Recently I fell into a slump and struggled with figuring out exactly what I enjoyed taking pictures of and what styles kept me excited for the next frame. It frustrated me a great deal that I started to dread taking pictures and receiving assignments when I used to love photography. I even dreaded doing the assignment that this photo relates to and, in all honesty, the picture that I first took was done in fifteen minutes and was all kinds of awful. The only good thing about it was how creepy and unsettling it was which, reflecting back, actually made me excited about it even though the technique I used was awful and the photo was poorly exposed. It inspired me to carry on with this style of photography.
And so that leads me to this photo. I was immensely grateful over the fact that I had a second shot at perfecting this and took the appropriate time and effort to ensure that I got a photo I was pleased with. This photo is the first photo to light a fire in me that I had not felt in a great deal of time. It comforted me to know that I still had it in me and the fact that I could pinpoint exactly what excited me about shooting this picture helped. It was creepy and experimental and hopefully off-putting for those that view it, which is why I love it. The overall affect that I intended for it was to make people stop and think about what the subject was and try and figure out what was happening. I enjoyed the element of mystery and hope that it translates well onto an audience.
I used the dragging shutter technique for this photograph with a flash in order to freeze two actions. Shutter drag can be used a multitude of ways but the specific idea that I wanted involved having the entire photo sharp rather than blurring certain aspects of the photo, which I believe makes it more creepy and unsettling. I used myself as the model and set the camera and flash on tripods around me. The only light source is the flash which was placed slightly below me to my left. I played around with timing of the shutter but this one ended up being six seconds long. The ISO was 100, the focal length was 34mm, and the aperture was f/10. The biggest thing I did in post-processing was remove the light from my flash trigger and made it black and white to add to the dramatic effect of the photo.
About the Photographer:
I am Amelia Krieg and I am a sophomore at Northern Arizona University. I am majoring in Visual Communication with an emphasis in Graphic Design and a minor in Photography. I started taking pictures with a point-and-shoot camera in junior high and then received a Nikon D40 in my first year of high school. In my second year of high school I took my first photography class which actually involved using a film SLR (I had a Minolta Maxxum 5000) and learning black and white photography and developing techniques. I adore film photography and hope to one day return to it, but for now I will continue to use my Nikon D5100 and take creepy pictures.
To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project. Please take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Amelia would love to hear from you!