Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Life after Humans

So this idea of 2012 being the year of the apocalypse had me thinking for awhile.  Not about it's seriousness or anything, but about the scenario of "Life after Humans" in general.  There are places around where I live that kind of give off a "forgotten by civilization" look to it that I thought might be neat for a few photos.  Then one thing led to another and the next thing I know, I'm out with my camera with a repainted Super Soaker Rattler in some silly clothes taking pictures near snow-covered debris.  And then THAT got me thinking even more, but I'll tell you about that part after I fill you in on what I did.

I decided to dress up for survival in a post apocalyptic setting.  No formal military fatigues or proper protection.  Instead I went with a beat up tan jacket, a scarf, some tac gloves, an ammo belt, and rigged a canteen sling out of some belts.  Then I went to my basement to see what sort of quasi-futuristic blaster I could cook up.  I came across my Rattler that I had been meaning to work on about 2 years ago.  I painted it, got it looking a little beat-up with some E-Tape and Duct Tape on there, as well as a washed paintjob look, and closed it up for my prop blaster.   I added a Maglite where the pump-action would've been and I think it turned out pretty cool looking.

Then the fun part, finding the snow-covered wasteland that would serve as the backdrop for my nuclear winter wonderland.  I found two good locations at a lake near my house.  The first spot is where a street used to be that has since found itself in a man-made lake.  It's been sitting there since the 70s like this, and with a few old tires sitting in the ice, I thought it'd make a good candidate for some shots.  The idea is that whatever turned life upside down had some land-altering effects that put this once busy street at the bottom of a lake.
The light snow on everything kind of covered up the obvious fact that it used to be a paved road, so I tried to choose spots that still make it apparent that this road hasn't been used in awhile.

It made for a neat setting and I was happy with how the pictures turned out here.  The angle of the sun kind of limited where I could take the shots from, but did what I could with the light that I had.



Then I moved to the other side of the Lake where I remembered there being all this scrap metal and parts scattered on the side of a hill.  With the light snow on them, it gave the look that whatever blew this world apart did it awhile ago.  I've obviously had time to adjust to the Apocalypse.  With the sun behind the ridge where I was shooting, I was dealing with a less direct source of sunlight that gave me a little more freedom.  The tough part about these shots was navigating the terrain, as the hills were sharp and the snow wasn't agreeing with my crappy boots, so I was slipping a little bit to get to certain locations of debris that looked interesting.  I fought my way through it, literally!

It was a fun evening taking shots out there, despite the cold.  The whole endeavor got me thinking about having the community that this blog seems to have accumulated active!  I've decided to hold a bit of a contest.  I want to see what YOU think Life after Humans would look like through pictures.  They don't have to be just like mine.  Whatever you think the world is gonna be like after December 21st, 2012 (I think that's what they think doomsday is), I wanna see it!  Indoors, outdoors, by yourself, with friends, perhaps the Apocalypse forces you to fight off some kind of mutated beasts or zombies!  Maybe you need to defend a box of Twinkies from your fellow starving survivors!  My point is that I just want to see what your idea of Post-Apocalyptic life would be like in photos.

Now for the nitty gritty details!  This contest will be held starting now and ending on March 1st at 11:59pm CST.  All you have to do is submit your pictures to bazookafied@yahoo.com.  You can submit a maximum of 3 pictures for your entry.  The picture(s) must include you and some kind of means of survival.  These survival tools must be of the toy-type nature (ie Nerf Guns, Laser Tag blasters, Foam Swords).  Paintball, Airsoft, or any  real weaponry will not be eligible to win.  You can add a story/explanation if you want, but it's not necessary.  However, if writing such a thing helps you get across what your mindset was when you took these, it might be easier to convince me about your pictures.  The rest is up to you!

Now then, since I'm already giving away prizes each week for the Weekly Giveaway, I'm thinking that this contest can just be a neat means of showing off what you can do.  Kinda like the "Draw Drac" contest, the winning work will get featured on the blog.  I might even put together a slideshow of the entries (though don't expect it to be a 7 minute-long movie!)  I'll probably show a few entries between now and the deadline too to act as further inspiration for those who are still picking their brains about what they should do.  I look forward to seeing what you come up with!  Help spread the word about this competition too.  The more entries, the better!  Good luck, everyone!


12 comments:

  1. pretty awesome. I know of a few places that would work around where I live for some nice postapocolyptic stuff. Good thing this ends in march though, cause finding time to get out there will be a little tough.

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  2. I really don't want to take pictures, so can I describe it? Any ways pic #1: One person with whiteout longstrike aiming somewhere in a deserted alleyway. Yellow eyes can be seen in the shadows. Zombie quietly approaching. Pic #2: Zombie messily devouring snipers brain. sniper is sprawled forward, in a sort of star shape, lying on stomach. gun pointing away. looks as if he were pushed from the back. Pic #3: A zoomed pic from high in the sky showing bodies strewn across city, but blurry except for the main dead sniper. Zombies are seen walking around.

    Another reason I don't want to take actual pictures is the complexity of the scene.

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    1. Half of the reason the contest is for pictures is the fun of creating the scene. Your descriptions are cool, but I want to see your creativity in creating them.

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    2. Except for scene #3, the first 2 should be fairly easy, however you will need at least three people for the shot. The first is the photographer, the second the zombie (tattered clothes and a zombie mask or makeup) and your post apolcolytic "wanderer". Simple photo editing software (I have even used the Windows Paint program for this) can add some elements. Scene #3, reminds me of "The Walking Dead", and I believe may be straying from the intended idea.

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  3. If I'm honest you're too clean for it to be life after humans.

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    1. Fair enough. I'm ineligible to win my own contest anyways. Show me how it's done!

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  4. Not that I'm trying to buck the contest rules, but I'm not sure I see the reason for excluding actual survival tools from the survival tool picture contest.

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    1. Anyone can take a gun or a knife and go out in the wilderness and take neat pictures. It's the CREATION of those sci-fi props that's really at the heart of this contest.

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  5. "Must" they look realistic? Most of my blasters and such are unpainted and i'd like to keep it that way...


    Neat idea though. Definitely interested

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    1. If you can figure out a way to justify how you're able to defend yourself with a Dart Blaster, sure! Maybe have "poison" tipped darts? Be creative! Make it work however you want!

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    2. If you don't want to paint your blasters, an easy fix that works with the theme is to drape them with some pieces of camo netting, or wrap them in rags. This will not only conceal the off colors, but change the shape/appearance of the "blaster".

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