Thursday, 19 May 2011

Machinery Of The Stars

I thought it would be nice to dedicate some posts to my personal favourite photos, just to break the ice. Actually, I love pretty much all of my published work, as I only submit to deviantART photos I really like, but some of my photos hold a special place in my heart for a reason or another.

The first of this series of posts will be most obviously dedicated to my own favourite photo, Machinery Of The Stars.

Machinery Of The Stars by *GothicNarcissus
The story of this photo is quite particular on its own. The place where I took it is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. I’ve always been in love with this monument as I particularly like Cast-Iron and Belle Époque architecture, so I took a photo of the impressive dome trying not to have a too banal angle, like for instance exactly from below, or with the whole circle in. It was a rainy day, though, and the photo came out rather lifeless, all greyish, very dark and not particularly interesting. It lingered on my hard drive for several months until one night, out of boredoom, I tired to apply a digital HDR technique while I was listening to Forever Is The World by Theatre of Tragedy, and this is what came out.
I particularly love this photo because to me it represents much more than a shoot of a glass and iron dome. The concentric circles and the rays remind me of the Aristotelian Solar System, all based around the perfection of circles and spheres, and its idea of some sort of mechanics controlling the movement of several sky layers (like in the Flammarion Engraving), an idea also suggested by the whole Belle Époque atmosphere you can feel in that place. The title was born quite naturally on this basis, thus I initially tried to edit it into having bluish and indigo tones to fit with the idea of a starry sky. The experiment didn’t work out particularly well, so I tried different colours and eventually ended up to what you can see above. I think I was subconsciously influenced by the music I was listening to, as those are the main colours of the Forever Is The World booklet too, and when I realized this, while the title track was at its climax, I immediately found a deep connection between the album and the photo. One of the main themes of the album (probably derived from the upcoming split of the band) is the transitoriness of Man compared to the eternity of the World, and while in the photo the circles give the idea of eternity on their own, the Aristotelian System concept itself was based on the idea of a translunar universe supposedly eternal and unchangeable as opposed to the sublunar realm, where mankind dwells; the god-like figures painted on the tympana seem to be caring of the motion of the sky, suggesting the whole Prime Mover idea, and considering all of this, there we go, I found out about a connection that was probably subconsciously crystal clear in my mind all along.
Considering the phylosophycal and musical references, I grew particularly fond of this photo, and waited until my 100th complete listen of the album to release it onto the internet. As you might probably guess, I still love this photo deeply, to the poit of choosing it as the header of this blog and basing the coour scheme on it.


  1. Wooow...very nice story and more beautiful is the picture itself, i keep watching for more of this :)

  2. Oh, it reminds me so much of the dome of the Palau De La Musica Catalana, in Barcelona!
    It is wonderful, the picture and the its story.
    And I really like your work! All the Infernal Lords stuff,it's all very interesting :D
    Hope I'll see more of your work!

  3. just an objective appreciation.
    keep going! :D