For this month’s edition of our monthly feature “Photographers talk about their photos”, our photographer Seleneos took us to the woods. Here comes the fairy tale the story behind her mystical photo.
There once was this photoshoot with coloured flour on a TV show called Germany’s Next Top Model. Is it OK to say out loud that I watched the show and found the shoot somehow fascinating? Probably not, at least not if you saw it a couple of times. Over and over those beautiful, half-naked people in studios who get flour thrown on their backs so that skirt/dress/pants/face/hair are still well visible. My impression was: you’re not allowed to have fun here. But I like to play. And I wanted to play with flour, a lot of flour. The less you can see of the body underneath the flour, the better. The more something else can be recognized in the haze of flour, a creature, something different, the better. So the idea was born. Nothing more. Since then I’ve been carrying it around with me, along with the flour that was always with me on trips with a chance of a good location.
I also had it with me last weekend, when I made a bike tour with 1 kilogram of flour in the basket of my bike. After around 30 kilometers, I passed through a wood. 20 meters aside the bike path, there was a pile of dry wood and I knew: here or nowhere. Everything was lying in the shade, only a small room of maybe 5×5 meters was letting through the sunlight (that was still quite harsh at this time of the day) and created a patch of light on the dry forest floor. A patch of light that, if I was to follow it, would probably lead me to the house of a witch. Sounds silly maybe, but the scenery really reminded me of the fairy tales that I heard when I was young and I wanted to create that story that has been laying in my head for such a long time. I’m sure it also looked silly. I was able to read it in the other bike riders faces that had stopped and watched me with their eyes wide open, how I was jumping and dancing with a grandma’s dress, half a kilo of flour on my head and the automatic shutter in my hand through the woods. The camera was standing almost at ground level, so they probably didn’t see it.
For more drama, I kept the exposure short. With an aperture setting of 2.8, it took a few attempts, until the sharpness was right. But who am I telling this. This is the story how the photo was made and I hope it evokes memories, associations and stories in the viewer’s mind.
Thanks Seleneos and massive respect for so much commitment! This way to her user profile.