Through the filter: Bat for Lashes

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I usually don’t pay much attention to pop music, or music videos. But while reading the always entertaining Bummer Life, I found the video above by the group Bat for Lashes. The video evokes such a great, eerie mood — made me think about photographers Gregory Crewdson and Ralph Eugene Meatyard.

How often do you see a movie or a video that inspires your photography? I’m not just talking about just the technical aspects such as lighting and cinematography, but something that strikes an emotional chord with what you’re trying to achieve in your images? Do you consciously see cinema through the filter of still photography?

If you had to identify the influence of one filmmaker on your most important body of photographic work, who would it be? Or perhaps here’s another way to attack this question — if you think of your favorite directors, can you find their influence in your work? I explored some of these questions last year by taking screenshots of Soderbergh’s film Bubble. And the influence works both ways — Soderbergh mentions both Crewdson and Joel Meyerowitz in the DVD commentary.

3 thoughts on “Through the filter: Bat for Lashes”

  1. I agree with Jay about the influence of film noir films on my photography, especially b/w night photography which seems to elusive to me.

    The only contemporary filmmaker who has made a big impression on my still photography is Joe Satriani’s music video “Always with You, Always with Me” which was directed by John Dahl. But I guess I see so much storytelling in movies that the photography in films doesn’t leave as much of a lasting impression on me.

  2. That video is definitely eerie. For some reason, I can’t get the tune out of my head. It’s got a catchy beat that sets a dim mood. I think what makes this video so good are the bikers. Their choreography is great (especially when they pull the wheelies). At first I thought it was a single continuous take, but it’s not… note just before she stops the bike (mid way through) when the BMX’ers tuck behind her….the shadows on the street change. Then when when she pans to the right to the halloweeners, when they pan back, there’s a street sign and road marking where there weren’t any when she stopped. Still, this is one awesome video and I only wonder how many takes it took to film it (most likely caused by the bikers out of sync or missing their cue on a stunt, clap, wheelie, etc.

    Inspiration? You bet… next time I’m on a night shoot, I’ll probably be thinking about “continuity” and flow in how I shoot from frame to frame. I like it when I view my photos in Lightroom afterwards and I can clearly see the “flow” of how I went about shooting that night. It helps me with how I want to process the photos (strange, I know…but that’s how it makes me feel).

    Thanks for sharing the video, Joe! It’s on my favorite list.

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