Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sunken Soldiers Ball

Sunken Soldiers Ball by *GothicNarcissus
[ Sunken Soldiers Ball – Agua de Annique ]

Normally I’m a very impatient person, but when it comes to photography I can be extremely patient. Like, for years. This photo has been lying written down on my “Random photos with BriarRose” text file literally for ages, until I finally got to shoot it.
Today, BriarRose, Nitrogen Frostrhyme and I had a very profitable session and this was the last photo we shot together. We developed a couple of BriarRose’s ideas, then some of mine, including this one. It actually does not have much to do with the lyrics of the song, but the title inspired me this very scene, some sort of Forties ball with a soldier that has return home after the war and greets his girlfriend with a flower, which they eventually drop together with his hat in a fit of tenderness, passion and joy to be reunited. I had no idea about who could pose with BriarRose, but she and Nitrogen work spectacularly together, so I asked him to join the project, which proved to be the right idea.
Technically, this photo has been hell to shoot: I had to use my room’s electric light, which was trouble not much because of the temperature, but because of the intensity, with several of my shirts hung to the handle of the door to screen the desk lamp and get the right amount. Plus, I only had one single suitable background for the photo with very little space on front of it, which forced me to do acrobatics to get a satisfying angle and focus correctly. The photo was definitely worth the trouble, but I really do wish I had a studio sometimes.

A small, posthumous addendum: the photo has been online for a few days now and I’m totally surprised by the huge success it received, both on deviantART and on BriarRose’s Tumblr. It’s not a real portrait, it does not have a very handsome boy in it (well, except for his feet), but it got the recognition I hoped it would have. I’m really glade you appreciate it so much: thank you guys!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Storm Before The Calm

The Storm Before The Calm I by GothicNarcissusNever, never, never, never ever, ever worry,
I will, I will always, always be there for you.
Found you, found you, I will never ever
Leave you, never, I will always be here with you,
Getting better, better, better, better, better, better.

It’s getting colder, I’m getting colder, colder, it’s getting colder.
Let it get colder until I can’t feel anything at all.
It’s getting colder, it’s getting colder, colder.

Come on, come on, on me, on me,
Touching, laughing, ha ha, love me, love me
For me, holding, watching, loving,
Getting better, better, better, better, better, better.

It’s getting colder, I’m getting colder, colder, it’s getting colder.
Let it get colder until I can’t feel anything at all.
It’s getting colder, it’s getting colder, colder, I’m getting colder.
Let it get colder until I can’t feel anything at all.

It’s the shadow.
It’s the shadow, it’s the shadow, it’s the shadow, it’s the shadow,
It’s the shadow, it’s the shadow, it’s the shadow, it’s the shadow,
It’s the shadow, it’s the shadow, it’s the shadow, it’s the shadow inside.

The Storm Before The Calm II by GothicNarcissus It ebbs and flows and comes and goes
And rips you up and lets you go.
It eats inside and splits your mind.
As you search around for others’ kind,
You gather strength from the depths,
Fight the fight from day till night, till night, till night, till night, till night, till night.

This beautiful feeling soars over the skies
Moving through my body, out my mind.
It rises up and floods my brain.
This is fucking insane, this is fucking insane!

Am I still here as one with the fear?
Am I still alive as one with the fear?
Am I still here as one with the fear?
Am I still alive as one with the fear?
Am I still here as one with the fear?
Am I still alive as one with the fear?
Am I still here as one with the fear?
Am I still alive? I’m still fucking here.
Am I still here?
[ The Storm Before The Calm – Anathema ]

Apparently, each and every project or series I work on must have an entry that’s the “odd one out”. The Storm Before The Calm is that of the Weather Systems project. If you give the song a listen you will easily reckon why: for one thing, it is over nine minutes long, for another it has two climatic moments which split it in two parts with very distinctive feelings and emotions. Usually, such a work would require a diptych, but since all the works in the projects are already diptychs by default, I just decided to split it into two parts: The Storm and The Calm.
The story behind this work is rather interesting: I had the two parts perfectly mapped out in my mind since spring, but they required the right conditions to be shot, which meant fitting weather in Alghero (I necessarily had to do them there because Trieste doesn’t have beaches, either sandy or rocky). The Calm was actually the first work I completed for the project – I shot it during the break between my autumn exam session in September and the start of the term in October, while the sea in Sardinia was still warm enough (I ever had a quick swim after I was done). Originally, I wanted it to have a cloudy feel, but it was my last day of holidays and while it was perfectly cloudy when I went out of the house with my mother, it became sunnier by the time we reached the sea. The photos turned out unexpectedly good nevertheless, so I stored them on my computer waiting for the right occasion to shoot the first part, which occourred now. On a side note, The Calm is the last photo I took with my Canon EOS 1000D camera that I’m publishing, as I purchased my 5D the next week end.
About the photos themselves, the first part, The Storm, is meant to represent the first five minutes of the song with their electronic, psychedelic storm. I intended for it to be windier with my hair flowing all around, but I’m very satisfied with it nonetheless: it has a very distinct fashion feel I totally love (while the stormy feeling is given by the photo of the foam). Afte the electronic part, the song has one in which it builds up until a climax (at about 6:45) which really feels like emerging from the water and taking a deep, relieving breath before finally laying to the shore, to safety: this is exactly what I tried to represent in the second photo, The Calm.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Gathering Of The Clouds

The Gathering Of The Clouds by GothicNarcissusSearched the whole world,
Found I can’t compare.
Searched the whole world,
Found I can’t compare.

But we’re here because we’re here,
We’re here because we’re here
And there’s nothing to fear,
No, there’s nothing to fear.
But we’re here because we’re here,
We’re here because we’re here
And there’s nothing to fear,
Yeah, there’s nothing to fear.

Time is not what it would seem,
The life we live is like a dream.
Release belief, let it wash over me,
Let love reveal what I feel, what I feel,
What I feel, what I feel.

All that I’ve seen, all that I feel
All I could be, is happening to me.
All that I’ve seen, all that I feel
All I could be is happening to me.
All that I’ve seen, all that I feel
All I could be, is happening to me.
All that I’ve seen, all that I feel
All I could be is happening to me.

Searched the whole world,
Found I can’t compare.
Searched the whole world,
Found I can’t compare.

Fight for what you believe in, dare to live your dream,
In this life don’t be afraid of yourself, don’t be afraid.
Fight for what you believe in, dare to live your dream,
In this life don’t be afraid of yourself, don’t be afraid.
Fight for what you believe in, dare to live your dream,
In this life don’t be afraid of yourself, don’t be afraid.
Fight for what you believe in, dare to live your dream,
In this life don’t be afraid of yourself, don’t be afraid.

Time is not what it would seem,
The life we live is like a dream.
Release belief, let it wash over me,
Let love reveal what I feel, what I feel,
What I feel, what I feel.

All that I’ve seen, all that I feel
All I could be, is happening to me.
All that I’ve seen, all that I feel
All I could be is happening to me.
All that I’ve seen, all that I feel
All I could be, is happening to me.
All that I’ve seen, all that I feel.

[ The Gathering Of The Clouds – Anathema ]

You know, when it comes to Weather Systems it’s really hard for me to pick a favourite song. I mean, except for Untouchable, Part 1, which is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard. Nevertheless, I think The Gathering Of The Clouds might qualify as my favourite right after the two Untouchable. I always, always shiver while it builds towards its climax I literally can’t listen to it without feeling the need to catch my breath after its abrupt, superb string ending. And of course, I just see myself in the lyrics. I’ve rarely heard a song that has such a strong effect on my emotions and of course it was one of the first ideas I had for the project.
What you can see above perfectly corresponds to what I saw in my mind while listening to it: a breathtaking view of Capo Caccia (near Alghero, Italy) with heavy clouds above the rocks and the sea and me standing in front of it. An impressive 200 meters limestone cliff that drops into the sea, it’s one of my favorite places on Earth, it gives me the same exact feelings of that song: the noble, splendid and terrifying that merge into the sublime (check Kant to see what I mean). I knew all along that could be the one and only place where I could shoot this photo. The problem was just to get a cloudy day in Alghero while I was there on holiday (apparently they become frequent only whenever I’m not there), which means I brought all the clothes I needed for this photo back and forth at least three times before I could finally go there and shoot the photo (I had a very clear idea of the styling for this photo too). Well, at least I got a full-frame camera in the meantime, which improved the overall quality of the work.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I was standing just on the edge of the cliff, in front of Foradada Isle, with strong wind all around me. I was very cautious so I would not say I was in danger, but I love this song and photo so muci I wanted to do things properly, including taking some risks. I have to say the outcome totally justifies it and the wait, it’s extremely rewarding when you can get an image from your head to the camera exactly like you wanted.
About my modelling work here, I was afraid I’d end up looking like an emotionless porcelain doll like I often do, but I basically playing the song in my mind while posing, which gave me the right mood and expression. I really can’t put in words how much this work means to me, soI just hope you can get it from the photo itself.