The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

The Undefended Hour

Anne Lindsay has written a series of poems based on bizarre black and white photos from days gone by. Each of the images has a "What the...?" feel about them – whether it’s the woman in the mourning veil wearing boxing gloves, or the wee boy smoking a cigarette while sitting on a stool next to a chicken.

Anne’s making a book of this collection of strange images with her poetry called, "The Undefended Hour" and asked me if I would do an author’s photo of her for the back cover. As we talked about her book, and the recurrent themes of death, sex and humour, the suggestion arose we should do a narrative photo rather than a headshot.

The idea was bounced back and forth and eventually settled on an image where Anne would be applying lipstick in the dressing table mirror, but in the reflection there would be ...

Scruffy Buzzards’ guitarist, Richie, and his partner, Sharon, were game for providing the extra figures we needed for the photo.

I’d already worked out the broad composition, but it’s the details that can make all the difference – a shift of the shoulder here or there, the direction of a hand and where the shadows fall.

Indeed light was one of the most challenging aspects of this shot, as I had to create 2 different lightscapes for it – one for Anne, and an entirely different one for Sharon.

Usually when I take a photo I will try out both colour and black and white versions, and there will be an obvious winner. In this case, however, each has their own strengths.

I like the colour palette of the first one, with the deep reds of the dress and lipstick (also more noticeable on the cigarette in the ashtray). The black and white, though, has a moody, European Noir feel to it that has a definite appeal.

Anne’s decided to go for the black and white version for her book, which is more in keeping with the images within, but I’ve included both versions here for your perusal.

As always, you can click on the images for slightly larger versions.


Anonymous said...

Striking image! The colors set apart the first but the Film Noir look I agree is appropriate.

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Allen :)

kriss said...

As always, your photo is stunning. This one invites the viewer/reader into a world of wonder, about what's going on and what's behind the image. A great hook to get someone to turn the pages and delve into the work inside.

Guyana-Gyal said...

You're right, the black 'n' white captures the mood / tone of the book. But when I clicked on the coloured! I see what you mean about the splashes of red! Makes me think of a movie poster.

Pat said...

The softly coloured one appeals more to the eyes - well these eyes anyway but I imagine in the context of the book the black and white is more apt.
Bet you had fun with that one:)

Kim Ayres said...

Kriss - thank you :)

Guyana-Gyal - I'm glad it has that effect on you - it's the idea of creating images that could be film still, movie posters or album covers, that's really appealing to me at the moment :)

Pat - we had a great deal of fun. Anne has been in one of my photos before - if you check my "Staring Back" book, you'll find her on the sofa with 3 others, also staring directly into the camera :)

All content copyright of Kim Ayres. Powered by Blogger.