My top 11 darker images and why

October 29, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

In no particular order of favor or rank.

I've decided to include some of my favorite (11:11) images and what they mean to me. You could say this is Halloween themed, but when I think about it, my response is immortalized in the words of Peter Steele, "everyday is Halloween" ... 

 

Mask by Morgan "Beelzebub" Photography Suyama Images Model: Mizz Amanda Marie

I shot this in the style and inspiration of the cover art from 1998's Adore album by the Smashing Pumpkins. I've always enjoyed that song, and the album. I have upwards of 50 or so Pumpkin boots, only second to The Doors, followed by Nine Inch Nails and Jimi Hendrix. This was more of a nod to that album. I grew a lot between 1995's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness album and 1998's Adore. In a way, this was a transitional period and I didn't really embrace who I was until I saw that it was okay to do that. 

"It's you that I adore
You'll always be my whore
You'll be a mother to my child
And a child to my heart
We must never be apart..." 

 

 

This is the cropped version (the full length is here). I've selected the cropped version to illustrate an interesting anomaly.  To this day, I've never understood this photograph. It was taken with a medium format camera and the main light had not recycled in time, but the back light did. Thus the very dark, sillhouette. But if you look, the model (right) and the shadow (left) appear to have separate ideas on how to pose for the shot. This was taken with 1 click of the shutter - yes one picture, no double exposure. I don't think I've done double exposure since I used film. None of the frames before or after looked like this. 

 

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I processed this image to look as if you were watching (what's left of) her through a TV. There were many reasons for this, but in short, there is a quote from Paul Washer who runs the HeartCry Missionary Society. It's rather fitting here, "Over the epitaph of this generation it will say ENTERTAINED TO DEATH." 

 

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This image was inspired by the Black Dahlia murder. I've been somewhat fascinated by the case since I learned about it. I can only imagine what went through Elizabeth Short's mind during the minutes and hours before her death in early January 1947. While the crime was horrific, I've often wondered, did she experience terror or sadness as her life drew to a premature close? A sadness that she'd never see her parents again, or experience another Christmas, or go to the cinema with a friend. She'd be forever trapped, immortalized and remembered in death, not in life.   

 

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I've enjoyed this image, not only for the obvious reasons, but because it's always symbolized being a monster and being stuck in one's skin as a monster or perhaps, put in another way, having flaws. I imagine many people feel or have felt this way (I certainly do). Some people feel that way because they are or were bullied. Some feel that way for past things they've done which they now regret. We all have our demons, and sometimes they just don't want to let go. 

 

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I didn't have a mother after about age 13 or 14. As I've gotten older and have been witness to friends who became mothers, I can see the valuable role that mothers play in raising children and offering some sort of shelter from this world, at least for a little while. I am only now just learning that most mother's have tight bonds with their children, something I will never know first hand save for the scraps of memories from early childhood. What's always drawn me to this image is the look on her face, her attentive, maternal attitude as she offers life to death. This was part of the "mental clause" series. The location was demolished and now a housing development stands there. Little do they know ... 

 

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Gone are the days of shooting zombies - at least until some vaccine or genetic mutation creates enough of them that it becomes legal to hunt/defend oneself (the upcoming election doesn't count) -wait different definition of shooting. That aside, this was taken a while ago at a zombie shoot in an abandoned house (also now demolished). I was piggy backing light from another photographer nearby and was standing on the second floor looking down the stairs and yep, a fucking zombie spots me.  I don't care for zombie photos because they, to me, look stupid and staged. If you want horror, shoot with a slower shutter and show some motion, harness crappy light, and nail the fucking shot at the precise time (in this photo, it was eye contact that added the element of horror). That's how this image was created. No real planning, just an opportunity at the right time and place.

 

 

I loved this body paint. It was probably one of the simplest concepts I've been part of (painted by Peter Jensen), but to me it mean't a lot more than many of the other body paints. This has a symbolic meaning for me, a mixture between not "having a heart" (did she eat her own?) and not having a soul (did it go somewhere else, leaving a shell of evil?). "Head like a hole, black as your soul." Anyway, you will never break my heart again.  

 

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This is a fairly recent image I took after a friend and I remodeled this bathroom, installed the wall, tile and tub. I met the lady in this image years ago at a little health food store I would frequent. She worked there. Sometimes friendship blossoms and I end up approaching friends for various photographic concepts that have been locked in my head. This was one of them. It's best to let these things out. I find it helps.  

 

 

 

I titled this image "Black Widow"... her eyes are full of venom while her pose is almost alluring. There is a certain attraction that comes with the nudity of this image while there are precautions to take because the black widow kills her mate when he is done serving his purpose, which is to further the race. There are famous crime cases that have dubbed various women as black widows, which typically involves (some of the few) serial killer women who off husband after husband for different reasons. There is just enough parts of this image that are attractive that might draw one closer, but such will have it's price.

 

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The golden dawn. That's the name of the series of images that this came from. To me, this one signifies rebirth and ascension, thus "golden dawn". There is a certain confidence in this pose that makes me think of challenging divinity. A darkness and a golden light illustrates the pull between light and dark, heaven and hell. The dichotomy. Her mask may repulse some, while her body may draw you closer with lust. I think sometimes we are drawn to the various aspects of light and dark in other people. This image reminds me that there is beauty on both sides of the spectrum and that we are all made up of various ratios of the two. I'm all for equality. 

***

In closing, I have many more concepts in my head. Things just clawing to find their way into this world. I hope to be able to share these with you someday. I'm not a dark person, I've just figured out how to harness my past and turn it into something that you can see too. If your darkness is getting the better part of you, you can always reach out to me.  It can't rain all the time.

 


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