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May 18th, 2011


This image draws me in every time I look at it. I am fascinated by shapes and forms and light and the interaction of all these elements. Then, somehow, this particular combination says more to my soul.

The bone image comes from a project in which I used hot lights to learn more about controlling light on a subject. A friend found a cow skeleton on the back of her farm, and I got several of the bones from that cow. Since Iím an Anatomy & Physiology professor, my interest in old bones comes naturally! We knew a little of the history of the cow, and that knowledge added a dimension of connection to her bones for me. I loved the organic feel of the dirt left on the bones, so I did not clean them up. I became very familiar with these bones over the next shooting sessions; in fact, I still have some of them in storage. Using hot lights instead of strobes also gave me more of a personal connection to the image, more control and pre-visualization of the effects of slight changes in position or intensity of a light. This shot is of a coxal bone, half of the pelvis., and I love the interplay of the textures, shapes, and shadows.

Later, I did several figure-study sessions with a wonderful model in the studio. She was a living part of the art, and the images we created together were a fusion of both creativities. As with the bones, I was fascinated by the shapes and lights on her body. But these images went beyond shapes and forms and light--the woman is living and dynamic and expressive from within. So, I shot and shot and shot while she gave the camera her body and soul.

Iím not sure when I saw the fusion of these two images into one. Separately, they are nice images emphasizing light, shape, form, texture. Together, they make a statement.

As a little technical note, the bones were originally shot with a medium-format camera using black-and-white film; later the negatives were scanned into digital form. The lighting was with hot lights, diffuser screens, and reflectors in a simple studio setting. As with the bones, I shot the figure studies on film, both color and black-and-white, with a medium-format camera and later scanned the negatives. For lighting, I used a larger studio with multiple strobes. Further manipulation was done with Photoshop.