So Dreams and Reality is the
Project. However the interpretation proved difficult. Initial thoughts centred around the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew but how to implement that? Initial thoughts were to use model dragons and/or faeries reprising the famous/infamous Cottingley fairies photograph. However to get the models to start in situ to photograph them in focus and accurately proved difficult, as the idea was to ghost’ the dragons/faeries.
My next thought was to use the benches dotted around the gardens, and to photograph the different ways that visitors use them. No two photographs depicting the same reaction, and each depicting the bench as the reality, but the visitor purely ephemeral, and their interactions probably only a dream, until captured by the camera, as only the bench remains. I wanted to catch the different moods, characteristics, activities and reactions as I could, taking each photograph candidly and as surreptisiously as I could.
However. Although this may fulfil the brief, apart from being taken from being taken in a crafty manner, using the flip-out LCD screen at 90º to the lens to get a natural pose, there was little technique, in my opinion.
So. The gardens is currently hosting an exhibition of Dale Chihuly ‘Reflections of Nature’. I wanted to capture this, but incorporate a human element, but in a semi non-corporeal way, using an ND filter and time. My main problem was getting a model to pose for me. Thankfully fellow student Stephen Roberts stepped in to help. I had a number of the sculptures earmarked for inclusion, and sketchy ideas as to composition but, until on location, I was uncertain as to the outcome. Over the process of close to 3 hours in the Gardens I tried different ND filters, settling on a 10 stopper. The next to decide on was settings. 15” appeared to be the best, at between 100/200 ISO, with various f stops being tried dependent on the background. The Chihuly sculpture was set as the background, with Stephen posing in front. I would then click the shutter and Stephen would stand still for /8 then duck away, and the camera left on for the remainder of the time to create a clear image of the sculpture (the reality) but a ghosted image of Stephen (the dream). Hopefully it works.