Pushing the boundaries even further – Bête Noire

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This is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, I know that.  And that is quite OK.  You should know that the blood is fake, its a mixture of corn syrup, chocolate sauce and red gel colouring.  Very sticky!

I was researching on Pinterest for some image inspiration for a shoot I am planning for a friend and went down the rabbit hole of some goth or horror themed images, and I quite liked the concept.  Its yet another stage in my selfie experiment that is an ongoing project when I get time.

Having never made fake blood before, that was the first stage.  Found some useful links online and I had most of what I needed in my pantry.  Made up a small batch yesterday and let it sit for the colour to fully develop.  The red gel has a very blue tone I couldn’t quite get rid of, so I hoped to be able to deal with that in post.

Next was the shoot, its in my bathroom which is quite small.  Camera on tripod down really low for an intimate angle, setup with my shiny new wireless remote and the RRS L-plate that lets me use it.  Stripped down and in the bath with the bowl of blood, and a pastry brush.

My visual inspiration was images from Psycho – I had planned to use the shower curtain but didn’t want to risk staining it red.  Brooke Shaden does a lot of bath images, admittedly hers aren’t quite as dark as this and thats also where I got ideas from.

I titled this image Bête Noire – the definition of which is “An anathema; someone or something which is particularly disliked or avoided; an object of aversion, the bane of one’s existence”.

My reason for calling it that was I felt this image would get strong responses, possibly a lot of negative response.  Having never done or posted an image in this style, I am not sure.

Original image as edited in Lightroom – Kim Klassen preset was used

Why did I do it?  Right now I am in a place where I want to explore new horizons, stretch my boundaries and discover new things.  I consider my technical camera skills are quite capable for the images I have been creating.  However doing the Awake course, and Brooke’s 30 Days of Creativity has inspired me to new and different styles of images.

Because I am working full time, and near the end of 3 1/2 years of study and in my last 6 weeks of research and writing my thesis, I have limited time to allow to creative pursuits.  So what I can do at home, with the resources I have at had, right now, that is what I *can* do.

Plus….. its fun!  Its hard to be the model and the photographer.  Adds a whole new level of difficulty.  But it also gives me amazing freedom to push my boundaries and really grow as an artist.

I know this is a provocative and likely controversial image.  Tell me what you feel when you look at it? Really would love all the feedback, good and bad!


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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11 Responses to Pushing the boundaries even further – Bête Noire

  1. Prior-2001 says:

    well the blood is not my thing – but it kinda feels culture “in” with the “walking dead” shows and then all the video games and stuff.

    this was pretty brave of you to do – and I like how you shared the “why” – to challenge and stretch and well – also to balance the writing and research work – which by the way – congrats on getting closer to being done – 🙂

  2. The blood and gore is not really my thing, but I do like the way you composed the image and then edited it. Well done for all your creativity

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Raewyn, its a polarising image so its either your thing or not, and I understand that. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and let me know!

  3. Nic says:

    I really like the grunge and darkness you added in post, it really creates a mood. I think it’s great to explore and push your boundaries. I actually like it quite a lot, but I do tend to watch dark themed TV (Walking Dead, Penny Dreadful, etc.). The added texture really *makes* this image work. 😀

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Nic, I do appreciate the feedback. I watched the first couple of episodes of Penny Dreadful (I adore Eva Green) but it was very slow and failed to capture my enthusiasm, plus I have to limit my TV watching time while still studying.

      Yeah the texture here makes all the difference I think too 🙂

      • Nic says:

        It’s pretty dark, but I like how they play with known stories like Frankenstein, Werewolves, and Dorian Gray. 🙂

      • lensaddiction says:

        Maybe I will go back to it after I have finished my thesis

  4. Ruth says:

    It looks convincing to me which is a bit unsettling. Check out Weegee- my son gave me a book full of real corpses. It’s not a genre for me but I’m sure it will offer lots of possibilities for you to come up with new ideas.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Ruth, while I was aiming for a certain amount of realism, actual corpses is ………….not your normal mothers day present!

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