Demons are loosely defined entities in the Unknown Armies RPG background, but I wanted something that looked demonic enough, so I took a leaf off of Clive Barker’s imagination here. We glued the nails to Aurélie’s spine using a flesh glue that live roleplayers use for costumes, and I love the way it looks. Aurélie also had those really creepy black contact lenses, but you can’t see them in this particular shot. The shot I submitted for the game was more in your face, but I don’t think it got used.
*Just a Sip*
A few years ago, I was hired as one of the illustrators for the Unknown Armies 3rd Edition Role-Playing Games. Unknown Armies is a weird and disturbing game inspired by the works of Tim Powers and Clive Barker, so naturally the imagery was to be disturbing and weird as well. With my wonderful models we came up with a number of scenarios to shoot, including this woman with a stitched mouth sipping something that could look a little like blood. The frame that I ended up submitting for the game was a different one (and I’m not sure it was used in the end) but the mix of glamour and creepy in this one I really like.
*Moody Lantern Portrait*
The beauty of really wide open lenses is that even at night you can do portraits with wonderful background bokeh. This guys was standing a few meters from me, and I waited a while for him to be looking in (roughly) my direction. This is the final shot I selected of a few and I really like it.
*The Dragon’s Head*
Getting a good shot of the Dragon’s head is devilishly hard. Since it’s made of rope with only the teeth and eyelamps to actually understand what it is, you need the right angle. Also, it’s nighttime, there’s incense smoke everywhere, and it’s constantly in movement. So I was quite pleased with this shot, and quite thankful I took my f/1.2 lens with me (this was shot at 1.4). The rest of the shot is blurred, but hey, you have to imagine that everything is in motion!
Wade Schuman is the energetic frontman of the band Hazmat Modine. Quite the Renaissance man, Wade is a painter, a college professor, a singer, harmonica and various string instruments player. On stage, he’s an absolute powerhouse and Hazmat Modine is a blast!
Fuji X-Pro 2
A couple of years back we decided to visit the Paris Catacombs (the public parts that can be anyway). We were a little worried doing it with a 5 year old, but strangely enough it felt respectful and not macabre. I took few photos because the lighting was really limited, but this one is probably the most interesting one both graphically and in terms of expressing what we saw.
*Roufi in the Spotlight*
Ceux Qui Marchent Debout is a live experience like few I’ve ever seen. Don’t get me wrong, their records are great, but the live energy is just something else. Roufi is the sousaphone player, in charge of the low low end.
Sylvain Luc is one of the most amazing jazz guitarists alive. The stuff that comes out of his brain and fingers puts most other musicians to shame and yet he seems like a very humble guy. He wasn’t actually alone at that gig but rather in a duet with pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. Still, I don’t normally do wide shots of musicians like this, but I felt this worked really well.
Ounsa and Crowd
Fuji xpro2, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 1600
Ounsa Mébarkia is a fantastic and spectacular singer who occasionally plays with the wonder French brass band Ceux Qui Marchent Debout (CQMD). I saw them live at New Morning a couple of years ago, and revisiting those photos I found this one which I liked a lot. The pattern on the dress, the expression on her face and the crowd in the shadows below…
Behind the IFC
Fuji xpro2, 85mm, f/13, 1/1800s ISO 5000
In the fall, the sun sets behind the IFC from my place, which makes for some truly spectacular views. This is when incidentally I see how good the ISO is on the xpro2: the camera was stuck on a night setting, which explains the super high ISO and yet the picture is useable!