Sometimes you can see an image in your mind before you make it. This image is an example of that pre-visualization for me, however this time it didn’t work. For several years I have thought about an image that has a human skull, a book and a burnt down candle. The skull I imagined would be the primary subject of the photo and the composition would be such that you could read the spine of the book and it would appear somewhat tattered. I had not found what I would consider the perfect book for the photograph so I went with an old Edward Weston (look him up you know his work.) book I had and the skull the kids bought me as a prop for Halloween. While this is a perfectly fine image, it doesn’t capture what I had in my mind eye and I think that is because I decided to just go with what I had and push the composition rather than keep looking at thrift stores and garage sales for that perfect book and candle (yes this image doesn’t contain a candle at all I realize that.).
From a technical standpoint, I tinkered with the flash for a while before settling on a non-gridded snoot to throw just enough light on the spine of the book and the front o the skull. The light on the right was a gobo-ed strip light. I think overall its getting there, and while this composition and effect might capture a reasonable image, it is just not the one I am looking for. I think this will be revisited a couple more times at least for me until I get it where I want it to be. I am pretty happy with the overall lighting I have, but the subjects need some work for me. The time spent on this helped me to refine what I am looking for in my shot and maybe gives me a couple ideas on what kind of book and candle I am looking for when I come across them.