We are all made from our experiences in life. They shape us and how we deal with them shapes not only our futures but those of the people around us. This is Tim’s story :
I wanted a dragon to show what I’ve been through in life. I see the fire as like I’ve been coming out of the fire. When I was younger I did a lot of drugs and was a naughty boy. Not that I want to forget that, I want to remember it in a way because drugs are so easy to get stuck in. All the people I used to know still do them and I’m like you’ve got to move on now. I kind of saw that as my way of representing going away from that kind of area but kinda remembering it so I know what I’ve come from to get to this point in my life and I’ve got a helter skelter to represent the spiral of like what I was going through at that time. I was going to a lot of all night raves and parties up in Milton Keynes and really random places and one of the companies that put on the events was called Helter Skelter and so it kind of has two meanings, a time of your life that was spiralling madly but also the clubs and stuff I was going to. I kind of enjoyed it but obviously it’s not good to do drugs.. I’m talking like 15 years ago I gave all this up.
I wanted to keep with the Japanese theme, so wanted a hawk. I wanted to make him look like he was in attack. When I was getting this done I was splitting up with my wife so it was a hard time. I remember a song coming on the radio by Ben Howard and it’s called keep your head up and one of the lyrics is keep your head up, keep your heart strong and when I was listening to it it struck a chord in me so hard at that time in my life when everything was just so just going to shit and I was like “I need that on my chest by my heart…” it went with the bird and I’ll forever know now that I managed to come through that time in my life when it was super hard.
The Technical Bit
These photos were all taken in my studio against a black cloth background. I used the Sony A7R2 camera with the Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8 lens (my favourite lens !). They were lit using two Elinchrom FX400 studio lights, one off to camera right fitted with an Elinchrom Strip softbox and the other off to camera left a bit behind Tim was fitted with a reflector dish and grid. If you look closely in to Tim’s eyes you can see the shape of the softbox 🙂
The middle photo was only processed in Adobe Lightroom, the black and white conversion was done using Nik Silver Efex. With the first photo most of the editing was done in Lightroom with some object removal in photoshop to remove some light that was reflecting off the beanbag that Tim was sitting on 🙂
One thing I have learnt is that spending some time getting things right with the lighting and camera settings can save an awful lot of time in Photoshop !