Across the Rift

Art Direction, Photography

Across the Rift is a photo series created to capture the essence of a dream I had long ago. Dreamy settings are often imagined as warm and hazy, with strange objects in impossible settings. This series veers in the opposite direction: cold, elusive, yet vaguely familiar.

The Process

The series was (for the most part) an individually orchestrated effort. I served as the model and the photographer, using the timer setting to capture the images. The project required a heightened awareness of my environment and position in order to capture the shots I desired. I often used a long exposure, carefully timing my movements to produce the illusion of a fleeting character. It was important that my face was never visible, otherwise it would provide something for the viewer to latch onto.

Special Effects

For this shot, I wanted a misty effect. After taking the initial shot of myself standing in the room, I asked a friend to hold the other end of a blanket for me, and we waved the blanket up and down during a long exposure. These two shots were then overlaid, and the result was a mist-like effect.


In the end, the series produced a more melancholic effect than I’d intended. I only had one light source in each photo, so without a complex amount of editing, the color range was relatively flat. If I revisited the series, I’d use more than one light source, with varying color temperatures, so that I could evoke a more complex emotional response through color.