Does it hurt you? does it ache? is it a place? is it a person? an adventure? Personally, the past two years have been an enormous philosophical investigation into intimacy, closeness, longing and proximity. I’ve been asked by a friend a while ago to describe the most intense feeling, she told me for her it’s “anger” and I kept thinking about her question a lot, and I thought, my answer would be “longing” — it’s beautiful yet intense, it can work for you and against you, it can drown you and drive you, all at once. why could it be shameful sometimes? unspeakable? frightening? this yearning for human intimacy, or the longing for a home you never knew, or maybe longing for a disrupted life adventure. This “unreachable experience” and “beautiful void” could be one of the most intense feelings for me.
I’ve been inspired by many to create this photo series to try and paint that feeling. The technical aspect of it / we often end up with long shutter shots by mistake, but having the light drag after the subject here is of importance to the portrayal of that feeling to me.
The setup was straightforward, I’ve used a single light source (covered with a red gel), I’ve had several colors with me, but I thought the color red would reflect the intimacy I’m after, the burning sensation, the intensity of it. The rest of the process remains in the movement: The shadows would remain still (unmovable) and the light could only be dragged from the highlighted areas. This technique is known by “Shutter Drag”.
Moving the camera and experimenting with the results was the fun part. Going with a shutter speed of 1/10 and 1/15, I’ve also tried to shoot some of the photos on film camera, I’ve used the film “Kodak Portra 400” and developed my film then scanned it with Darkroom Amman and Grainsandsuch.
and many thanks to the beautiful Tala Al-Haj for blessing my camera, posing for shots and helping me out with this project.