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13 Mar 2012
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Down & Dirty

Well the new year has started with a bang here at Brett Harkness Studios! Not only with the birth of our amazing little bundle of joy but also a little bit of time for me to cover some ongoing personal projects. I do spend a lot of my "working" life shooting weddings & families of which I love dearly! I consider myself to be a photographer and that means everything! I don't get the time too much to shoot personal projects and it is something that I am trying to get back into the hang of doing as much as I can.

It is very important for me as a photographer to constantly change what I am doing, to look at different things for inspiration , to take my camera into situations that challenge me and push my creativity to another level.

For some years I have been somewhat fascinated with the world of the Grave yard and despite the image that we all have of this environment it is an amazing place to shoot. I often wander around different graveyards looking to document what I see. Last week I got the opportunity to go a little further & deeper!! Shooting a couple of portraits also of some of the grave-hands! This is an ongoing project for me and I will be returning to the graveyard on numerous occasions to shoot some more.

Equipment used:

Canon 1ds Mark III
Canon 50mm 1.2L
Canon 16-35mm 2.8 L
Lexar 16GB 300 x CF card
Elinchrom Ranger A head with RX Speed pack
Elinchrom 70cm softbox with honeycombe
Lastolite Extending Pole
Hard hat, boots and old clothes!!

Macwet gloves ( great to use when control & feel of the camera are needed without getting hands cold! )

On a shoot like this I mostly always have an image in mind that I am after. Despite the fact that a lot of the shoot is documentary I am starting to use my lights more for my own work also. Not just fashion! To use the lights on location isn’t easy and you must have an end goal, especially when people are working. You haven’t got too many test shots to get it right! I love just walking around people and creating images in my mind, this makes it easier & quicker to take the picture when the camera is put to your eye.

 

Here are a few images from last weeks shoot.

 

 

Portrait shot with a x4 ND filter. Using Ranger head, 250th sec @f2

 

 

A quick shot of yours truly 7ft down at the bottom of a grave! All in the name of Art!!!

A couple of video snippets from the shoot

comments  11
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  • jon mold
    (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)
    Great shooting Brett. bizarre thing to document, never seen it before but as always you nailed (coffin pun intended) it :)
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  • Chris Thornton
    (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)
    Dead good those Brett. (another pun intended) very interesting project.
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  • (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)
    Great shots Brett - especially like the one from inside the grave with the clay coming in (just as well you got out in time before he really got going lol)...
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  • chris hanley
    (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)
    fascinating! you really do make all your images come alive. :)
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  • (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)
    How wonderful really love how you've captured it with the relaxed diggers. I thought at first it was based on a project I'd been having aspirations for to shoot the beginning and the end/ life & death. It must have been quite an experience to be there, thanks for
    Sharing.
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  • (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)
    Great stuff Brett, I've been dying to see these....
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  • Nicky Adams
    (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)
    Hey Brett

    This is a great project and love the committment of being in the grave! The hard hat is particularly becoming :-) I have always been fascinated by graveyards (for no sinister reason) but more about the people, the stories, the history and the stillness of the enviroment - I especially love the angle of the practicalities of burial - the people behind the preparation - love the portraits - it seems so far removed from the emotions of the families who stand over the graves burying their loved ones (which I hope you will cover - if appropriate) We spend our lives as photographers documenting the spirit and life of people but I think the ceremony of death is also something to be recorded. More images please...
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  • (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)
    Brilliant Brett - saw your prep shot a few days ago and wondered what you where up to! Dead good! ;)

    (sorry couldn't resist)
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  • (Thursday, March 15, 2012)
    Fascinating images which are so powerful in black and white. It's not something we want to think about. I'd be interested to see how the two guys interact as they go about their work. It's a strange job which someone has to do.
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  • (Friday, May 04, 2012)
    Very cool and dark project of the study of people who carry out a job not seen by the general public. Finding interesting topics to photograph each year is inspirational and it finds our self again, the whole reason why we picked up a camera in the first place, RECORD a moment a place and the people in it.
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  • (Monday, May 27, 2013)
    A great set, but it's amazing how different I feel about some of the photos. Shots two and three I find quite chilling. All the rest are perfectly executed documentary photos, with the exception of that shot from inside the grave. It's not chilling, it's not documentary, it's an absolute work of art. Fantastic photo.
 
A true photographic phenonemon.Brett Harkness is a man in demand— Dan Lezano. Digital SLR Photography