The Extra Mile
Saturday 31 October 2020
I believe being an artist also means the necessity to be in-touch with one’s emotions. Some artists might express many emotions through their artwork which they otherwise can’t always express in words. Experiencing life with sensitivity and heightened senses requires the need for creative expression/outlet to mentally survive what can sometimes be a harsh world around us.
Recently I reorganised my portfolio on www.photo4me.com and caught up with one of their podcasts where they were discussing the importance of emotions in an image. The viewer connects with an image through emotion and the reason therefor why it so important for the artist to create with, and capture emotion in their photograph, sculpture or painting. This brings me to one of my older images which I did in the beginning of my Photo Artistry journey and it is called, Farewell My Love.
To me the image captures some sensitive emotions around the ends and beginnings of old and new chapters. There is an overwhelming sense of loss with the setting in a cemetery, the roses on the grave, the drooping shoulders from the body posture of our Charlie Chaplin character and a suitcase which ads to the unsettling feeling of the portrait. Simultaneously to the sadness there is also a feeling of hope, with the character facing towards the brightness coming from the back of the image and the sympathetic and supporting role of the dog presenting his owner with a flower.
My pre-school years was without a television and when my parents took me and my brothers to see a home movie, projected on a pull-down cinema screen at a friends house, it was the most magnificent thing I had ever seen. We were watching none other than the wonderful Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin short films. These characters still stir-up feelings of awe and wonder and the reason for choosing Charlie Chaplin as my main character in this image.
Preparing for this project, I went the extra mile, got the costume from Amazon, set up the shoot in my tiny studio and took a s%&t load of selfies of me and my dog Ben, a Schnauzer. The second part of the project was a visit to London’s most famous and beautiful, Highgate Cemetery. My faithful CanonEOS7D did the job and I am quite happy using still lights instead of flash for home studio photography. For extracting and compositing figures or objects into my images, I use a grey background for easy selections in Photoshop. Everything with this project seemed to fit together nicely regarding the light, the textures, the colours and the story I was trying to tell. After a few years of creating this image, I still enjoy the story and the emotion it stirs-up.
This was one of my mom’s favourite images and she recommended that I add the famous Chaplin cane to the image which wasn’t their initially. The cane was the missing piece to the puzzle. Thanks mom! 🙂
Farewell my Love is a conceptual photo manipulation
A Self Portrait with my dog Ben
55 x 55cm
Behind the scenes.
‘We think too much and feel too little.’ – From Chaplin’s final speech in The Great Dictator.
Farewell my Love Art Prints are available at: