Friday, 14 July 2017

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope by GothicNarcissusThere was only ever you and me
And there was only ever history
Holding us back, holding us back.
But that night, we stared in wonder,
Wide-eyed but scared to wander.
The landslide fell silent all around.

And it was the same scene from a kaleidoscope dream.
You got me spinning. No, no,
You didn’t wake me from my kaleidoscope dream.
You got me spinning in your love,
Spinning in your love.

Do you remember when we used to see
White flamingos gliding on the breeze
And there was only ever you and me?
In this neon jungle, you fed my hunger and
That night we stared in wonder:
The black sky turned technicolor
And your eyes surprised me when you smiled.

And it was the same scene from a kaleidoscope dream.
You got me spinning. No, no,
You didn’t wake me from my kaleidoscope dream.
You got me spinning in your love
And you hypnotise me like no other,
Mesmerise my mind with colour, so
Let the night bring us together again.

[ Kaleidoscope – Hurts ]

Unpopular opinion: I don’t exactly like this song. Hurts have an impressive musical catalogue with emtional, inspiring songs and this one… is okay, I guess, but it falls a bit flat. I find it generic compared to other Hurts tunes both in terms of music and lyrics. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t give me much in terms of visual ideas other than “there’s gonna be a couple”: if I included it in the poject at all was because I’m obsessive-compulsive and having a song out would bother me to no end.

Now, fun fact: there’s a lot of material I’ve gathered throughout the years which I’m saving for shooting with real-life couples rather than me and a friend, or two friends, or two random pretty people who’re willing to roll with it. Part of the reasons why I’ve slowed down considerably on many long-term project is just that: the photo needs that kind of genuine emotion to work. That’s what makes the difference between a pretty picture and one that really tells a story.
This approach paid out big time on Kaleidoscope and it’s pretty much what got me out of the tight spot it would have put me in once I was done with the rest of the series (eh, someday) and I had to deal with it. The fact I pulled it off now and in a satisfying way is pure luck and all thanks to my dear friend Knajfer Wintermere and his real-life boyfriend Riccardo.

So, when we organised the shooting, I dusted off a few ideas from my “Ho!Yay photos kept for better times” file (yes, that’s its actual name) to have a basic outline, but left many details, such as the location choice, to Knajfer and Riccardo, who are locals and know better than me where to go in Milan. The park they chose happened to have this sort of… err, porch thing, which happened to be painted with that geometric motive in bright colours. Mmh, I thought, I have a couple, I have something that sort of recalls a kaleidoscope or, more generally, the colour / neon / brightness theme in the lyrics, might as well see if I can cross this photo off the list here and now.
During the shooting, I gave Knajfer and Riccardo some directions for what I had in mind on certain photos but I generally left them free to be their cute selves in front of the lens. Here I just let them come up with the pose without any interference whatsoever (other than building a nice geometry with the bacground) and it ended up matching the mood of the song perfectly. All on their own merits, they cleared me the greatest spanner in the Inspiration Hurts works.
On a side note, the colours from the murals turned out particularly bright against the dark wood background, and that added a really nice touch to the photo. That, combined with Knajfer and Riccardo’s emotional intensity, really did the trick. Hurray, love did really save the day this time!

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