I was introduced to horror at an early age. My mother was a voracious reader, who fancied Stephen King, Peter Straub and Edgar Allen Poe. I first encountered horror in The Green Ribbon, a story that is more of an urban legend at this point. Look it up if you don’t know it, it’s well worth a read.
I remember that was the first story that made me afraid to venture into the woods alone. Not because I thought the woman with the green ribbon was looking for me, but because I had such a sense of unease just thinking about what that ribbon meant. It stuck with me. It haunted me.
It did exactly what horror should.
Recently, I discovered Joshua Hoffine, a remarkable talented photographer who makes his art with images of fear. If you have a phobia, he’s probably shot it. He opened a new world to me, something between generic model shots and full blown filmmaking. He creates finely tailored images that convey a mood, a story and a place and he does it so well that it’s chilling.
I wanted to do something similar. Self Portrait with Corpse was shot in my downstairs bathroom. The room was brightened with two small scoop lights, one shooting from high left of the frame and one shooting upwards on the shower door. The ever – patient Elizabeth played the part of the dead body. The hammer from Old Apartment makes a reappearance here too.
I processed until I recognized a Chris Nolan influence and called it a day. I did have to dodge some of the shower door to make the handprints and streaks show up a a little better. It’s a bit of a cooler image than I usually produce, but that seems to fit the mood.
It’s safe to say this won’t be my last venture into the world of horror photography. It’s a world that I find strangely comforting.
See the larger version at flickr.
Just remember, there are things lurking in the shadows, they are whispering your name, and it’s not going to be okay.