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Never Alone Again



© Sarah Allegra

"The sentience envelopes me while I sleep... I awaken with a gasp in a strange bed. No, it's not the bed that's ...
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© Sarah Allegra

"The sentience envelopes me while I sleep... I awaken with a gasp in a strange bed. No, it's not the bed that's strange - it's the same one I've slept in since I was a child...

The strangeness is that I am not alone, here in my bed. I will never be alone again.

I feel it slithering out of the darkness for the first time, the presence that's been whispering its sinister enigmas. A living, breathing thing - cold stars and glittering mathematics with the inhale, hot copper and rotten fruit with the exhale. Foreign from anything I have ever known. Other."


I recently re-read a book I love which has already inspired a number of self portraits: Demons In The Age Of Light, by Whitney Robinson. It's a memoir of hers about a psychotic break she had and questions what really went on inside her. To her, it felt like a demonic possession. To her doctors, it looked like, and was diagnosed as, schizophrenia. Spirit and science clash in her body and mind in this beautifully, poetically written novel.

I loved how the usually comforting, loving idea of never being alone has been turned in this passage into something deeply wrong and full of dread. I wanted to try and capture that feeling just before she was overtaken by the being she calls the Other, of knowing the possession is imminent and you are helpless to stop it. And of course I used my favorite little lamp to light the scene, exactly as it's shown in the image.

I wasn't planning on uploading this on Valentine's Day, but I suppose it does make a dark, sinister anti-Valentine's-Day image, haha!


I finally updated my blog! Read about the past year, my health and my coming out of the spiritual closet.


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*Sarah Allegra Artistry


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​​© Sarah Allegra

"The sentience envelopes me while I sleep... I awaken with a gasp in a strange bed. No, it's not the bed that's strange - it's the same one I've slept in since I was a child...

The strangeness is that I am not alone, here in my bed. I will never be alone again.

I feel it slithering out of the darkness for the first time, the presence that's been whispering its sinister enigmas. A living, breathing thing - cold stars and glittering mathematics with the inhale, hot copper and rotten fruit with the exhale. Foreign from anything I have ever known. Other."


I recently re-read a book I love which has already inspired a number of self portraits: Demons In The Age Of Light, by Whitney Robinson. It's a memoir of hers about a psychotic break she had and questions what really went on inside her. To her, it felt like a demonic possession. To her doctors, it looked like, and was diagnosed as, schizophrenia. Spirit and science clash in her body and mind in this beautifully, poetically written novel.

I loved how the usually comforting, loving idea of never being alone has been turned in this passage into something deeply wrong and full of dread. I wanted to try and capture that feeling just before she was overtaken by the being she calls the Other, of knowing the possession is imminent and you are helpless to stop it. And of course I used my favorite little lamp to light the scene, exactly as it's shown in the image.

I wasn't planning on uploading this on Valentine's Day, but I suppose it does make a dark, sinister anti-Valentine's-Day image, haha!

I finally updated my blog! Read about the past year, my health and my coming out of the spiritual closet: https:--sarahallegra.wordpress.com-2018-02-09-a-very-late-2017-high-low-coming-out-of-the-spiritual-closet


*Instagram: http:--instagram.com-artosthebear
*Blog: http:--sarahallegra.wordpress.com
*Twitter: http:--twitter.com-sarahallegra
*Facebook: http:--www.facebook.com-artosthebear
*Prints: https:--www.etsy.com-shop-SarahAllegraArtistry
*Red Bubble: http:--www.redbubble.com-people-sarahallegra
*Sarah Allegra Artistry: http:--www.sarahallegra.com
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Creative Compositions Photo Contest Vol6Top 10 class week 1
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5 Comments | Report
maxxmillion614
 
maxxmillion614 October 23, 2018
The emotion in her face really helps to tell the story.
ghick6252 PRO+
 
ghick6252 October 24, 2018
Lovely Picture. Hope all is well with you.
pietnel
 
pietnel October 24, 2018
Gorgeous
livioferrari PRO+
 
livioferrari December 31, 2018
Nice capture.
harmeetsingh
 
harmeetsingh Mar 26
Excellent

Behind The Lens

Location
I shot this self portrait in my mother in law's guest bedroom in Wichita, KS. This is the room my husband and I stay in whenever we visit. She has a lot of family heirlooms and antiques and is extremely generous with me using anything and everything in my images! Her house makes an excellent set. :)
Time
This was in the evening, around 6pm, I believe. It was winter, so the sun had set early and very dark outside.
Lighting
This is shot practically; the only light I used was the small lamp seen in the image. Because of this, I had to be very careful with exactly how and where I held it as a small tweak would change the lighting of the entire image! I shot with a slow shutter speed and wide aperture with my camera on a tripod to make the very low light work.
Equipment
I used my camera, a Nikon D810, a lightweight tripod, the lamp and my husband acted as my remote control shutter release since I couldn't find my actual remote. :)
Inspiration
This image was inspired by a book called Demons in the Age of Light by Whitney Robinson. It's a memoir she wrote about having a psychotic break and being diagnosed with schizophrenia. What was diagnosed as schizophrenia by the doctors was experienced by her as a malevolent, ever-present, demonic entity, an entirely separate being from her. This was, of course, a terrifying and torturous experience for her and she felt that once the demon made itself known, she was never truly alone after that; he was always there in her mind. I wanted to capture the feeling of terror and dread she described when he first appeared to her in the dark of night.
Editing
I didn't have to do too much to this in Photoshop, it was a pretty quick edit. I removed some items from the walls which I didn't want to be visually distracting, did some dodging and burning to highlight and play down certain areas, did basic skin retouching and shifted the colors to a more cool-toned palette. It took about an afternoon which is a very short edit for me!
In my camera bag
My Nikon D810 and D5100, my remote shutter release (and usually the remote for it as well), a few lenses (a 35-70, 50 prime and a zoom for mostly nature captures), extra batteries and memory cards, my tripod, a flash bouncer, a flash, a foldable mini reflector and a variety of translucent objects (gels, iridescent Christmas ornaments and the like) to shoot through for interesting results.
Feedback
You're going to need a pretty slow shutter speed, so make sure you have a tripod to avoid blurry images! Have your model/yourself make slow movements and hold for the camera. If you're shooting with practical light like I did, take a break periodically and scan through what you've captured to see if you need to be holding it in a different way. Don't be afraid to try different things! That's often how we stumble across the best results!

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