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Gear Porn
July 6, 2009 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Tomorrow, my boyfriend and I will be photographed nude and somewhat covered in electronics (music making equipment and cords). Is there anyway to attach expensive, somewhat heavy mixers and controllers to our bodies?

For non-music nerds, imagine we're covering ourselves with video game equipment. The items range in weight and size from a video game controller to an old school Playstation. Here's some of the stuff we have to work with; the major pieces are a Korg KP3, a Monome, a Korg Kaossilator, some guitar pedals, and a laptop.

Worst case scenario, he's going to hold his Monome sixty four (yeah, he got it) over his bits and I'll cover up with a Kaossilator and we'll wrap a few cords around ourselves. I wouldn't mind getting a bit more coverage, through, half to illustrate the concept and half for modesty's sake.

The concept? We're modeling for a sex-themed issue of an extremely small press art magazine. It's a riff on the cover of Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (NSFW). The more gear we can fit into the shot, the better.

So, how the hell do we cover ourselves with music geek paraphernalia without breaking the gear and ripping off skin? I own some skin-safe double stick tape, but I doubt it could hold up the Kaossilator, much less the KP3. Rig the items to the cords wrapped around us? Rope? Duct tape? Just pile it around our feet?
posted by Juliet Banana to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If the shot's not extremely close up, monofilament is next to invisible. It also sucks to trip over or get wrapped tight around you, so be careful with it.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:44 AM on July 6, 2009


Must it be *expensive* equipment? A brief survey of my local Goodwill over the weekend yielded a number of inexpensive music-recording-related equipment (though mine is a college town with lots of dashed hopes and cheap mixboards, YMMV). If you could use some cheaper stuff, buy a boxful for $20 and then gut them, leaving only the hulls. Also, that would give you some cool bits and pieces to work with to attach in other places...

on preview, monofilament is a great idea. I'd pad it where it touches the skin yet is invisible to the lens, though, with something like foam or fabric so it isn't slicing into you like a cheese wire slicer.
posted by arnicae at 9:49 AM on July 6, 2009


Lie down and have the photographer shoot you from above? Make gravity your friend not your enemy.
posted by GuyZero at 10:00 AM on July 6, 2009


Use monofiliment but don't hang it off of yourselves — if you do, the indentations in your skin where it's hanging from will be obvious. Instead, hang it from the ceiling or something, and just position yourselves behind it as appropriate.

It may actually be preferable to use non-reflective (dark colored) monofiliment rather than the clear stuff, because depending on how the lighting is done it may cause flare or halos that are tougher to photoshop out than a single dark line would be. You should probably talk to the photographer or retoucher in advance to see what they'd prefer. Hanging the items so that the support cords go up at an angle away from you, rather than straight up, might make them easier to edit out later as well (since they won't go through the head/shoulder area that the eye is drawn to).

However from a purely artistic perspective I don't know whether apparently "floating" objects is really what you're going for. Do you want to have the gear sort of mysteriously obscuring various parts? Or do you want it to be actually hanging off of you in a visible way? If the gear is heavy, the visual effect could be dramatically different — having 30 or 40 pounds of stuff on you will make you stand differently, would require some sort of straps ... it's an entirely different photo.

If you really wanted to go with the "laden with gear" effect, go to a military-surplus store and purchase an LBE and pistol belt. Shouldn't be more than a few bucks. You can hang 50 or 60 pounds of crap off of that, no problem. Depending on the store they may have aftermarket versions done in black nylon instead of OD or sand if you prefer.

It just depends what kind of effect you're going for.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:03 AM on July 6, 2009


The photographer or AD must have a plan for this, no? Seems to me one could get pretty good coverage from convenient placement and sharp angles, like all those TV spots that feature a nude person who's always blocked by some apparently-random object that happens to be just so during the shot.

It might even be more fun if you were holding the objects (again, angles angles angles) rather than having them actually attached.

Bonus: less skin damage.

As for visible wires or padding... even a "small press art magazine" must have Photoshop. Removing straps, wires and tape is like Introductory Photoshop 101.

Talk to the photographer who's making this thing.
posted by rokusan at 10:03 AM on July 6, 2009


Behringer makes cheap gear, if you want to not have to worry as much about breaking stuff. I'd be nervous about my Monome, honestly, as they're rather difficult or expensive to replace. Arnicae's idea to gut dead or thrift store gear will help with the weight issue, unless the point is to showcase brand names.

Weren't Lennon and Ono naked?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:12 AM on July 6, 2009


Weren't Lennon and Ono naked?

Yeah, but we're a lot hotter naked than they were, so we have to weird it up somehow.
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:15 AM on July 6, 2009


You probably don't. Suspend the objects (harnesses, friends, music stands, whatever) and then take full nude shots as well as close to the original poses as you can. Then, through the magic of photoshop, clone out the supports.

It'll look weird though if the objects are just floating there.
posted by chairface at 10:30 AM on July 6, 2009


Everything I know I learned from America's Next Top Model, so take that for what it's worth. But, some ideas -- first, get some nude-colored underwear -- for both of you. Man thong. Girl thong. Then, get super creative with cords and small gizmos. I like the idea of raiding Goodwill. You need an underlayment of techno/music crap. Wrap cords around your hips like to make a miniskirt. Glue all sorts of dongles and whatchits to the skirt. Trail a cord around your leg and off into the distance like it's plugged in to something. Make a halter-type top out of the same material. In fact, if you can get a bikini in similar cord color -- grey, black, whatever -- it might make the material look even denser up there.

Do crizzazy shit with your makeup and hair. Some friends of mine go these totally wack huge eyelashes and then went to the Mac counter, told them that they were taking photos that day and got a great makeover. Their faces looked like peacocks. Your boyfriend could go with super colorful hair or makeup, too, if that's a look he can rock.

Maybe use body paints to add more texture -- find some textures that you could use -- bike tires might be fun but just artful schmears could look cool. Then just hold the big equipment in front of you. Even if you can rig it up, I think it might look more active to have your arms wrapped around it. In fact, if you do rig it up, depending on how heavy it is, you'll have better luck with creating an active pose without all the weight.

Then smile with your eyes and get FIERCE!
posted by amanda at 10:44 AM on July 6, 2009


Damn, I didn't realize I was talking to Juliet Banana here. You're already fierce. Take my advice as: I don't think it's going to work to try to attach all that stuff to your body and you can get better shots by faking it.
posted by amanda at 10:47 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I bet you could pretty safely suspend the Kaossilator by using both of its audio-out ports at once. Hang the bulk of its weight from RCA cables attached to the bottom, and use headphones in the headphone jack to hold it vertical and ensure that the weight stays on the RCA cables. Use cheap cables. Also, maybe something soft under your feet, for insurance.

This probably wouldn't work for the bigger pieces.
posted by jordanlewis at 3:03 PM on July 6, 2009


It went peachy. We suspended the Kaossilator by the method suggested by jordanlewis to cover my right breast, a guitar pedal hung from it's cord to cover the leftie, I held the KP3 over my bits and the fella covered his junk with his Monome as planned. We were utterly strangled in cords so not as much skin ended up showing as I was worried about.

I think there was a deleted comment asking for photos and I got some MefiMail along the same lines, so I will go ahead and add that the photo is not yet published, the magazine is going to be extremely underground, low budget, and difficult to find, and these photos will not be online. Sorry!
posted by Juliet Banana at 12:30 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


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