Sunday, February 5, 2017

An Introduction to Cloning

or, Send In The Clones!

It occurs to me that at this point I have become a fairly accomplished "clone photographer", and that there might be some people out there who could benefit from some advice on how to perform this clever technique.

(But first, an introduction!)

I first encountered clone photography during my formative years on flickr, it being among the various clich├ęs (such as selective color, avian roadkill, and the golden hour) budding "artistes" (usually teenage girls) like to play around with to separate themselves, collectively, from the indistinguished mold of the "snapshot photographer". Nevertheless, I deigned to give it a try (you see, when you commit yourself to shooting every day for a full year, you eventually start to become desperate for new ideas). The result was unspectacular, and I was not immediately convinced of the technique's merits.

However, time has changed my mind. Among the limitations of being an (effectively) exclusive self-portrait photographer, there is the inability to simulate the social environment of the real world, which is positively crowded with people (much to my chagrin). As much as I am intrigued by the idea of constructing - through my photography - a fantasy vision of the world in which I am its only resident, I feel rather restricted not being able to create any images that take advantage of the human social dynamic - especially as an erotic photographer.

So, as my skills began to improve through the years, I experimented with clones again here and there, and gradually came to view it as a unique opportunity to flex my creative muscles. Whether to fill out a scene, demonstrate a multi-faceted concept, showcase variety, explore human relationships (and sexual relationships), experiment with gender (a popular recurring theme in my photography), or just enhance the effect of nudity through contrast, I've discovered that cloning can help me to create images that have stories to tell. Some of the best images I've ever created, and some of the photoshoots I've had the most fun working on, have involved clones.

And as if I haven't linked you to enough examples already, highlights from the last couple of years include: Anticipation, Conversations With A Nudist (Parts 1, 2, and 3), Swimsuit Sexism, Double Standards, Trouble In Paradise, House Party, Service, Front & Back, Home Alone, Government in the Bedroom, Anybody Home?, A Model Photographer, Motel Moments, and Just Around The Corner from just a couple weeks ago.

And now, I'm going to take you through the steps, and teach you, too, how to clone yourself (photographically speaking) in an image.

(Stay tuned!)

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