Two shoots in to the project and I’m really enjoying myself, not only the photography but also meeting and talking to the Steampunks.
The amount of work and time they put in to their costumes, persona and back stories is astounding! As well as that, they are just really nice people.
As for the project itself, my thoughts and ideas are coming together. As you’ve already read I want to produce a series of portraits capturing the essence of Steampunk as it is today, as an emerging sub-culture. But I’m beginning to think that I will be needing more than just portraits… Perhaps photographs showing the details in the costumes, the inventions and gadgets and possible the paraphernalia involved in Tea Duelling!
I’m also thinking that I will be needing some text/quotations to go alongside the photographs. A description of what Steampunk is and comments and thought of the Steampunks themselves. I think it will add more depth to the final results.
In regards to the photographs I’ve taken so far, I have a lot of favourite images but the eight below are the ones catching my eye at the moment.
One last item for this update, I don’t think that my Project Tutor at Uni understands what my Steampunk Project is and what I want to do with it. Perhaps it is because I haven’t been able to express what I want to do properly, I really don’t know.
He keeps saying that I should be shooting on film and using “Large Format” cameras or at least on “Medium Format”. I have said that I will get some images on medium format when it is feasible, but at an event with 100+ people where I will be running about it is a little difficult to setup!
He is also making suggestions that I should be taking photographs in the style of Carte de Visite.
But I feel that that completely misses the point! I am not trying to recreate Victorian photography and the styles of portraits that were taken during that time. In my mind that would produce a clichéd pastiche of what Steampunk is and would ruin any credibility that the project could have.
I am trying to document where Steampunk is a sub-culture. It is still a young culture and is starting to “find it’s feet” (so to speak) in the real world and outside the pages of a book. More people (and businesses) are taking an interest in the sub-culture and I want to capture where it is at this moment, before it becomes a “famous for five minutes” type of fashion and you get the “celebs” and tat-manufacturers cashing in on it.
Another point is Steampunk may have it’s origins in the Victorian period, but it’s now 2013. Industry, computing and technology have progressed!
As one of my Steampunk friends said, “It doesn’t have to be Victorian in all things. Steampunk is Retro Futuristic“.