Thursday, 13 September 2012

Photographer: Alison Scarpulla

 This is a re-post from my university blog,, where I have done a post about my new favourite photographer, Scarpulla. As I attempted her photography style as an experiment I thought I would share the post I wrote and the work that I produced here ~

Alison Scarpulla’s photography strikes so many chords with in me; her work is exactly the type of imagery inspiring me right now. Pin-hole camera meets witch craft in the woods. Her work is ethereal, beautiful and ghastly all rolled into one.

I studied a lot of Scarpulla’s work closely, and devised a list of different aspects, themes and editing techniques that I noticed throughout;
  • Grainy
  • Darkened edges
  • Subdued colours and darkened tones
  • Physical burns in some of the photos to create the look of magic
  • Era-less models and attire
  • Nature/ Elements- woodland, flowers, water, mist, fire, sky, lightening
  • Paranormal- witchcraft, skulls, death, magic, ethereal
  • Derelict settings- peeling paint
  • Double exposures
  • Juxtapositions
  • Forced Perspective
  • Animals
  • Prisms, use of light, refraction and lens flare
  • Models: often you don’t see the whole of them, their faces or they are silhouetted
  • Objects: witchcraft tools, glass balls, tarot cards, toys, skulls
  • Nudity
  • Smoke/ mist
  • Creepy hands
I’ve decided to try to replicate the look and feel of Scarpulla’s work and hopefully from that I will evolve my own take and style. I’m probably going to take most of the photos on my Canon 600D SLR, but I may also try my compact camera and my film lomo camera, just to see which gives the best results. The SLR will give more flexibility with capturing the depth between the foreground, background and shadows which is important.
I sent a request to everyone I know asking for models and have a list of volunteers, (or victims), although a lot of the photos won’t need people to feature in them. Once I have taken the photos I will experiment with finding the most appropriate ways to edit using photoshop, print them out, burn a few of them, maybe add a little glitter too, or dead leaves etc, then scan them back into the computer to complete the process.

 I haven't finished experimenting with this look and theme just yet as I want to try it using different cameras, formats and techniques, so expect more to come! :)

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