Photo Series; Angels
There are many people all over the planet who in some way or other believe in angels and a great majority also believe that angels are among us, watching us and guarding over us.
"An angel is a supernatural being or spirit, usually humanoid in form, found in various religions and mythologies. The term "angel" has also been expanded to various notions of spirits found in many other religious traditions.
Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out God's tasks. In art, angels are often depicted with wings on their back, a halo, robes and various forms of glowing light " Wikipedia
Photographing their "presence" seems like an impossibility but this does not mean that one can't create, through photography, their presence as if they were here but we just didn't see them.
All it really takes is some clothes much like togas, some halos and wings, off course you may need some makeup, but it is not a crucial part of the theme.
You can go more into an artistic representation in which you would dress your models, complete with wings, and pose them by themselves or you can have the "angels" appear to be watching us. There really is no wrong theme, both variations will work quite well.
If posing your models by themselves then try to do the shoot in a location that is devoid of clutter and better if the backdrops are solid colors. Although if you have a backdrop that complements the scene then use it.
Toga style of clothing works best because the many religious accounts and art works have ingrained in our minds that these heavenly beings wear them, but this does not mean that you cannot modernize your subjects and pose them in regular street clothes and without the halo. This works best with children.
If recording the images in a studio then include some images against a green screen, also known as a chroma key. This type of backdrop is the one typically used if you want to incorporate a digital background in post production.
It helps if you use one main photographic snoot to illuminate the models, therefore concentrating the viewer's attention unto it. Although day shots do photograph well, for this variation dusk or night serve you better.
You can try using a variety of poses and facial expressions such as sad looking, deep in thought, happy and so on.Try to avoid the overused theme of attaching angle wings to a sleeping baby or using angel wings that are made from plastic or painted cardboard.
Feathered wings are more expensive but they look much better in photographs and the togas you can easily make from a yard of white cotton cloth. If you want to make halos they too are easily made from a round piece of foam or are relatively cheap to buy at most arts and craft supply stores.
Among your photos include silhouettes, and some monochromes that half hidden by shadows. This helps create an air of mystery. Both male and females as well as children are appropriate for the theme.
Do not limit your photographs to only "good" angels. Some images can be devoted to "fallen" angels but for these images you may need to change the color of the wings from white to black as this is the typical thought regarding those who have fallen from grace.
With "fallen" angels some props typically used by those into the Gothic trend are usually suitable like studded belts, biker boots, earrings, and black make up as well as black nail polish.
Although not practical for outdoor shoots indoor set ups can benefit by having a fan to create movement on the hair and clothing since it can enhance the effects and give the sense of movement, especially if you are introducing a digital backdrop in which your subject appears to be flying, among the clouds or floating.
A smoke machine can also prove quite valuable as its effects serve to lend more of a suspenseful theme and it works quite well for both good and bad angels. A really intense effect is achieved if you use a back light on the smoke while the "angel" is situated in the forefront.
Nudes lend themselves quite well for the theme but using them may limit the range of viewers and if you are going to include some nude shots then consider posing in tasteful poses and hinting rather than showing full nudity.
Something else to consider is the use of color lights especially light that complements the scene such as blues.
Do not be afraid to engross the entire scene, including the subject, in a subtle color hue. If afterwards the effect is not to your liking, then you may manipulate the tones in post production.
Don't forget to watch the video, it's really interesting!
Angels on Earth
- The science of religion: Where angels no longer fear to tread | The Economist
BY THE standards of European scientific collaboration, €2m ($3.1m) is not a huge sum. But it might be the start of something that will challenge human perceptions...
A Real Angel visits a Child, you decide.
© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez
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