The black mask looked like straight out of the movie “Hellraiser”. It was quite clear, a dark picture would make it look great. But how about doing the opposite as well, how about using a lot of light to create a terrifying mood?
We fear the darkness. The devil awaits us underground. Things go bad in the night. Horror movies scare us with things hidden in the dark, and make them visible in short bursts of light. We all have feared the darkness at time, and then we need that lure of the unknown and dangerous and are lured to it like insects by light.
Is it really the darkness that creates the eery feeling in us? Fade to black can haunt us, but fade to white can be just as eery. Which fact I used in these two shots, where I photographed the black mesh spiked face mask by PRB studio once in low key, and once in high key, and think it both came out pretty uncanny.
Bright light can be terrible. Those open spaces! Nowhere to hide! The vulnerability of the hunted looking for cover, for shadow, but there is none. Maybe this is the future terror of the big brother society, where every our move is scanned digitally and where we live our lives in databases rather than in reality. The harbinger of a bodyless existence, and we will possibly find the dark no longer terrible there, but comforting, soulful, and protecting.
The Swedish director Ingmar Bergman repeatedly used bright daylight when creating his uncanny scenes. For him, as a northener, extremely bright sunlight was nothing he was used to, and he used this to create scenes of surreal haunting in bright daylight.
The sun burns down, burning his skin to bright whites, and leaving his eye sockets all pitch black, as if the sun had burned everything up inside, and left only ash and death, as if sun were radiation, not bringer of life, but a destroyer. A ghost in the desert appearing when the sun is at the zenith.