Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Faerieland Returns...!!! | 2011 begins...


After a long Winter slumber, I'm so proud and excited to announce that Faerieland has begun to wake up.

With so many new places, characters and story lines, I hope you like this first piece of imagery, as I begin endeavoring into shooting for this collection, throughout Spring & Summer.

... As the woods begin to thaw and as the forests begin to rouse.

This year, I simply want you to get as lost and mesmerized as I have over the course of the last year.

Let this collection sweep you away.
With what I have planned, all I can say for those that have been following this collection since it's inception is: be excited.

For a refresher course about Faerieland (what it is, when and how it started, and why) you can read my 2010 interview w/ The Examiner to catch up on the metaphors, motives, and symbolism within this growing collection.

For those that don't want to read that full article, here's an excerpt:

"I took notes. I slept outside underneath briars during a normal work day. I sat on the forest floor looking up at the canopy, right in the mix of animals like deer and rabbits and birds. It’s amazing when you sit there long enough, what becomes comfortable with you. I recorded what I heard everywhere I went on my mp3 player, and put it on repeat with solo piano tracks for a full month. It was all I listened to. I wanted to understand nature as well as how far we stray from it, and how I was going to visually relay what it meant to come back to it, metaphorically..."

I hope you'll join me as I return to the dark woods...

I give to you:


As with all pieces of my work, I wholeheartedly recommend viewing them as high res. on either my website or on Flickr, as part of the entire set, in order. Blogspot has a tendency to greatly reduce quality.

"Elemental" is my first nude shot (Faerieland or other) in the (nearly) five years I've been behind the lens. For those who are familiar with my work, you know that I often hint, but rarely shoot nude w/ models & never myself. That being said, I'm not averse to nudes in any way. Bodies are so beautiful and completely natural (this collection screams natural and coming back to one's roots) and certain segments of this collection will absolutely call for it. Am I happy to have done it? Absolutely.

My philosophy on nudes in photography are these:
"Is it elegant?"
"Is this appropriate?"
"Does nude add or detract from the photo?"

Now onto more about this piece...

"Elemental" is the culmination of what Winter felt like, to me, this year.
In the midwest, Winters are rarely three months -- usually closer to 5 or 6 with a short and bittersweet Autumn, and then very early cold and snow that often lasts into mid March. This year saw temps as low as 30 to 40 below.

I wanted this shot to represent the depths of the quiet, lonely, cold, white, hazy, pale, epic Winter, as I've experienced it, and to hold (as with all my work and messages, within themselves) the contrast of beauty amidst hardship. This is so easily represented by nature, and was my goal for this piece. That's my goal for all of Faerieland.

This year, when I stood on the 12 acres, here, where I type this now, I couldn't hear a sound, beyond the wind at the tops of the tallest trees, and when I closed my eyes this is the image that represented all of it...


Additionally, last year, there were two images shot that never made it over to this blog and it's about time they do, though many have seen them by now, in publications or interviews.

Without further adieu, I also give to you one of the very first landscapes of "faerieland" as well as an image comprised of over 40 individual photos...

"Pigeon River Falls"

The above piece is a panorama.

Vertical Panoram's don't get very much real estate on the internet, so here's another (cropped) below. This is actually about 7 different images, shot on the trembling cliff edge minutes before dark, just short of the Canadian Border. I had to shoot a long exposure, but had trouble doing so, since my camera was on the edge of such massive water movement and the entire ground would shake my camera and tripod. I got lucky that one full Panoram was crisp. ;)

Detail Shot, "Pigeon River Falls"

Everything in Faerieland has secret meanings, different motives, hidden symbols, and though this face (in the above rock) is visible, it's a nice hint to how dark I intend for this collection to be as I continue weaving it together. This is a world in which natural is normal, and where dark is normal.

Nothing beyond nature exists or ever has. No time. No technology. No inhibitions.
But, just as nature has two sides: serene and graceful beauty amidst a world fraught with things such as death and an order that must be respected in order to flourish within it, so will "Faerieland" be its representation & ever present reminder of that (sometimes) struggle.

With this collection, I want you to think: "That is so beautiful. But, oh wait...that scares me a bit". What is my hope? Which is my goal?
Both. I want you to feel both.

Lastly, the final shot I'm sharing today did make it over to Flickr last year, but didn't make it over here to my blog, so I'm posting that today, as well with a few notes on how I made that image.


"Sentinel" was an amazingly fun and very difficult piece to make. I had an amazing designer make that leaf mask you see, covering the eyes of the watcher. This shot is comprised of countless images; probably somewhere in the ballpark of 40, total. Each leaf was handpicked during the Fall and hand colored, and finally - individually photographed. In post, I had to stitch each one into the photo, around the watching eyes, in a way that would present a strong composition and offer enough variation, to be believable. "Sentinel" took about 5 days to complete, in post alone.

And that's it for now...

New work on the horizon line. I've been building and continue to build everything, as well as casting, and working with great designers, from all over the world. I and am ready to go.

Today is March 1st (!!!) which means Spring is this month & the moment it warms even a little, these secret characters, new models, dark stories, and beautiful world are coming to life.

Welcome back.


Anonymous said...

Hi! I am new to your work and I just have to say how blown away I am by all the emotions I feel when I look at it, truly amazing and so inspiring. Thank you.

nthWORD said...

Nice work! Sentinel is a beautifully rendered shot. How long did it take to get the final image?

Dave said...

Amazing images! Love the hidden details. Love the contemplative mood of the winter nude.This has been such a dreary winter. It's only been warm when it was cloudy or raining. If it was clear it was either bitter cold, or windy, or both.

.E. said...

just beautiful love the waterfall panorama.