On trial

Saturday, May 17th, 2014


These pictures need some background for non-Norwegian readers, its all about what we call Bunadspolitiet.

Norway has traditions and owning a Traditional costume is one of them. Girls most often receive their at confirmation, boys need more time to mature and seldom gets their until later at age – so did I. But the Traditional costumes, called «Bunad», are kind of controlled and regulated so behold those who might break the rules. If you do, the Bunads-police might address you! Wikipedia has some more background here:

Who is the bunads-police? Well, that is those who might give a cold comment or two if you dress out of the standards. Don’t even think about having brown leather shoes, black with silver ornaments is OK, any other in NOT. Many more rules apply and owning a Bunad needs attention!

When I had my Bunad made, I had to make some choices about what fabric to use in lining and vest, design of silver-buttons (all 49) etc. I choose a yellow brocade fabric for my vest yet knowing that it was not approved by “the ones who know”. A comment was made then about me having to “look out for the Bunads police”.

Later I had this idea for this shot. Definite a Mugshot as a theme and I researched a little, quite simply googling “mugshot” and having an idea about the setup and lighting. One thing came clear quite instantly. There was no need for subtle lighting: Direct, crude and harsh is obvious the way to go. Also a background with a scale is needed and a two shot setup – front and side. I would have to looked manhandled, and I needed a sign with date, name etc. I started with the last one.

I would love to have a sign with real letters to plug on. Having none, I turned to my computer and a vector graphic freeware program: IncScape. Think I used a small hour to create it, print it on plain paper and then glue it to some cardboard. Looks like the real stuff, but the shadows are just subtle use of gray drop down. I named myself Per Sille, Per is a very common name in Norway, Sille I doubt is used at all, but Persille translates to Parsley. The date obvious would have to be 17. of May. That is our constitutional day and we celebrate by parades and our national costumes are mandatory.

Manhandled: I needed a Black eye, bruised eye. Easy way would be to go down to one of the pub’s near me and find some soccer dude with a love for a loosing team and nag him a little. But I chickened and bought some theater makeup at a local store. Way more costly but more comfortable anyhow. Doing a bruised makeup was no big deal after looking into some Youtube tutorials and this video is really a nice work-desciption:

Bruiced eyes change by age, and I needed a fresh look. Wikipedia has a photo compilation with bruiced eye over some days: I needed the look of one of the first ones, a lot of dark purple, tint of yellow and blodred details.


Take one: My wife has some cutboards for scrapbooking, and I picked up the largest one for a background. Color green was not my first choice, but I would like to give it a try. Came out not too bad, but I rejected it anyhow. The cutboard was too small, and I had to place my camera too close. Sideshot then was a fault as my hand and the sign became to close and enlarged.

Take two: We have a large format CAD printer at office and there I dropped a downloaded graphics for a standard mugshot background, European style with cm instead of imperials. Came out rough, not unexpected as it was a moderate size file and a huge size printout. Anyhow, now I could rearrange the setup and get a propper distance from me to the camera.
Click for larger picture

For both setup 1 and 2 I once again put myself in front of my camera (narcissism?) used my iPad and the CamRanger to position myself and to have a preview of the shootings. I quite didn’t get the same expression on my face on take two but that’s what you get when your working with amateur models as I am.

Lighting setup was pretty much the same on take one and two. A modeling light just in front with a SB900 flash at full power. At right side a SB700 at EV -1 was setup to take down some shadows but not eliminating them. To get that crude look, I wanted some shadow to carry the situation of the mugshot taken by pure amateurs at a local small police station.

Post processing most consisted by cropping the front- and side-shot and then a quick tour into Photoshop in order to put them side by side.

The shot was well received by many of my friends with the Bunads-police theme. I hope no one comes into this kind of situation as it never my purpose to glorify violence, not by bad guys and never by police. Take care and and enjoy my sorry situation – its 100% fake – for now [always looking over my shoulder at 17th may’s].

Picture got me a in a local competition, this time only bettered by another sunrice picture I took from my office 😉

Ragnar Myklebust is TumbleSky Photograpy || Copyright © All rights reserved.

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