The Planting of The Seed
The Planting of The Seed by Craig C
My second article for JUXT is sort of a follow up from my first “The Recipe” which outlined the tools I used to create storytelling photo essays. I intended to prepare a photo essay called “My Dead Sea” for this article. However the creative process can take you in a totally different direction if you allow it and I do. So I started writing notes for a story and the more I wrote, the more it began leading me in a totally different direction. I realized this was not going to be another essay but in fact my first novel called “The Seed”. So for JUXT only I will be showing how I put to use my guidelines from my first article to use in creating my novel. Before going any further, it should be noted that some of the images within this article are not edited but are reference images that give me feedback on how the story visually is headed and what changes I need to make if any. You will see images of me making one of my props that is an important part of the story. Images of a costume of one of our characters and last but not least, I will include a few images from the book itself to show you the soul of the words written. I hope you enjoy the making of a story that was thought could never happen.
Going to my journal is step one and building any props and constructing the clothing of the characters has to be completed before the story can begin visually. I will focus on the most important prop which is an altered globe and our main character.
So first the globe.
With the sketch completed, I found a vintage globe that was in pretty good condition. The excellent condition of the globe was a problem. So I had to distress and alter the globe to match the sketch. I first burnt the globe in fire. The burnt globe is a representation of what the earth is going to resemble in the story. Below are some behind the scenes of its progression. Once I got the right texture on the globe, I then added nails, metal panels, a few teeth and the root system. All of these are symbolic elements that will be revealed in the novel.
Now let us look at our main character by doing what I call my casting. This will tell me if the clothing is right and fits the look I want. I photographed my character with and without his mask and one where he is holding the finished globe to see how they register together because that is an important part of the story. The robe was constructed from a old bed sheet that was cut into pieces then glued on top of an existing robe. This gave me the apocalyptic look and feel I was after. The mask was done in the same manner but over a common stocking cap. Then I added a vintage football helmet chin strap which made it look a bit industrial. I chose not to give it eyes to represent the man being guided not from seeing but from faith.
Although several locations will be involved one of the important parts of the story happens in a dead field. So my next step is finding the location. Here is an example of a few locations.
One of many benefits of doing these test shots is the opportunity to experiment with a variety of camera shooting apps. You then can go back and study which one or ones fit the story. As for as editing goes it can also be explored but I know I will probably look into that more after the story has been completed.
Below are some technical notes on my images-
- Images out of book was photographed with the Hipstamatic using the new Tinto 1884 lens and the D-Type plate film.
- The test shot images where taken with the iPhone4s camera and also the 6×6 app.
- As for as editing the Hipstamatic was worked some in Snapseed and the test shot images in Alt Photo and Camera+. As for as the cover image at the bottom I created it in Photoshop Touch on the iPad.
- Both iPhone 4s and the iPad were used.
So before heading out I want to share a little insight on my story “The Seed”. I hope seeing my guidelines that I listed in my previous article and following them up with this article sheds more light on my process of storytelling. Now enjoy a little excerpt from my current novel in the making…
“Days have left the once abundant but turbulent farm. Crops have come and gone and the circles drawn on the slanted walls of her home have faded into hidden symbols to interpret. So stumbles this gentleman left behind, alone.
It is approaching dusk and not wanting to be caught outside at night again,he hurries to gather a few roots for his morning meal from one of many dead and dying fields. His only company is the question that stays with him everyday – Why? That will soon be reveled as everything of this world has seemed to come to an end. His purpose will soon begin”.