Trying to have a break from Caribbean and architecture photography every now and then, I enjoy working with models from Victoria.
Continuing with series of portraits and studio works, I just had the privilege of working with seasoned artists’ model, Michael Ward. He models professionally for about 30 years, and over this period worked with countless fine artists – photographers, sculptors and painters alike. Shooting with him was a real treat, and I was excited that he agreed to model for me in his fine armour from Britain – one of his 250 outfits, as I learned. We also selected one of his swords – a fine and authentic Claymore blade.
I spent a bit of time thinking ahead about the concept for the shoot. Surely, photographing a knight in armour asks for some mystical ambiance, a fairy tale like scenery and atmosphere like from famous William Waterhouse paintings. But, if I would go too much this direction and only this direction, it could be risky, touching of cheap and pretentious style. So, I decided to combine mystical feel of this shoot with real feelings and expressions – a human drama.
How was it to be a warrior on his long battle path centuries ago? How many horrors hardened his soul, how many tragedies and lost comrades made him weep when nobody was watching? Were there enough of happier moments helping soothe his way through pain in the name of glory, God and loyalty?
How about physical pain? The 40 kilograms of armour made him really heavy, struggling with every step and move. Wearing it in hot sun would add to this misery. Just helping Michael to dress for our shoot was an eye-opener for me. This gear is amazingly heavy and uncomfortable.
What about knight’s personal matters? If he was lucky, his beloved woman would wait patiently for his return home. But without any means of regular communication he would only keep his faith and remember her by embracing a little treasure she gave him as farewell gift – perhaps a handkerchief, a locket?
I decided that my Knight has to be a tragic person, longing, almost broken by too many unknown factors and hardships – but still believing in his return home and victory.
We discussed details with Michael prior to our session, and when he started to act – it was pure perfection. He gave me all I wanted – and more.
Rough and rocky ocean location near Taylor Road in Metchosin near Victoria, added to the feel of our setting.
For most shots I used switched white balance and flashes with yellow gels, creating late evening and bonfire mood.
Whole series has about a dozen of very different images. Some of them are saturated with vibrant colours, some are more documentary in character black and whites. I will remember working with Michael for long time, and i hope you find these images interesting. Live long, my knight. Let your path be filled with victories, so you can return to your castle with pride.
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More photos from this series on my Model Mayhem page.