I've been feeling in a rut lately. Looking through my work it seems really repetitive, unfortunately. One model, center of the frame, a couple middle ground elements, and a fairly flat background. Throw in a levitation or photoshoppy trick and that's it, folks! Scanning the work of some very high level photographers that I admire the realization came that I just don't have much detail in my photos at all. That's fine on occasion, but it had become a formula, a habit...a crutch.
I've decided to start pushing myself more this year. If I have a fantastical idea I'm going to go all out and make it....SOMEHOW. So this new image "Observation Room" was an opportunity for me to do just that. I brainstormed for ideas of a scene that would naturally contain a ton of detail and information. I began thinking up a story of some futuristic laboratory that dealt with genetics. This would give plenty of instances of detail from computer screens, to many characters, and just the textures involved in building an entire room from scratch.
The story began to get fleshed out a bit more. The environment would be clean and white, but have a hint of something being off. These people were messing with genes and creating biological beings trapped in crazy water boxes! Kinda creepy if you ask me. Is this company playing god...possibly even pushing the boundaries and foreshadowing the end of humanity as we know it?! What name would better fit this ominous research company than Omega Labs. From there this world just kept growing. These scientists weren't independent thinkers. They were busy worker bees. Working for who exactly? Let's just hint at a storyline with one seemingly all-powerful man looming over them. So the observers are being observed. Full circle!
Creating every fantastical idea that pops into my head will cause me to run into some logistical problems of course. For instance I looked for weeks for an affordable silver metal table that these scientist characters would be sitting at doing work. Finally I decided that if I can't find a table then let's just not use tables. We're in some futuristic fictional world after all! So transparent computer screens it is! In pushing myself this year I know plenty of details will just have to be worked out during the process as well. In this image I was unsure of what this test subject body was going to look like. Naked human? Alien? A lump of ambiguous organic material? In the end I'm glad I came up with a transparent option since that seems to be a visual theme running throughout this image.
In the end this image took longer than any other photo I've ever created. I think it's a pretty good first step in changing up my old habits and style ruts. Below is a time-lapse of the full editing of "Observation Room".