Photographing Angels and Demons
I have seen many an angel during my time and I have also seen plenty of demons too. I have even taken some of their photographs to prove it too.
But in reality everyone can take photographs of angels and of demons. All you really need is a camera.
Off course I am referring to statues, images, paintings and depictions of both. This photographic theme is focused on capturing images of any angel or demon as depicted in works of art, in sculptures and anywhere where one can be found.
The main purpose should be to capture images that can be clearly and easily be identified by an audience as that of an angel or of a demon. Whenever you come up onto one of these images try to take close ups of the face and it features. Isolate the facial expressions and capture the small details, even its texture.
Combine the taking of close ups with full body images a well. Many examples are intricately created to show armor, flaming swords, shields and fancy garbs. The same goes for images of demonic creatures. Most churches, some museums and a few buildings have statues that depict imaginary representations not only of godly beings but of the not so nice kind too. Photographing at a museum may be out of bounds, but special permission is sometimes given if you detail your project and only concentrate on photographing parts of an image.
Many European countries have plenty of architectural structures which have several depictions of these two subjects. Gargoyles were commonly used to adorn churches, private households and many government centers. Many are found high above the street but there are also many of these images at ground level, often found in gardens. Plant nurseries have some samples of angels and cherubins, but their quality of workmanship is often dull at best. Go for higher quality and detailed pieces if at all possible.
As with many photographic projects, light plays a crucial part, and so does it with this theme. Photographs of angels should be clearly lit and with diffused lighting to prevent the production of harsh shadows. Angel photos should also be done with a softening filter to make the image even more "angelic" by blending away any imperfections in workmanship as well as creating a "soft" haze around the entire image.
Demon images on the other hand should be done with a focused narrow light; aiming the light source at specific portions to highlight details such as the goriness of facial features. This heightens the "diabolical" elements as it may. Using a narrow beam of light such as when a snot is used, produces shadows around the point of focus and hides some details, but this only adds to the mystery and creates intrigue which is the effect that should be aimed for.
These samples can be shown as individual pieces or in groups of same kind. The best presentations formats are usually the ones in which various representations of each; angels and demons are shown side by side, much like a collage or like a thumbnail.
This photography project allows one to explore the many aspects of texture, perspective and selective focus. It also allows you to hone your skills in capturing images of emotions and feelings and what it means to "tell" a message with photos.
If done correctly, this theme can be used by greeting card manufactures, photography publications and for artistic reasons as well. With the growing popularity of angel motifs, books about them continue to be well received by the general public and further advanced by popular movies. Your photographs may just be destined for such a project.
Keep in mind that angels and demons photography has been done for quite a long time, perhaps as early as the invention of photography. To distinguish yourself and your work, use creativity and give it an artistic touch.
Find new ways of photographing a very familiar topic. For example to reinforce the idea of Heaven (up) and Hell (down), photograph some subjects from a low and from a high angle; photograph angels by getting lower and aiming higher and demons by getting higher and aiming lower.
A variation to the theme is to photograph people attired to look like angels or demons. This is a bit more difficult and costly since the costumes and props must be realistic, otherwise you may as well be doing a Halloween shoot. Unless you happen to know Victoria and she lets you in on her Secrets, the props can also turn out to be quite difficult to make.
© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez
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