Ocular Distortion – Persephone

Ocular Distortion - Persephone

Ocular Distortion

About the Artist

My interests in photography and film began in junior high school — a fascination leading me to pursue my undergrad and graduate degree from Ohio State University in cinematography. For the last 20 years most of my work has been in film and video — documentary and narrative film — specifically horror genre. The last couple years I decided to work more in still imagery primarily for the purpose of my desire to photograph pinup and exotic/erotic imagery, preferring to work with models and staged scenes. I have found working in photography to allow me to explore my own artistic endeavors on a more personal level since I do not rely on crew as I need to in film work. The collaboration still exists between myself and the model but it is more on the intimate.

About the Images

These images are of Mistress Persephone. She is one of the first models I started working with when going back to still photography and we have worked quite frequently ever since. My approach is rather simple — I shoot in digital, 35MM and medium format (Nikon and Hasselblad) Specifically, this series was shot with a Nikon D-50 with a f 1.8, 50MM lens. Typically I use hard, hot sources — but I also incorporate color gels influenced by classic Hammer horror films as well as from the films of Roger Corman’s Poe adaptations. For these I experimented for the first time with an Alien Bee B400 flash unit with a light modifier creating a narrow beam producing an edge highlight enhanced through Photoshop via the “glow” effect. My ambient fill is created with a homemade soft box with fluorescent daylight balanced lamps. The box contains 16 lamps (each lamp is 20 Watts — an equivalent of 75 Watt incandescent output). I can engage all 16 lamps or 8 lamps producing my desired illumination. For a touch of back light I use a collapsible reflector on a stand from Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting and Accessories.

On this particular shoot, Persephone and I wanted imagery in her dominatrix persona — I was not happy with the background so I draped a red net behind her. I carry several pieces or remnants of material with me for just this reason. I love how the black outfit stands out from the red, the look on her face with her, with the whip draped over her shoulder quite elegantly. The other image — the curve of the whip, her face showing erotic pleasure from an instrument of pain. The final image is classic pinup with a black backdrop and stand, also from Kaeser. Leaving the strobe as a hard source as opposed to diffused created the beautiful highlight to her exquisite boots and the extreme contrast with her skin tones; black and red — quite inviting. I would love to hear from you, additional information is on my web site: www.JoeyHorrxr.com.

Persephone 2
©2010 by Jose Cardenas. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Persephone 1
©2010 by Jose Cardenas. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Persephone 3
©2010 by Jose Cardenas. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

©2010 by Jose Cardenas.
Text edited by Sheta Kaey.

Ocular Distortion – Winter Set

December 15, 2009 by  
Filed under art, culture, photography

Ocular Distortion - Winter Set

Ocular Distortion

About the Artist

My interest in photography began when I was very young. My father was one of the best known photographers and “print men” in Argentina, and since he had a lab in our house I had plenty of opportunities to watch him perform his awe-inspiring magick in the darkroom. I watched and learned and, with his help, became enthralled in black, white, and those 256 shades in between. To me, photography is a perfect blend of science and art.

The 35mm equipment I currently use are a Canon AE-1, a Minolta X-700, and a Samsung Maxima 70 XL for those quick and easy social event shots. My main medium-format cameras are a Kowa 6 and a Mamiya 635. I often indulge in my love for the old and unusual by employing various different cameras from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. For example, I will sometimes use a Holga, which is a badly made, cheap, plastic toy medium format camera mass produced in the People’s Republic of China. These things leaks light all over the place, and I have to wrap the camera with duct tape before using it to keep light from leaking in and to keep the film door from flying open and ruining the film. If it were a boat, it would sink. The value of these cameras is in their various flaws. They create blurry images and dramatic contrast, and can often produce those surreal images one sees in magazines. It is so difficult to take a good picture with this camera that the photographer is forced into an understanding of light and the camera eye.

I am something of a traditionalist and don’t particularly care for digital photography. I do, however, enjoy the ease afforded by such hardware, and so I have a digital camera always at the ready around the house so that I can send my family instant pictures of my daughter. I feel that modifying a mediocre picture on a computer to make it look as though the photographer actually knew what he was doing is dishonest, and it takes away the art of having to understand light, aperture and field of vision, because most digital cameras do everything for you. There is nothing for the photographer to do but point and press. When a person shoots with film, they have to think about it for a long time before pushing the shutter button. They have to try to estimate to the best of their ability how the camera is going to “see” the subject, and how the settings they use will effect the overall result. There are many digital photographers that I admire, but to me digital photography represents our culture’s desire for cheap and instant gratification.

— Gerald del Campo

Winterland

Winterland by Gerald del Campo

“Winterland” ©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Twisted

Twisted by Gerald del Campo

“Twisted” ©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

©2009 by Gerald del Campo.
Text edited and images resized by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald serves as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

Ocular Distortion – Nightshade Impressions

October 22, 2009 by  
Filed under culture, photography

Ocular Distortion - Nightshade Impressions

Ocular Distortion

About the Artist

My interest in photography began when I was very young. My father was one of the best known photographers and “print men” in Argentina, and since he had a lab in our house I had plenty of opportunities to watch him perform his awe-inspiring magick in the darkroom. I watched and learned and, with his help, became enthralled in black, white, and those 256 shades in between. To me, photography is a perfect blend of science and art.

The 35mm equipment I currently use are a Canon AE-1, a Minolta X-700, and a Samsung Maxima 70 XL for those quick and easy social event shots. My main medium-format cameras are a Kowa 6 and a Mamiya 635. I often indulge in my love for the old and unusual by employing various different cameras from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. For example, I will sometimes use a Holga, which is a badly made, cheap, plastic toy medium format camera mass produced in the People’s Republic of China. These things leaks light all over the place, and I have to wrap the camera with duct tape before using it to keep light from leaking in and to keep the film door from flying open and ruining the film. If it were a boat, it would sink. The value of these cameras is in their various flaws. They create blurry images and dramatic contrast, and can often produce those surreal images one sees in magazines. It is so difficult to take a good picture with this camera that the photographer is forced into an understanding of light and the camera eye.

I am something of a traditionalist and don’t particularly care for digital photography. I do, however, enjoy the ease afforded by such hardware, and so I have a digital camera always at the ready around the house so that I can send my family instant pictures of my daughter. I feel that modifying a mediocre picture on a computer to make it look as though the photographer actually knew what he was doing is dishonest, and it takes away the art of having to understand light, aperture and field of vision, because most digital cameras do everything for you. There is nothing for the photographer to do but point and press. When a person shoots with film, they have to think about it for a long time before pushing the shutter button. They have to try to estimate to the best of their ability how the camera is going to “see” the subject, and how the settings they use will effect the overall result. There are many digital photographers that I admire, but to me digital photography represents our culture’s desire for cheap and instant gratification.

Facade

One of the things I love about Portland is the way neat looking buildings are considered art. Often, when a building is unsafe, they will demolish the main part of the structure, but keep reinforce the facing wall intact so that the neighborhood does not lose its charm. I thought it looked spooky. Kowa 120mm with Fuji Film

Facade by Gerald del Campo
©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Happens to the Best of Us

Imagine my surprise when I learned Batman had died. I wondered who had done him in: The Joker, The Riddler, The Penguin, or maybe he finally gave in to the charms of Catwoman. Of course, he could have simply grown old and died, or ended his own life when he realized that the world is perfectly happy being as corrupt as it is, but that hardly seemed like a fitting end for a superhero. Taken at Riverview Cemetery in Portland. Minolta X-700, Fuji Film

Happens to the Best of Us by Gerald del Campo
©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Bet

This was taken at Pioneer Cemetery during the spring of 2002. I was working with two models that day, which is pretty rare for me since I like to focus my attention on one subject at a time. This model’s name is Bet. I wished to portrait an angel watching over the person in the grave, or waiting for the day that he or she would rise up. We were kicked out by the caretaker because he felt her clothing was just a little too see-through. No sense of fashion, this guy. Kowa 120mm, Fuji Film.

Bet by Gerald del Campo
©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Deadly Nightshade

I have always been fascinated by the beauty and appeal of the poisonous things in nature. I bumped into this huge, basketball sized specimen at the Japanese Gardens in Portland. It was cut down the following week, so I am happy I got a chance to photograph it. Minolta X-700 w/Fuji Film

Deadly Nightshade by Gerald del Campo
©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

©2009 by Gerald del Campo
Text edited and images resized by Sheta Kaey

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald serves as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

Ocular Distortion – Cemetery Series

October 22, 2009 by  
Filed under culture, photography

Ocular Distortion - Cemetery Series

Ocular Distortion

About the Artist

Grace Victoria Swann is a witch, student, and freelance writer/editor living in the Minneapolis, MN area with her partner, Frater Barrabbas. From Cherokee and German/Lutheran ancestry, Grace began formal studies in witchcraft and high magick in 2005. She recently attained 3rd degree in British Traditional Wicca (Alexandrian) and is active in the Order of the Gnostic Star, or Egregora Sancta Stella Gnostica (E.S.S.G.). Grace writes a quarterly pagan travel column for The Crooked Path Journal. She may be reached via grace@gracevictoriaswann.com.

The Sentinel

Overlooking the James River in downtown Richmond, Virginia, the Hollywood Cemetery feels more like a garden than where the dead sleep. Rolling valleys and winding hillside trails snake through gravemarkers and monuments that date back to 1850. Over the years, Hollywood Cemetery has welcomed millions of visitors because of the people who spend eternity there. The property is the final resting place of: our nation’s 5th president James Monroe, whose corpse resides beneath a bird cage-like architectural structure; John Tyler, the 10th president of the U.S. with a larger than life oblisk; and, the Civil War President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. (Despite Richmond’s cosmopolitan flair, cemetery caretakers do have to remove rebel flags and momentos weekly from Davis’ gravemarker.)

This particular looming gravemarker photographed is positioned to the left of Jefferson Davis. It marks the burial place of his daughter and son-in-law. To me, the haunting and sad beauty of this particular marker and tree overshadows Davis monument by far.

The Sentinel by Grace Victoria Swann
©2009 Grace Victoria Swann. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Black Death

In 18th century American southern graves, the skull and crossbones was used to denote the graves of people who died from the Black Death (the plague) or from other mysterious causes. The markings ensured that grave robbers would leave the body alone — lest they unearth disease that would further spread to pandemic levels.

This grave denotes the final resting place of Mr. David Stoddard of Charlestown (now Charleston), South Carolina. He transitioned to the afterlife on Nov. 5, 1769, and is buried in The Circular Church Graveyard located at 150 Meeting Street in Charleston, SC. The graveyard was established in 1681, making it one of the oldest cemeteries in the southeastern U.S.

Black Death by Grace Victoria Swann
©2009 Grace Victoria Swann. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Headless and Moss Covered

The shade from ancient elm, oak and magnolia trees — combined with just the right amount of humidity — creates a breeding ground for moss, which covers many of the graves in the historic Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. Established in 1852, the grounds are conveniently located just a few miles from the wafting scent of barbecue and blaring blues guitar music of Beale Street.

While this particular headless grave marker, seen below in full and detail shots, makes my skin crawl, there’s plenty of other eye candy to behold while strolling through the grounds. The mausoleums, an arboretum, and a butterfly garden showcase diversity and architectural majesty. Docent and audio tours are available. www.elmwoodcemetery.org and www.memphistravel.com.

Headless and Moss Covered by Grace Victoria Swann
©2009 Grace Victoria Swann. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Headless and Moss Covered, detail by Grace Victoria Swann
©2009 Grace Victoria Swann. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

©2009 by Grace Victoria Swann
Text edited and images resized by Sheta Kaey.

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