Brand New Set: "Almost Invisible"
This year in October and November I spent around 5 weeks in South East Asia to explore Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. While I mainly dedicated my time in Vietnam and Cambodia to travel, I spent a little more than 2 weeks in Bangkok to “work”. I used the time to explore the city, live among Thais and create two photography sets at night after working on my magazine. Let me tell you a little bit about how I created “Almost Invisible”.
The Idea and Inspiration Behind The Set
The only thing I knew when I was staying in Bangkok was that I wanted to create a classic and a “broken” set (consider it the sequel of my “Broken: Amsterdam” set and signature). You can see the two styles here.
In order to generate ideas and get inspired, I needed to feel Bangkok. Every night I went out, observed everything around me and embraced this crazy, weird chaos called Bangkok. Although my European look stood out of the crowd, I simply felt like drowning in these masses of people. You are just one more person among 8 million others.
I always say your eye, heart and soul are your most important gear. In order to create “Almost Invisible”, I mainly got inspired by my heart. While the eye is more focused on visual inspiration and the soul on your inner self and personality, the heart revolves around passion, drive and emotions. Among these millions of people I simply felt insignificant in a fascinating way.
In the beginning, you have the feeling that the distance between you and the random stranger is as big as it gets. Almost no one looks at you, you haven’t talked to many locals yet and everything seems almost unapproachable. Even after weeks when you’ve already gotten closer to the city and its people, you still feel almost invisible among all of them. With “Almost Invisible” I tried to capture this atmosphere.
Capturing The Moments
When I stayed in Bangkok, I went out almost every night to capture moments for the set. In order to show the feeling of distance between me and the strangers, I took the first shots from far away. As the days passed by, I tried to get closer with every shot. Since this feeling of “invisibility” only left me at the very end of my stay, so almost all shots show people looking away or not noticing me at all.
For some shots I waited at a certain spot every night for an hour or two, others were captured in the blink of a moment. Sometimes it was really challenging to reduce these insanely crowded streets of Bangkok to just one person - at times it felt almost impossible. The Road Not Taken was a blessing compared to that. And as you can imagine, 100% humidity really adds to the fun during those hours…
Post-Processing The Photos
As far as the post-processing is concerned, I used Lightroom 5. My idea was to dip the whole set in blue. I chose that color because it underlines the distance I felt and I simply loved the tonality of it. What made it truly challenging is that you simply can’t use any shot and turn it into blue tones.
The shots usually need enough negative space around the subject that can be colored with split-toning and through the color temperature. Besides that, I really had to pay attention to all the lights in the moments, because they also have to work with the visual language.
All in all I really love the set and I think it turned out great. Although at times it drove me nuts how difficult it was to reduce these crowded streets to one person, I’m happy that I didn’t give up and believed in “Almost Invisible”.
18 Floors Apart
Showdown At Midnight
Dipped In Blue
I See You
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