Charles Brooks Photography

Experimental Techniques

Projected Shadows

Shadow: a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface.

I've been experimenting with filling in the shadows in my portraiture with projected light. This gives me the opportunity to say something about my subjects in a very limited space.

Singer songwriter Marissa Holder. 

The projected curves are a copy of the memorial outside Solutions Audio Studio to the late Elliott Smith, American singer and songwriter, and a particular influence to Marissa and her music.

Chris Dent of Albi and the Wolves.

Singer, songwriter, albino. Chris's vivacious personality was the inspiration for this explosion of colour. A play on the knowledge that all the colours together make white.

Sinah, traveler.

During her travels Sinah fell in love with the New Zealand wildlife, particularly the ubiquitous fantail.  


Light Painting

These patterns are made by moving a light behind the subject while the camera shutter is open. 

They capture something of the sound that is always missing from still photographs, in the sense that they are etherial, multicoloured, bounce off the environment like an echo, and disappear in a moment. There is also the visual similarity to the lines of a musical score.

José Vitor Assis, trumpeter, Brazil.

Uwe Grodd, conductor, in the Auckland Town Hall.

An experiment in colour with photographer's assistant Yasna on Kohimarama beach.

Eleanor Piccione, classical guitarist, Hamilton, New Zealand.


Film Photography

Recently I've returned to my roots and started using film again. With the loan of a beautiful Hasselblad 500cm by New Zealand Photographer Michael Willison, I'm also privileged to be exploring medium format photography. The massive 120mm 6x6 negatives have a look to them that is extraordinarily hard to achieve on a digital camera.

On recent shoots I've shot on both digital and film to study the differences.


Levitation

The greatest philosophers of our time have equated music with flight. Plato wrote "Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything."

With this in mind I set out to make musicians fly and their instruments levitate, using multiple exposures, composite work, and many assistants.

Ella Xunhuan Zhou, concert pianist, China.

Helena Piccazio, violinist, Brazil.

Helena Piccazio, violinist, Brazil.

Adriana Schincariol Vercellino, violist, Brazil.

Cecília Pacheco, harpist, Brazil.

Maestro Michelangelo Mazza, Conductor, Italy.

Duo Ayous, violin and cello duo, Brazil.


The Master Painters

I enjoy studying masterworks by great painters, both contemporary and historic. They have masteries of light, colour, and form that present an exciting challenge to recreate. 

Based on La Liberté guidant le peuple by French painter Delacroix, 1830.

This is a reimagining of the work, transported in time and space to New York in the 1970s. 

The cast here is from North Shore Musical Theatre's 2016 production of Hair the Musical, which parallels the themes of liberty and revolution present in the original. 

Based on Girl with a Pearl Earring by 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

Based on the LA Pool Paintings by English painter David Hockney

Using Format