The story of the Decrepitude nudes

I took a new series of pictures, yesterday. It was a bright day – not all that warm, but warm enough in comparison to what it’s been like lately. The snow was definitely off, anyway. So I went out to a derelict building I’d seen near the airport and had clocked as a potential location for some pictures. I’d been hoping that there would have been shafts of light shining through boarded up windows – stuff like that. I really fancied getting a kind of chiaroscuro effect.

Well, the farmhouse was too dangerous. The floorboards were rotted, so I didn’t even step inside. Bad enough falling through a floor when you’re fully dressed, but to do so naked would be much, much worse. No protection from things scraping at the flesh on the way down, and too much potential to lose (or badly damage) some exposed body parts. And those would be parts I’d much rather keep. Now, yes… it’s fair to say, that I’d rather keep all my body parts, but we should acknowledge that there’s a bit of a prioritising order going on, here. There are some parts that would be more upsetting if they were lost.

There was a shed, though – with a concrete floor. I used that for the shoot, instead. It wasn’t exactly safe, because the floor was littered with glass and rubble and all sorts of detritus. Bird shit and things like that too, so the potential for infection shouldn’t be ruled out either. But I still managed to get some decent pictures, when I wasn’t gingerly picking my way around the area. And I managed to play a bit with the light. Not quite a chiaroscuro effect, but still pretty good.

Later, it took me a good while to come up with the right digital editing effect. Just plain black-and-white spoiled the pictures. Partial saturation spoiled them. All sorts of things just ruined the whole overall effect. I didn’t even like the “ghost” effect that I’ve been favouring just recently. Nothing was working.

It occurred to me to leave them unedited, but I don’t like doing that. I don’t feel like I’ve added any real creativity unless I’ve tweaked them. I know (and completely understand) how that might offend some of the photographic purists out there, but it’s just how I work. Anyway, it took me a while, but I eventually came up with the right kind of thing.

Then it’s a matter of selecting the right ones. First wave of deletion is easy – get rid of all the shite. The blurry ones, or the ones that just don’t work. Awkward stances – that sort of thing. Then go through again and delete some more. Then – more difficult – go through again and delete the repetitive ones. Like, if there’s two or three good ones, but the stance and context is too similar, a couple of them have to go. In the past, I’ve found it hard to choose which of them should go, so I’ve ended up keeping too many, but I’m getting better at this. This part takes a few waves before I feel like I’ve deleted enough.

I generally think that twelve is the perfect number. Because that (and this will sound a bit mercenary) is the right amount to make up a calendar. And it won’t tax peoples’ attention span too much. Actually, thirteen is the right amount, because I like the cover of the calendar to have a different picture from any of the months.

Anyway, I had a good shower as soon as I got home. I love that kind of environment, and I love urban exploring, but I do want to clean up as soon as possible, afterward.

If you’d like to see the pictures, then go here.

If you’d like to see the calendar, then go here

The story of the Decrepitude nudes

Graham Farquhar

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

  • Artist

Artist's Description

Model: G. Farquhar
Photography: G. Farquhar
Digital editing: G. Farquhar

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