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His Dark Materials

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The origin of this piece is perhaps as enigmatic as the image itself. I truly didn't have a specific theme in mind when putting this one together, except that I wanted my character to be dealing with parallel universes, an observer, peering into the portals to other realities. I had originally built it with a large portal in the foreground, obscuring half his face, so he was between frames, with the foreground blurred and the ones behind him gradually becoming more blurred the further back they went. In short, only he was in sharp focus.

New elements came and went; the branches were shot a few days ago to take advantage of the mood bare trees can offer. I had added lights to all the frames to sell the idea that these were a sort of tech device, and he was opening these portals. I added the crows because, well, crows are ominous, and they fit the bare tree branches and the moody sky well. But once I had the crows in place, I decided to remove the foreground frame blocking half his face, and the focus clearly became the model, with an enigmatic expression on his face, standing in front of a succession of portals.

What did that mean? No idea, except that this image was born out of a love of science fiction, scientific theories about parallel worlds, and a strong dose of Surrealism courtesy of Magritte and psychologist Carl Jung. In fact, the original idea that popped into my head was Jung's theory of Sychronicity, but it only implies connectivity very loosely, so this was not to be a stong central theme to carry that classic title.

Losing the foreground frame obscuring half his face changed the vibe from a mystery man to a puzzling presence standing in a field of symbolism. But I decided I liked not knowing what it all means for a change, and it was rather freeing to place things into a composition without the burden of intent.

The title comes form Philip Pullman's series of books, but also from Milton's "Paradise Lost," from which Pullman derived his title. In Pullman's book, children come and go between worlds by opening and closing windows between them. I thought the title fit the imagery.

Model: Gilberto Mendez

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 5D MkII
Lens:EF50mm f/1.4 USM
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:20 Jan 2013 - 1:54 AM
Focal Length:50mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/1.4
Aperture:f/8.0
Shutter Speed:1/160sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Manual
Metering Mode:Spot
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Custom
Title:His Dark Materials
Username:MichaelBilottaPhotography MichaelBilottaPhotography
Uploaded:3 Feb 2013 - 7:41 AM
Tags:Digital art, Digitally manipulated, Flash / lighting, Portraits / people, Specialist / abstract
VS Mode Rating 101 (52.63% won)
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Votes:30

Comments

NDODS
NDODS e2 Member 43678 forum postsNDODS vcard United Kingdom107 Constructive Critique Points
3 Feb 2013 - 12:03 PM

A Highly Commended image deserves no real justification.

Regards Nathan Grin

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MichaelBilottaPhotography

Thanks nathan!

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saltireblue
saltireblue Site Moderator 44297 forum postssaltireblue vcard Norway26 Constructive Critique Points
3 Feb 2013 - 1:43 PM

The key is, (sorry, no other way to say this), the key to this image. It's hanging there for all to see, but only he knows how to use it? To open the portals?. Plus that expressionless look on his face, empty, yet at the same time hiding so many answers.
Just a couple of random thoughts.
Great work.

Malc

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MichaelBilottaPhotography

Malc, you are the only one who spotted it so far! Thanks for the view!

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