For those not up to date on their old English. The gloaming is that time of day where the soft glow of dusk envelopes your soul. Where the nocturnal gatekeepers take control and anything seems possible. You can (at least I do) imagine secret doorways in the trunks of trees or toadstools the size of houses. It's easy to understand why it's commonly known as the magic hour, anything seems possible and that's where we begin.
This was probably the hardest part of the entire shoot to compile. I had never printed onto an adhesive material before, how would the inks react?, what dynamic range would I get?. We were entering completely new territory. Had it been a simple flat wall there would have been very little drama... However, as I like challenges, I wanted the image (which I had earlier composited) to wrap and warp around the book case, to merge the two worlds of inside and out.
Make sure you watch the behind-the-scenes documentary as you won't believe where I sourced the mushrooms (seen in the lower right of frame). In short they are grown in an 600 meter long decommissioned train tunnel which prior to mushroom farming held World War II munitions for the United States Government.
The Book of Fables
The book & castle are essentially the hero of the artwork. They are presented to us, handed down generation after generation, it's within the book that the series will evolve. Of course it's not a real book of fables, it's an old manuscript from the 18 century which I sourced on the cheap to build a model castle on. I had originally tried to source a commercially manufactured castle to save on time but as the French say it needed a certain je ne sais quoi. In the end we spent several days hand constructing the model castle I had imagined.
The gown is one of those recursive metaphors. For the storyteller to be immersed in the artwork her attire needed to be the artwork. After brief flirtations with printing on fabric I had decided now was the time to construct something more elaborate. We foraged for local ivy and lilies, once we had the still life composed in the studio we photographed plates ready for printing onto a Belgium Linen with my large format (Epson 9900) printer.
It's crucial to look laterally to see how we can get the most out of our tools. Of course we use our tools to capture the final photograph, but why not use them for other things like prop, costume & set creation?