Whew! What a day.
Four and a half hours dedicated to documenting the recently completed Wolfville and Fredericton pieces. Thankfully I wasn’t doing it by myself – I employed my resident photographer, Kenji Nagai (his studio is on the second floor of my building, so I feel entitled to call him “mine” 🙂 ).
We did break for lunch from 1pm to 2pm, but 10am to 3:30pm is a long haul. Even though I’m not behind the camera or manipulating the lighting, I find it physically and mentally draining to have my sculptural work documented.
This is because the work is flexible and needs to be posed – I can’t drop off a bunch of work and say “Call me when you’re done!” Since most of the figures do not have internal wire armatures, I spend almost longer setting up the work than Kenji does adjusting the lighting and photographing the images. And my contribution doesn’t stop there. I need to let him know what is important about each piece and how I want the sculpture visually captured.
After each image is taken we view it and discuss what works and what doesn’t (love how digital image capture is so-o-o immediate). Kenji fine-tunes the lighting and I fine-tune the position of appendages. This process continues until we arrive at an image we are both pleased with.
One of the challenges particular to sculpture is choosing the one view or angle that accurately represents the entire 3-D piece. It can be tricky and time consuming. Sometimes it means slightly altering the regular set-up.
For example, the exhibition display for One Horse, Two Horse, Red Horse, Dead Horse (2010) features one figure on each corner of a plinth, facing out.
Documenting this piece in the studio using the same orientation resulted in a visual that was way too busy. I opted instead to line the figures up in a simple, clean line.
Even though I find the process tiring, I also find it exciting. When everything aligns and both Kenji and I are in the zone, some stunning documentation happens that results in truly breathtaking imagery.
I can’t wait to share some of the new images with you – check back Thursday!