Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Over You

Over You by GothicNarcissusMy love is aching for you, my love.
My love is aching for you, my heart.
I’m crying,
I’m hurting.

My heart is aching for you, my love.
My head is aching for you, my heart.
I’m crying,
I’m hurting.

My heart is aching, my love.
I’m hurting,
I’m crying,
I’m hurting,
Crying over you.

[ Over You – The Gathering ]

Sometimes, you need to cuddle an idea until you really feel ready to let it go and develop into the real work. It’s not a conscious process, but deep within you feel something that keeps you from doing it, makes you forget about it for some time, and then, at the right moment, the inspiration comes back and you’re ready to shoot.
This is pretty much what happened to Over You. I can recall I had this very image in my mind as early as 2008, a diptych with the flock of birds flying against the stormy sky in one photo and me lying on the floor in the other, feeling all heartbroken and breathless. There’s something very mysterious about the song which gave me the inspiration: Anneke’s layered vocals, her heavy breathing, all the noises, the distortions that sound like when somebody is choking… it is a very evocative track which gave me a very distinct mental image.
Five years have passed, and for a reason or another I kept forgetting to shoot the flock until it was too late and the birds had already migrated for the winter. Okay, I didn’t even have a telephoto lens back then, so the result would have probably been unsatisfying for my standards, not to mention that with my old Canon 1000D the high ISO speed I wanted would have looked quite bad; let alone taking it with the compact camera I had when I got the idea. Also, I didn’t really have enough editing skills to get the right amount of sepia tones without making it all look too saturated or cheap. So, perhaps, something inside me “knew” I wasn’t technically ready for such an important photo and kept me waiting until this fall, when I knew I could do it.
I was heading back home in Alghero from an errand when I saw the birds, so I rushed to grab my camera, went back out and waited until I found a flock sitting atop an araucaria tree; when they flew, I captured the image and had half of the photo done. Once I was back in Trieste, I found a clever way to shoot a self perpendicularly from above: I just put the camera on my clotheshorse so the lens looked straight down, and fortunately my arm was long enough for me to directly trigger the timer with auto-focus and everything.
As for the symbolism, I wanted the two photos to represent the heterogeneous song by being two poalr opposites: the left photo points upwards, the right one downwards; the former is minimal and empty, the latter full and detailed; the birds contain more grey, the portrait more black; one is dynamic, the other perfectly still. The most satisfying part was seeing this work coming to life after all these years, unscratched by time, as emotional as I felt when I had the idea, perfectl resembling what I had imagined for so long. I realise I could have never done it so well in the past, so it is true, good things come to those who wait.

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