Wednesday, 17 July 2013

CARRY THAT WEIGHT by Emma Critchley

CARRY THAT WEIGHT by Emma Critchley

I promised that I would write another post about my shoots with Emma Critchley and so, here it is. I loved the first shoot with Emma but the problem we had then was that the water in the pool was too murky to produce decent pictures. However, it set me up for the second shoot in that I got to know Emma a bit better and also her assistant, Hannah, and also I got used to being underwater and swimming in the pool. When I first went into the deep end on the first shoot, Emma told me to take a weight into each hand and allow myself to sink to the bottom when my feet would touch the ground as I landed but that, if I panicked at all, I should let go of the weights and I would float back up. So, I took a weight in each hand and held on to the edge of the pool, took a small breath and let go. I sank down, my feet touched the ground, I panicked, dropped the weights and shot straight back up gain! Emma said "That was quick!" Eventually, I got more courageous and and managed to stay down there long enough for Emma to shoot some images which informed her as to what to go for when we returned another day when the water was clearer. This we did on 17th July 2013.

I got the bus this time and arrived punctually. I got undressed and plonked into the pool and, of course, it was glorious again. This time, we went straight to the deep end and started on the shots which had succeeded the first time. Emma also adjusted the lighting which produced some interesting effects. I suppose the shoot must have taken about three hours again, maybe more, but the time sped by. I absolutely adored every minute of it. Not only was I swimming (and sinking) as I posed for the photographs, we were chatting too and it was all very relaxed. I do so love the shoots.


Afterwards, we had lunch in the Mad Hatter in Montpelier Road and then later on, I received the initial versions of Emma's favourite images form the shoot. They were simply wonderful. There were basically three that were the very best and it has been so difficult to choose just one as each said something different. However, after a lot of thought this is the one I chose. I really like the awkwardness of my pose and the shadow behind me. Emma produced them in black & white as it made the space more ambiguous. It reminds me of a painting by an old master but I cannot think of the name of the painting or the identity of the old master. If anyone can help, it would be most appreciated.

Emma is a great photographer. She knows what she is doing and does it very well and very efficiently but she has an artistic eye and a strong intelligence that enables her to fix on something and turn it into these beautiful weird images. We are planning to work together again and I know it will be pure joy, serious but fun, just like Emma.


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