Sunday, 28 August 2016

Tinted Specs

The photo project continues (see Specs passim - I've always wanted to type that)...

As regular visitors to this corner of the internet will now know, my current longish-term photographic portrait series involves my friends and willing subjects/victims assuming fictional, musical 'characters' from various periods in the 20th century. For two specific incarnations I had in mind - opera singer and crooner - I was going the furthest back in time and called on the assistance of Fliss and Tony. They are my longest-serving photo comrades, and with their am-dram skills and experience can be relied upon to give truly chameleon-like service (not to mention an array of ace props and costumes!)...

These photos (like all the others in the 'music' project) will undergo further edits and graphic-design assembly... but I'm overjoyed with how the portraits themselves have turned out. It's certainly a fascinating challenge for me to try and eliminate as much as I possibly can of the 'modern' world while still composing a sensible and attractive composition that best serves the model.

Clearly, Tony is in 'Sinatra' mode but we have anglicised him somewhat next to old lanterns and pub-side alleys. Some useful fire escapes also helped us reflect Frank's ability to crop up in front of sky-darkening tenements. Tints abound too - looking through his album sleeves, it's quite a shock to find how often Sinatra appears, to all intents and purposes, in a bright orange, say, or deep indigo.

It felt appropriate to locate Fliss near and around London's two best-known operatic locations... but when the time came to reference a specific work, a simple hostelry interior made do - appropriately enough. Fliss's attire and handful of cards will tell opera fans all they need to know.

I hope you enjoy the photographs.

PS: The opera we were illustrating is Puccini's 'La Fanciulla del West' ('The Girl of the Golden West').

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