Tag Archives: standing out in the crowd
I had this concept for a project I’m working on entitled “REAL”. So I came up with the idea of the juxtaposition of a very real person with a bunch of fake versions of him in a crowd behind him. All I needed was a bunch of mannequins all dressed exactly alike and a model who was about the same height and weight, as well as the right age. Well, finding the mannequins proved to be difficult so we bought two of them at a whopping $140 each. Then, I thought of a young man in high school who attends our church who fit the part. Jordan Valdez was a good sport and agreed to do a little modeling for me on this project.
I then went to Old Navy and had my seventeen year old daughter and my wife help me choose three identical sets of clothes that are cool, but not dated or trendy. Next, the three hour photo shoot. Jordan’s part took about 45 minutes as it was easy enough to shoot him in front of the two mannequins. Then came the chore of moving the mannequins around the room and shooting about a hundred different frames. I kept the lighting stationary and the camera on a tripod to shoot the same scene every time. I set the lens to manual focus so that the depth of field remained as true as it would be if the image were all shot at the same time. Also, wanting to capture a convincing perspective instead of just duplicating the same two mannequins, I shot at 24mm to get the wide angle effect you see on the far right and far left of the photo. It gives a real feeling of the natural perspective of standing in front of the crowd and adds a little bit of quirkiness to the image through the distortion of the wide angle lens.
This images is a composite of 17 different shots all edited together into one. I’m very pleased with the results and plan to do more of this sort of shooting in the near future because I love the feeling of this photo. There is something peaceful about it but in an eerie sort of way. I love the dimensionality of the image and how it seems like you could walk right through the crowd. I also like the humanity that is evident in Jordan’s posture when juxtaposed with the crowd of robot-like imposters. Most of all, I’m pleased with how well the finished piece matches the initial concept. Like the A-Team… I love it when a plan comes together!