Death of a Gangster

This is one of the most frustrating pictures I have ever produced. I planned it meticulously, basing the central pose on Michelangelo’s statue, “La Pieta”, and researching Renaissance painting before translating the story into a modern setting. I organised the models into a classic triangular shape, and instructed them on how each one should react to my prompt.
There are a very few touches added to the original photograph, such as the hint of a storm in the top right of the frame. I loved the colour and the drama of it and couldn’t wait to enter it into a Salon.

Readers, it bombed.

For a whole year, I sent it out, both this version in colour and an alternative monochrome rendering. I was just about to close off my FIAP list at the end of last year, when its first acceptance ever crept in. So I drew a line under it after that and consigned it to the archives. I know when I’m beaten.

20th February 2019. In the light of the comments below, I have added the monochrome version for comparison. On checking my records, I see that the monochrome version was the one accepted into the Salon.

6 Comments on “Death of a Gangster

  1. Pingback: Masquerade | JACQUI JAY GRAFTON

  2. I think your readers gave you some good ideas. I liked it anyhow.

    But some pictures bomb and there’s no real explanation for it. Wrong place, wrong time.

    Keep experimenting, keep growing. Maybe try this again with a different set-up. It’s an interesting idea, even if no one else likes it.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry it didn’t pan out but thanks for sharing with us what didn’t work. I think stuartshafran made a good point. I liked the facial expressions but the clothing seemed too shiny and clean and the victim lacked any evidence of trauma. That said the lighting was great. Thanks again for sharing your experience. Best wishes. Brick

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree … way too shiny and clean. I did grunge it up a bit for the monochrome version (now posted above). Thank you, Thomas, all insight is always helpful.


  4. I think the idea for this image is great and the technical execution, the lighting, the colours, the poses, are excellent. But.. for me personally I feel it has lost something with the modern setting, in particular the clothes being worn by the models. If you had themed the clothing style to be grittier, more ‘gangster’ style, and maybe added a prop such as a dropped knife or gun, I think it would have been more successful. Alternatively, if the title of this image was ‘a death in the family’ rather than the death of a gangster then I think that the image suceeds very nicely… it’s just the theme of the story that doesn’t feel quite right. So in retrospect I think that the image itself is great, it’s just the title that causes some problems. However, that’s just my personal opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very pertinent points, Stuart. I think I was so entranced by the colours, I failed to think it all the way through.Thank you for taking the time to give me your opinion. I have now loaded the monochrome version which is the one that got the acceptance.


If this post has interested you, I'd love it if you left a comment. Thank you. Jacqui

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