Have you ever played with flour? Other than in the kitchen, I mean.
Let me tell you, once it’s out of the bag, it can reach even the tiniest and most hidden of places.
I played with it inside a space of lets say 4 by 2 meters, in an apartment that wasn’t mine, over some good hours, on a weekend, with one friend throwing, one assisting and me shooting. Sounds like fun, right?
But before we got to the fun part, I remember being worried about finding a place to photograph. Somehow, the opportunity came to me in the form of a friend’s sister leaving on holiday and being so kind as to trust us with her apartment. We used only the lobby area but, like I said above, flour doesn’t really care. It got to the bedrooms as well.
Next thing was finding a proper backdrop. If it ain’t dark, it ain’t working. I remember walking in the summer heat with a friend, carrying a couple of kilograms worth of black cloth bought from a materials deposit. That was sorted.
The last thing was lighting. I was sure I had to kill the ambient light and use flash somehow to make this work. What I bought was probably the smallest softbox that existed and the cheapest one I could find, mounted it in front of my flash and triggered from a distance. It wasn’t giving too much light, even at full power, so we used up all of our host’s aluminium foil to hang as a reflector on the other side of the model. The setup looked kind of rudimentary for an indoor flash shoot, but at that time, it meant everything to me. Low budget, high expectations.
We even laughed after ordering some pizza, when we imagined the delivery guy’s face when he saw all that we barely could open the door, let alone squeeze three pizza boxes through.
Looking back, I realise some of the photos could have turned better if I had more light. But again, for me, that was the greatest experience ever, beginning with an idea and fighting hard to find a way to put it into practice. I believe all things came together nicely in the end: location, tools, everything. We spent a good couple of hours cleaning up afterwards, but it was totally in good fun and satisfied hearts.
My friend who assisted me even shot a couple of videos, which were put together for the making-of you see above. Did I mention I like playing around with video as well?