The Naked Man Project webiste.
Yesterday I began a discussion about analyzing light in a photograph to use it to your advantage. The discussion began with my looking at a book of rare vintage nudes from the 60’s. And there was a prime example of what I wanted to talk about in one of the images but I can find a decent enough image of it online to show my examples so I am going to take this image of Travis. It’s harder to do on an image that I already know and have created. To me my own lighting techniques are so simplistic that they are hard to describe but here goes. My concept for the image was to show a gritty dirty mechanic sort of guy who had been working in a shop possibly most of his life. Growing up in small towns in Montana there are guys I know well and in high school I was particularly drawn to one kid who really exited me. He was a smart kid from a poorer family and work to help supplement and support his family. I watched him struggle most of the time and often worked instead of having fun with some of the rest of us his own age. He had an alliance to duty and I felt he often felt trapped in that world longing to be out from under its burden. He always seemed to live in a very fractured world. Yet there was something sexy and sensual in his honesty and how humble his work in the garage became. Every time I would visit he would just dirty in his coveralls, grime smeared across his face. The smell of the grease and mechanic dirt somehow become intoxicating to me and I found a strong desire to somehow be closer to him and somehow ease his fractured world.
Though my thoughts of this boy go back to when we were both 16, nothing developed between us, just a remarkable friendship, but I still remember that longing to become a part of his world; to somehow linger beside him. He ended up marring my best friend and entered a world of greater joy that I had never seen within him before. He finally seemed content. Years later I heard of his passing, probable suicide, and a sickness filled the pit of my stomach. I know I have become a success with this image, when I gaze deep into Travis’ eyes and am haunted by the memory of our faded youth.
VIEW FULL IMAGE: Travis #635