sleaze potential

I don't think I've ever put as much effort into a photo as I did into this one. Certainly, then, this is proof that effort is not relative to success. However, I am intrigued by and largely satisfied with the result.

The image required effort because executing my idea meant facing several challenges. Challenge number one: take a photo of a partially lit, nondescript torso with an entirely black background. This was extremely difficult, and involved lots of black sheets, a carefully placed tripod and mirrors. Challenge number two: find suitably sleazy and interesting neon in the CBD. This sounds easy, right? Every city has a tonne of sleazy neon, right? Wrong. This is definitely one area in which Sydney outdoes Melbourne several times over. Challenge number three: take a photo of strip-club/sex-shop neon without capturing and/or aggravating potential customers. I achieved this challenge, but the fear of being caught meant I didn't take much time sorting out settings and composition.

Does the final image match my original idea? Yes and no. The concept was to capture some neon on my lovely high-grain black and white film, and expose it over a stylised shot of a partially naked body. (I feel I need to take a moment to acknowledge the amateur nature of the thematic content - and I absolutely do realise how painfully juvenile matching stripper with sex shop is. But the idea interests me very strongly on an aesthetic level, and this was the most obvious content to experiment with.) There are a few flaws, most notably that the neon overwhelms the body to the extent that it's very hard to make out. Also, while I appreciate the symmetry in the image of the neon, I think for a photo like this it should be on an angle, or distorted in some way, or possibly even exposed more than once.

It's extremely far from perfect. But it's good to know that if and when I decide to pursue this concept further, I won't be completely in the dark.

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