staged photo

Planned or Random, Staged or Found?

During my artist talk in ambulARToorium there was a lot of discussion over whether and which shots of my series Blood Unquiet are found and which are staged. Lets have a look at some of the most controversial shots.

So the first decision that had to be taken for this shot was to go to Narva-Jõesuu beach from where I have a lot of nice memories. I had an idea in mind of specific clouds - the ones with straight bottom (made popular by the Estonian painter Navitrolla). These are somehow the symbol of rather coldish weather for me when I mostly did daydreaming. I didn't encounter exactly what I wanted, but I kept the camera handy. The rest just happened - my son found the stump, climbed on it and spread his arms. I was able to make like 2-3 frames altogether. Planned or random?

This image is entirely about the place. It's hugely important for me for several reasons (one of them is the bookshop - "Raamatu Maailm", that still exists at the same place, although the name is probably different). So there we went, tried several setups, but they were nowhere what I wanted. I kept shooting until the boys got very tired and uncooperative so I just let them ramble. And then it happened. Planned or random?

This is one of the most meticulously planned shots in the whole sequence, although it started out with a very different background - one with real trees etc. I happened to find the graffiti in the first picture and changed my mind about the concept - the tree with eyes was just too good not to use it. So there's a version with myself, which was once part of the draft, then with my son - how I intended it and the last one, how my son happened to act. Intentionally (but not preplanned) on his side, randomly from my point of view. Yet it works wonderfully. Random or planned?

I always try to be open to the things that happen, to the randomness, be it getting lost on the way or how the kids behave during the shoot (although maybe not as open as some people would like me to be). I can always moderate afterwards, but first I need to have some options to choose from.