Projections and the ‘moment’ myth.

29 Mar

Belated happy Easter/Ostara, everyone! I just treated myself to some weeny ‘egglets’ from Hotel Chocolat. And a new book about a serial killer. Hope you all had a lovely time watching… um… Watership Down. (SERIOUSLY, Channel 5??!)*

Moving swiftly away from dead Easter bunnies; have any of you seen this project? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TyPfYMDK8 If you can’t watch it right now, it’s a man being introduced to six photographers. Separately they are each told a different (false) thing about him: he’s an ex-prisoner, a self-made millionaire, he’s saved a life, he’s a commercial fisherman, a psychic, a former alcoholic. They’re then told to capture the essence of his story in one photo. Of course, each is completely different and you (or certainly I) could tell from many of the photos what the photographer believed. The photographs have illustrated their trains of thought, not a deep truth about their subject.

A common complaint I hear among professional models is hearing a photographer say “don’t pose- I want to capture the real you“. The second anybody at all knows they are being photographed, they pose- even unconsciously; a stiffening of the shoulder, pulling in of the stomach, relaxing of a squint. It is not possible to tell your subject not to pose- especially a model- for those of us who have been modelling for years it is a part of who we are.  Certainly for most of us, our modelling name/image is not a character we play for the camera that gets removed with our make-up at the end of a shoot. The pictures below capture different sides of my personality… but you couldn’t have caught both sides at once!
L- Jade Stacy Maria. R-Titus Powell

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It isn’t possible to capture a person’s entire essence in a photo even if one moment, one raw emotion, one perfect capture of the way you see them is there. The fact is, we are all multi-faceted but one of those sides is always hidden from us; the way others see us.

On the rare occasion a ‘moment’ is captured in a photograph, it is usually the model alone who sees it. Even when we look at our own faces from the outside, it is our own feelings we recognise- and the significance of the shots may well be lost on the outsider.
The shot below (which many of you will recognise) gives me the shivers. Unless you know why, you are probably more likely to see an amateur model in a particularly half-assed pose with no light in her eyes.
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That is why even though a picture may paint a thousand words, those words are often needed. When you know the story from the subjects point of view, you can more easily experience the picture as they do.
I’ve been following the story of a fellow model: Helen Stephens. Helen has epilepsy and has just shaved her head for charity! (Please click this link to hear more about her fundraising and consider supporting her.) Before she did this, she documented moments in her life with epilepsy in order to dispel some of the misconceptions about the condition. The results are fascinating and well worth taking a look at.
The thing is, in order to really experience each picture the way Helen does, you need to read her very eloquent words! A couple of shots in particular show her wearing/doing what I see as a standard dreamy ‘art nude model’ expression/pose (in fact, the expression is similar to a picture of me below). In actual fact, she’s been captured having a seizure!! Yes, you can have ‘blanks’ where you zone out instead of the thrashing fits people associate with epilepsy. (Something new I learned from Helen.) For her, these images evoke strong emotions but the viewer may never know the significance of what they are seeing unless they literally read more into it.

So… pictures! I was experimenting with light and projections with photographer “Symagery“, as well as shooting a few art nudes. When we settled on the perfect pose, it was interesting to see how the mood of the picture changed depending on the images that covered me! I still think they’d make great music album covers! 🙂

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I’ve just returned from my biannual South Coast tour- if you didn’t catch me this time, I’ll be back in August.
I spent Easter Weekend itself with one of my best friends and as I’ve just learned to make vegan chocolates I got busy in the kitchen and made these. Salted cashew and marzipan, and pistachio and coconut. 😀
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Every single time I see this particular friend, we plan to visit a castle. Every single time our plans get rained off and we end up hanging out with tea, the cat and a ridiculous debate of some kind. This time, it was Batman vs Superman. Better candidates for Batman included Tom Hardy, Karl Urban (who is not Luke Evans. Who knew they weren’t the same person?! Oh right, everyone but me…), the cat, and my mum. Though I am looking at my fire extinguisher at the moment and thinking perhaps it should have made the list…
If you want to wet your pants laughing and don’t care about spoilers, this Guardian reviewer is my new hero. 😉

I’m taking my mum for a belated Mothers Day outing tomorrow so am going to eat my chocolate and read my hopefully creepy book in bed now, so have a good week. More writerly burbling coming soon…

ROSWELL xxx

* I think I speak for most of the public when I say that Watership Down is one of the most horrible films ever, BUT… come on, everybody knows it’s notorious for being traumatising so to the legions of parents complaining; read the bloody film description next time! I’m actually finding it hysterical that the TV people thought it was a good idea to show that over Easter! Next up: Nickelodeon’s primetime airing of “When The Wind Blows”. 😛

10 Responses to “Projections and the ‘moment’ myth.”

  1. Frivolous Monsters March 30, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    An odd question, but if you’re ‘in’ to serial killers have you read any good books about the Zodiac killer? I’m intrigued about the case because they never caught him and they have his coded messages, which some pages on the internet seem to show solutions to, but I’m after a grounded (up to date) telling of the full story from the start. Any clue?

    I realised the other day that both the great horror films from my childhood – Watership Down and Alien – both revolve around Sir John Hurt. I should be ‘in’ to the Alien films, and have seen lots of bits over the years of all of them, but I never got past the “John Hurt Moment” as a child.

    Needless to say I watched Willy Wonka the other day, and Basil the Great Mouse Detective, but no way was I going near Watership Down. It is a rites of passage thing, though.

    Kudos on making the chocolate. What do you start with? The whole tempering thing, and crystal structure (which always cracks me up), is a science in itself.

    • roswellivory March 31, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

      I haven’t, sadly! I love reading about real life and crimes etc (though it’s a fiction book I’m reading at the moment). I can seriously recommend Forensics- the Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid though.

      BASIL!!! Omg I loved that film as a kid! 😀

      Really simple and very unscientific (I’ll do a video at some point). I melt a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil by putting it in a cup in a bowl of boiling water, then add three BIG tablespoons of cocoa powder and stir. Then add anything you want/can to bulk things up. (Nuts, dried fruit, seeds etc), and then sweeten to taste with whatever you like. I used agave nectar but you can use date syrup or stevia and if you are not feeding a vegan, you can use honey.

      • Frivolous Monsters March 31, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

        I shall look forward to the chocolate video then. I’ll look out for that book too as I’ve had an Encyclopedia of Forensic Science since I was a child – and used to get (I think it was called) Serial Killer Magazine – which seems odd for a child but that was the area I wanted to go into in science until finding out it wasn’t a viable career.

        All I can add is that I’ve read three modern Sherlock Holmes pastiches recently… and not sure I would recommend any of them to you.

        I loved Basil too after seeing it in the cinema, but it’s never been on (normal) TV until last weekend. To be honest it really wasn’t as good as I remembered. Quite disappointing. I taped it for my niece and nephew who are coming to stay next week but don’t think I’ll bother showing it now. I also “vetted” the Goonies. That film is – surprisingly – so inappropriate for children. I had no clue as to the “adult” content. The version in my memory is a lot cleaner.

        • roswellivory April 11, 2016 at 11:13 am #

          Serial Killer Magazine!!! Ha ha ha, that is brilliant! 😀
          I will hang my head in shame as I have never actually seen The Goonies. I’m sure my readers may have something to say about that, lol!

          • Frivolous Monsters April 11, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

            It may not have been called that… may have been True Crime, but I can find no pictures of it on the internet now. I remember it was all orange and was one of those “free binder” things with metal slats that I had to slot every copy in. I have no clue where that went. And… as I never became a forensic scientist or a serial killer it seems a wasted investment!

            I have bought the book you recommended though so I’ll get onto that soon.

            I have found out that the Goonies now has lots of added material which makes it unsuitable. I don’t want to hear kids swearing throughout and talking about various drugs and sex devices. It is a good film despite that though.

            • falcieridesigns May 24, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

              As a kid I read Real Life Crimes which was subscription only, True Detective Magazine and True Crime Magazine both of which I used to buy in the newsagents. No wonder my parents were concerned. I was a true crime nut as a kid!

  2. Televisomniac March 31, 2016 at 2:57 am #

    A belated Happy Easter/Ostara to you too!

    I’m going to try to catch that video on my day off or when my attention span is good of the fella about the photography thing.

    Helen’s story is very interesting. Kudos to her for what she’s doing. My Mom had epilepsy as a kid. She told about how she was treated in Liberia. People are cruel.

    Also, I’m totally interested in who you’re reading about in the book you picked up.

    I’ve never seen Watership Down and never plan to.

    • roswellivory March 31, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

      Thanking you!
      Lol! I’m reading a fiction book actually. It’s about a guy who kills people and makes creepy sculptures out of the bodies. I’m a big fan of Hannibal (TV series) and it sounded similar. 🙂

      • Televisomniac March 31, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

        You’re welcome!

        That reminds me of Ed Gein actually. He wore the people though.

        • Televisomniac May 20, 2016 at 1:04 am #

          I’m under the weather and off from work, so now I can watch the YouTube video. 🙂

          I finished watching it.
          I had to watch it twice though.
          It’s very true, the preconceptions of another human, especially with this type of job, it very intriguing and he did a great job in each role.

          I have an employee who does photography and we talk about this a lot when we work together. We have discussed perceptions of how men and women are treated from behind the lens and it’s affections on society and in life as a whole.

          A good example was the one photographer who was working with him as an inmate. She was terrified, but she was able to do the job, as uncomfortable as it was.

          My favorite photographer was the fella who was working with him as the alcoholic. He asked some good questions wanted to know some things, so as to film in a certain way and not what it should be perceived as what or how an alcoholic should look or act.

          The other fella who was working with him in the fishermen role was good too.

          I hope that it does get more people talking. This was a good watch. Thanks!

          And I wanted their cameras!!!

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