, been some really awesome teamwork.
Steph approached me several months ago about a project she’d been turning over in her mind for a while- photographing a personal meditation through the tarot. (I’m sure she’ll explain the concept much better on her blog soon, so I’ll happily link to it then rather than try and explain it myself.) The short version is that she wanted to spend some time examining and reflecting on the meanings of each card, and then create a deck of cards (for her own personal use) of herself, and she wanted me to do the photography.
I thought this sounded like a stellar idea. I’m always looking for excuses to work on taking better portrait shots, and practice editing. I’m familiar with the tarot archetypes, and could see a huge range of artistic potential in the idea. Steph is not a professional model, and I am not a professional photographer, and we are comfortable with each other, so it could be a low pressure sort of set-up- no massive egos to check at the door, just a chance to explore some collaborative arting. So, we made plans. The first shoot we did for the Ace of Blades was a bit of a bust, but it turned out to be a great learning experience. The first problem was that our location, Ceasar Chavez Park, in Berkeley, while lovely, had virtually no blank horizon behind it. I hadn’t realized this, and somehow the image of a barbaric woman with a large axe standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge just wasn’t cutting it for me (though admittedly, it has its own charm, it wasn’t right for this, heh). Also, the camera we were using (mine is still very, very sadly broken) was not really up to taking shots of the resolution necessary. It’s really too bad, as some of the shots were good, but oh well. We did learn that we work well in this way, and that we *could* get up and go somewhere before dawn, both of which were valuable lessons.
The second attempt was made a little later at dawn in Tilden Park, and I have to say, I’m quite pleased with the results. The lighting was superb, and the shots turned out really well. It really set the tone for the whole suit, and hopefully the whole project.
You can look at all of the cards (so far) at our Flikr page, Black Widow Honey Productions. I’ll be doing posts for each of the individual cards as they come up. Look also for some upcoming photo shoots with some other folks- I’ve upgraded my photo editing software, so I’m going back through and reworking some old images that I liked, but wasn’t treating well. Exciting!
9 thoughts on “First Images- Ace of Blades”
Wow, what a fabulous project! So interesting and creative! I love the different treatments you have for the cards and it’s really interesting how the shot can have such a different feel depending on if it’s in colour, b&w, or sepia.
It’s funny how I’m drawn to some images and some gave me a stronger emotional reaction than others.
I have to say, on the technical side, you’ve done a great job in choices of subject, composition and lighting.
Thank you so much for sharing these – I look forward to seeing how you get on with the rest of the set. 🙂 This is clearly a labour of love! ❤
thanks so much! it really is a labor of love- it’s definitely a work in progress, and there’s a lot left to learn, but i’m really enjoying seeing them develop.
i’m curious- which ones did you respond to?
These look great – I’m so excited to see the rest of the tarot emerge.
thanks! we’ve got four sets done so far, so i’ll probably put the rest up in the next couple days. then more shooting…
Fantastic! I hadn’t actually seen any of these other than the ones Stephanie had posted on her own.
I love your photography.
thanks! 🙂 i can’t wait to redo the ones i took of you… 😀
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