Recently my neighbour asked to borrow my laundry line. But not for laundry.
Stacey is dancing in an upcoming performance called The Line. Our laundry line was needed by choreographer Lori Hamar to make some photos for advertising her show. This is how The Line is described in a flier (link):
“The Line, produced by choreographer Lori Hamar, unfolds along a clothesline, depicting
the space between our collective quest for human rights and personal struggles for self-transformation. Continuum
Consort perform a score composed by Linda Bouchard, alongside Hamar’s choreography, live video, and the
dancers’ manipulation of the clothesline. Dancers Francesca Frewer and Stacey Horton move from confronting the
line to being suspended in clothing hanging on the line.”
Of course I said they could use our clothes line. After lowering the line, and providing some clothes pegs, I somehow ended up making the photographs too. As can happen among friends, they didn’t seem to ask, and I didn’t seem to offer, but it came to be.
And it was a new experience for me. I have never worked with a model, let alone one that knows how to interpret ideas through movement. Nor had I worked with a choreographer directing how things should look. I never imagined how these skills can make photography so much easier. And fun! Though perhaps less so for Stacey, pinned to the line, one-legged on a step stool.
The challenge here was for Stacey to look as if she were caught in clothing that was hanging on the line, blowing a bit in the breeze as laundry does. We wanted a lot of movement. Hands, hair, clothes and legs had to carry that movement in an artful way. The clothes pins should be clear. The neighbouring houses had to more or less disappear. And we needed better light on Stacey who was silhouetted against a fairly bright sky. A reflector and careful exposure values solved the latter problem – exposure was a compromise mindful that digital photographs have shadows that can be worked with, and highlights that often can’t. A low angle dealt with the houses. Stacey with Lori’s guidance provided the rest.
We spent an hour, perhaps less, setting up and shooting. And then they came in for tea while I went through the images with Lori who selected a few for me to work up. Some were rotated to give more lean and movement and all needed the shadows to come up a bit to clarify Stacey’s face and clothing – something planned for with the selected exposure. Within another hour we were warmed by tea and they departed with a thumb drive holding the five final images.
Those five images are in the gallery at the bottom of this post, some with multiple treatments. The image immediately below is the one that was selected for the flyer and website. The show is at Open Space on lower Fort Street in Victoria, this Saturday the 28th at 8pm. A more detailed explanation of the concept of this piece, as well as address, ticket pricing and so on can be found at this link. I am looking forward to seeing The Line! Perhaps you will be in the audience too.
To open the gallery below click on any image and then navigate with the arrows or swiping.
Canon 5Dii, Canon 16-35/f2.8 lens