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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 16 May 2011 (Monday) 18:59
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Shooting the dead... (Need ideas and info)

 
Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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May 16, 2011 18:59 |  #1

Sorry for the dramatic title but I have a project starting this week.

I have contacted a mortician and I am going to shoot an "article" surrounding the job.
Current idea is to angle it towards a "dirty job". Looking to get some shots at the creamatorium and hopefully some ashes.

Graveyard, Caskets and perhaps church. Definately some portraits of the morticians and if I am lucky and get around the legal stuff(and prays it wont bite me in the ass) some shots of the recently deceased.

I want to do all of this professionally and respectfully.

At the same time my article has to be angled towards the "dirty job". I am shooting this for my worksample which is needed with my University application.

I just need to hear some input on what would work and what not, figuring that people on POTN seem to have so much experience from so many things I would love to get some input.

Bringing the 17-40, 50mm and 5d. Perhaps a speedlight, what do you think of using a tripod getting some long exposures with perhaps people walking past.
Getting some sort of ghosty feeling?

Shooting this on wednesday and would love some feedback from someone else.


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korrektor
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May 16, 2011 19:02 |  #2

I am pretttttty sure, you are the only one who thought of this on this forum :) I think you should wear a grim reaper outfit and be in the picture ;)


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korrektor
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May 16, 2011 19:05 |  #3

om a more serious note, constrate less on the gear and more on the actual pictures you will be taking. Put your ISO on 1600 and do some BW grainy images. Don't take much gear, since it looks like it will only hinder your thought process, due to some lack of experience.


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QueenChatty
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May 16, 2011 19:05 |  #4

Bang Bang Boy wrote in post #12422374 (external link)
Sorry for the dramatic title but I have a project starting this week.

I have contacted a mortician and I am going to shoot an "article" surrounding the job.
Current idea is to angle it towards a "dirty job". Looking to get some shots at the creamatorium and hopefully some ashes.

Graveyard, Caskets and perhaps church. Definately some portraits of the morticians and if I am lucky and get around the legal stuff(and prays it wont bite me in the ass) some shots of the recently deceased.

I want to do all of this professionally and respectfully.

At the same time my article has to be angled towards the "dirty job". I am shooting this for my worksample which is needed with my University application.

I just need to hear some input on what would work and what not, figuring that people on POTN seem to have so much experience from so many things I would love to get some input.

Bringing the 17-40, 50mm and 5d. Perhaps a speedlight, what do you think of using a tripod getting some long exposures with perhaps people walking past.
Getting some sort of ghosty feeling?

Shooting this on wednesday and would love some feedback from someone else.

I would like to see you give some considerate towards the title of your project. Just seems wrong to call the death process a dirty job, could be just my take, others may chime in and prove me to sensitive.
I had a girlfriend that did the makeup and hair for many years and they told her under no circumstances would they allow her to photograph any deceased person so I don't know about that unless you get permission from a family member. See where I am going with this...would you want your loved ones picture under the heading of "Dirty Job"
Love to see how it turns out!


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Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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May 16, 2011 19:13 |  #5

Yeah well its not really that I think it's a dirty job its more that this was arranged beforehand and then kinda met up with the application instead of me shooting two things.

And in a way a corpse is the remnants of humanity, the trash left behind perhaps?


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korrektor
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May 16, 2011 19:17 |  #6

Bang Bang Boy wrote in post #12422441 (external link)
And in a way a corpse is the remnants of humanity, the trash left behind perhaps?

You are about 60 years late for that.


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Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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May 16, 2011 19:19 |  #7

Haha. It's late over here so I am going to tuck in, either way I am going out tomorrow and shooting garbage men just so I have a backup in case I fail to angle this in a sufficient way.

Otherwise it will just be some moody mortician images, I should really watch six feet under and see if I get some ideas.


And you are right Misha, gonna keep the gear to a minimum. 50mm and 5d. Possibly bringing http://en.wikipedia.or​g/wiki/File:Ghostface.​jpg (external link)


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ShotByTom
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May 16, 2011 19:23 |  #8

Bang Bang Boy wrote in post #12422441 (external link)
Yeah well its not really that I think it's a dirty job its more that this was arranged beforehand and then kinda met up with the application instead of me shooting two things.

And in a way a corpse is the remnants of humanity, the trash left behind perhaps?

Wow....I guess it's different in Sweden...I visit a cemetery regularly and would not be happy to see someone taking pictures there. I have no interest in seeing how a body is prepared for burial, and I don't think you would understand that unless you've experienced the loss of someone very close.


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shayneyasinski
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May 17, 2011 01:06 |  #9

For shooting bodies I would suggest wide open with the 50mm so you can maybe focus on an instument used for the process but blur out the body.


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lettershop
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May 17, 2011 04:12 |  #10

make certain to use a very fast shutter speed to cancel out any motion blur of your subject. Oh wait, leave the speedlight at home and use a very slow shutter and tripod. Your subject ain't moving....


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AntonLargiader
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May 17, 2011 06:12 |  #11

I think the ideas you're already listed are pretty good. All I can add is that you should (you probably already have) look at some historical work on this subject to either get some ideas for either duplication or juxtaposition.


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Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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May 17, 2011 07:07 |  #12

ShotByTom wrote in post #12422487 (external link)
Wow....I guess it's different in Sweden...I visit a cemetery regularly and would not be happy to see someone taking pictures there. I have no interest in seeing how a body is prepared for burial, and I don't think you would understand that unless you've experienced the loss of someone very close.

Yeah, I pay my respects to the family members which have passed away and thats another reason why I am trying to do this as respectfully as possible.


I have talked to the mortician which is a friend of mine, and he only seems glad that someone is interested in his work.
It's a work most people have no idea of how it works, and I bet I am going to learn tons just visiting. Shooting is ofcourse important but I will also write a deeper article around the job itself and it's impact on the people exercising it.


Lots of old stuff but hey I am a student
Photojournalist in Johannesburg.

  
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vraspagraphix
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May 17, 2011 08:56 |  #13

I did this many times but for different reasons. As a medical photographer for a major teaching hospital we were required to record every autopsy. If you have never witnessed an autopsy or burial preperation before you are going to experience some really different feelings. The worse part is usually the smells. Rule #1-be completely respectful of what you are doing. This process is taken more seriously than anyting I can think of. There is no need to show the faces of anyone involved. The person performing the autopsy or procedure will be wearing a mask, safety glasses and OR scrubs. You should do the same if you are going to be near the table. Concentrate on the gear being used and the procedure itself. When shooting the people try useing sillouettes. By all means DON'T touch anything. This is not a dirty job as you will soon find out. While it's not for everyone, it is a necessity of life. Any medium zoom will work fine, prep rooms are very brightly lit so you will probably be able to use available light for everyting. If you take a flash, a small one on a bracket with a diffuser will work fine. You will never be more than a few feet away. Don't expect to see blood splashing everywhere or a scene from SAW (whatever version they are up to. It doesn't work that way. While you are going to be working in a morticians office and not a hospital and they will not be doing a full autopsy, many of the procedures and protocol will be the same. The mortician is your best source of information they can tell you what the procedure intails and you can choose your equipment accordingly.




  
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Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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May 17, 2011 09:43 |  #14

Thanks. This is the kind of information I was looking for.


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ShaneKPhotography
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May 17, 2011 18:49 |  #15

I think you can get enough 'shock factor' from the crematory, stretchers' tools etc. Personally I would can the corpse idea. I understand you have good intentions but I feel its uneeded and highly controversial. Anyway this sounds like a great oppurtunity and I wish you the best of luck.


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Shooting the dead... (Need ideas and info)
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