For all of us, who focus on staged photography you rarely start with a finished scene and there is always a lot of work to do even before the actual photoshoot can begin. I would compare this process to building the story. Photographers need to create the world where all the action will take place and develop. The story starts with the space and characters supported by the overall mood, hugely influenced by lighting.
Our project is inspired by the building of an old chemistry school. It was left abandoned for many years and the transformation of this space back into nature became visible everywhere. It seems like the school was living its own life after everybody have left. We became so fascinated by this romantic idea of life inside of rotten walls covered in dust and moulds that we decided to transform this feeling into a visual story, which represents our journey of discovering the space through imagination.
We found ourselves in huge time pressure because of ongoing reconstructions in the building which left us just 2-3 days to complete the project before the place changes to more “inhabitable” for good. It was stressful but also kind of precious to know, that we are the last and maybe also the first to capture the current state of the building which represents unique metamorphoses of artificial into organic. Obviously we didn't have time for any big production so we decided to improvise and build all the scenes just with what was available in the space. Even though it was really not sure, what is going to work we decided to try it and hope for the best. Already on location I realized that most of the rooms, we decided to use are quite dark and there was no electricity in the whole building.
Nevertheless I still wanted to keep soft and diffused quality of the light. Not only to mimic the feeling of natural light but most importantly to emphasize a gloomy, mysterious mood of the whole story. For this reason I used a Siros L with a Octabox 150 as a fill on the lowest power. Besides digital photography we were also creating analogue and video footage which requires continuous light source so we just switched to modeling light. With the help of diffusing panels and reflectors we reached smooth daylight quality and enough detail in the shadows, which seemed to be the biggest issue in the beginning.
t give up and think about how to use what is available. Here you can see few of our final results, Im working on new projects and cannot wait to share it:)
Photography : Evelyn Bencicova
Concept and Art-Direction: Adam Csoka Keller, Evelyn Bencicova
Cinematography: Igor Smitka