Friday, May 1, 2009
This is a mock up for a shot I've been working on. I've photographed talc before, with some good results, however, it is extremely difficult to work with. In addition to the fact that talc is hard to manipulate, there is the fact that breathing it should be avoided. I did a lot of shooting while holding my breath, then running out of the room while the baby powder scented stuff settled.
I discovered the interesting properties of talc when trying to imitate in a photograph the look of stylized rain that one might see in a drawing or an engraving. I needed something that would make fine, long streaks. I tried all kinds of things; styrofoam balls, salt, etc.. Talc was perfect because it was so fine and light that it would fall slowly and follow air currents. I made some interesting abstract images doing this, but I think I want a shot that shows a recognizable context.
I like the tension of the material itself, a mined mineral with a rare crystal system that is used widely in the household and even on infants even though it has been proven to be toxic. If you want to read about some of these toxicity studies you can start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talc