Into the Deep

I absolutely loved working with Clayton Bastiani on the Isle of Wight earlier this year. He is just so incredibly creative and it’s really no wonder that his images have been published on hundreds of novel covers all over the world.

I was thrilled to be booked with the aim of producing a few more for his novel-cover stock (though we also did some different things as well). As someone who is rather fond of books and stories myself, I find it very exciting to be able to find myself on the front of another person’s story, representing some aspect of an imagined world – it’s a similarly wonderful feeling to know that a complete stranger has a portrait of you hanging in their house (or indeed, perhaps a bronze sculpture!) – really quite bizarre and odd (I always wonder what kind of person they are, and what it would be like to meet them and also how odd for them it might be to meet me). It will be interesting to see what stories out there will be matched up to my image, and why… Anyway, I’d better not get too ahead of myself, but I’ll update on here with any news down the line… 🙂

I’m allowed to show four individual images here on my blog, followed by a composite grid of some of the other images. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: all images are strictly owned by Clayton Bastiani and may not be used/reproduced in any way without permission.

I should mention that Clayton wrote a ten-part series on photo creation and photo manipulation for Black & White Photography Magazine, the May edition of which featured the first mermaid image below. In the article Clayton explains all about how it was made, and you may be surprised to hear that I didn’t actually grow a tail especially for the purpose of the shoot (I suppose I’m just not that dedicated.. ;-))

Here’s a snippet of Clayton’s own words (from his facebook page), from when the magazine came out:

One of the driving forces behind many of my pictures is improvisation, finding ways to create images on a tight budget with minimum resources. This month I wanted to make a picture of a mermaid swimming in the murky depths of the sea.At the beginning of a recent shoot with Ella Rose I asked her to stand in the bay window and pretend to be swimming underwater. After the shoot I popped to the shops and bought a small fish tank and an assortment of plastic plants. Through trial and error and a little bit of torch light I spent a couple of days (in my usual to-ing and fro-ing manner) and created the following piece.


The Deep:



It’s always so kind of photographers to send prints to me after a shoot and I was really excited to receive an actual ‘moving image’ of this one; when you walk past it looks like I’m swimming in the reeds! Very magical! 🙂
Mermaid on Rocks:

Moon Dance:
Sword and Fire
And here’s a grid of a few more from the day:
A lot of the images above were created in the most unlikely set ups: a lot of hocus pocus went into them and so the results were such a fun surprise for me (even knowing what the intended outcomes were, via some pencil sketches!). 
You can look through more of Clayton’s work and purchase some prints of his fantasy and storytelling work from Stephen Bartels Gallery here.

Right, time for me to finish packing for France tomorrow!
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