My new show GLAUBE | LIEBE | HOFFNUNG (Faith, Love, Hope) has finally opened last weekend (Details here and here) and I am very happy how well it was received! As promised in my last post I will be sharing a lot of background info and BTS video from the shoots involved in the production. The project itself derives it’s title from three principal images. Today we will start with a closer look at the creation of GLAUBE (Faith).
It all started back in November 2008, when we set out on a beautiful autumn day to create the image above. In facty it started a lot earlier than that, because the planning and pre-production for this one took almost two months. And as the title of the image suggests, quite a bit of it had to do with keeping the faith…
I always try to think of fashion in new ways. Fashion is, to a large extent, about texture, about contrast and form. Some time ago I came up with the idea of a fashion shoot made of nothing but shreds of paper. The dress, the setting, everything! I did this as a personal project, not with a commercial, but a fine art afterlife in mind.
I approached Jana Keller, designer of RoyalBLUSH to craft a paper dress for me. She was all over it and started sketching right away.
Early on I realized we would need a special model to make this one work. I turned to Option Model in Zürich for suggestions and it soon became clear that a black model would provide the necessary edge for the idea. We cast the talented and lovely Mariatu, who performed admirably!
Before the shoot me and my beloved girlfriend Fräulein Scharlach spent three evenings shredding over 100 square meters of paper and another evening rigging it all up in the studio.
The Lighting setup consisted of a beauty dish on a boom above the set, which served as the main light and was balanced for normal exposure. A strip light, about one stop over, was used as a rim light from the right. As fill I set up a large softobox camera left, dialed down 1 stop. In addition to this I used a gridded spot, about half a stop over, as a little kicker, slightly off camera axis to add some light to Mariatu’s face and torso. (I used Broncolor generators and heads)
Hair & Make Up was done by the incredibly talented Rachel Wolfisberg. She’s always full of fresh ideas and just great to have around!
And this is how it all turned out:
But wait, there’s more! Where there’s paper… someone might get the idea to paint on it! Check out the behind the scenes video for all the technicolor juice… Enjoy!
A little while back I posted about the promo shoot I did for czech guitar hero Milan Capak. In the meantime we got around to finish post production on the images AND assemble a little behind the scenes video! This also marks the first official NICOLAS HENRI > On Location, a series of making of videos I will be posting from now on. I hope you’ll find them inspiring…
But let’s get back to business first. The briefing of the TC Records Ltd. management was to create an industrial and dark look for Milan. After the creative meetings we agreed on the idea of an iconic fighter, who lives underground and only comes out to play, an enigmatic character if you will. The styling dept. created a sort of uniform all wrapped up with straps of cloth like a mummy. As you’ll see in the video we the washed him down with baby powder to create a dusty and moldy look as if he’d been living down there for ages…
Which brings me the location: An abandoned and drained water cistern, built a century ago. Scouting the place a week before the shoot was a blast. It must be the coolest place I ever shot in. You walk down a small metal staircase into the heart of darkness… the echoes from your steps suggest a large space… until you switch on the light (no, there’s no fluorescents down there or anything - we brought a construction light, 50m extension cord to connect above ground) and this massive space unfolds. Columns and arches, never ending either way you look. Rain water from above runs down the walls, the air humid and freezing cold (in May!).
This is a nice example of what location scouting can do for you. I have made it a habit to scout the places I’m supposed to work in. It’s the first step of the “No Worries - Package”. Obviously you realize it will be dark and you’ll need lights, when your client tells you about a place like that. But when I stood there in the heart of darkness, experienced the vast space, I realized that this was going to be tough to light. In addition to my Elinchrom Ranger, I rented another two Elinchrom 1200 (Ws) RX heads, got extras extension cords, took sample shots at the scout (at ISO 3200!) and used the time before the shoot to come up with a lighting concept - actually a few concepts in case things didn’t work out as planned.