Bailey with Grains, Bailey Townley, 2019
This series is from a fun shoot I did with model Katrin Dohse beneath an eight-lane bridge that spans the French Broad River in Asheville, NC. We shot just below the underside of the road above, atop dirt pitched at a steep 30 or 40 degrees. We shot with smoke sticks that she held in her hands. Her performance was both artistic and athletic. She was moving on a steep slope and working to be both in, and not entirely in, the smoke trailing from her hand-held sticks. The background was low-key, just dirt further up the slope and the bland metal struts of the bridge. The space was dark so I used a radio-controlled remote flash.
I was drawn to this shoot by the texture and slant of the dirt floor, by Katrins grace and athleticism, by the shunned, abandoned nature of the location, and by the use of smoke. I love smoke and was drawn to Katrin playing hide and seek with it.
I took 208 photographs during this 70-minute shoot and later created 335 individual works of art. One of the things I like about the smoke is that it begins the obscure/reveal polarity before any double exposures or post-productions superimposition.
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