Making sure your artistic vision doesn't kill the model

December 23, 2016

Artists often come up with concepts for images that push reality and just like in the movies, we are tasked with what to create in reality and what to add afterwards dues to safety and cost.  However, I often shoot actual film so doing my work mostly "in camera" is often the "best" way to get the results I want and still keep things safe.

Fine art is the distillation of an artists' vision and not necessarily just the sum of the parts so doing things afterwards is ok too.

In my latest series in pushing boundaries we needed to figure out both technical and safety elements of a model and fire.

The first technical aspect was surprisingly difficult!  Setting paper on fire.

Fine art photography dangerMy assistant trying to get paper to burn. We are using umbrellas made out of paper and getting them to actually burn required testing multiple chemical concoctions (of which i'm totally not listing here kids!).  We started with my assistant literally lighting multiple areas to even get it to burn to a 30 foot fireball!  We opted for the middle of the road and ended up with the mix for a fast burning 8 foot flame.

Why fast burning?  Because if you are a model you don't want to hold a flaming umbrella very long.  

Here are some of the tests we did in the back yard.  Stay tuned for the final image next month!

fire fine art photography erik cocksOne of the multiple umbrellas we set on fire. erik cocks fine art photographyErik Cocks after a day of fire testing for a photo shoot