Breath of the Soul
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This is an antique Buddha Incense statue from the 1840’s that a fantastic family gave me as a "thank you gift" back in the mid 1990’s. The family and I were brought together by chance – they were picked to be the subject of a network cable television show I was shooting. During the three-day production, filmed at their home in Elkhart Indiana, we all got quite close.
The family’s husband was a psychiatrist; his wife was the stay-at-home mother of two very cool, adopted children. The kids were so well mannered and behaved that you’d think they were from the 1800’s as well!
When it came time to part ways, the family presented me with the Buddha as a gift of friendship and because we shared similar “what life is REALLY about” philosophies.
In today’s world, it’s cool and at the same time, hard to imagine what it must have looked like back then (before the Civil War) – this statue in someone’s house blowing incense, just like it does today. So MANY things have changed since then yet the statue remains the same.
This picture was taken with my Nikon D-3 using a 60mm Nikkor micro lens on a "set" I created in my one-car Washington DC garage. Buddha sits on a platform built on two sawhorses upon which was set an old steamer trunk, covered with matte black fabric. (I wanted to get the platform up to hip-level so it'd be easier to shoot and light.) After hanging some limbo-black background fabric on the closed garage door, I sparked up some incense in the Buddha to get him to "breathe." The smoke and the statue was lit with two, AA battery penlight flashlights, the one to picture-left left was "key" and illuminated the smoke, while the flashlight on picture right provided "fill."
All I had to do was be patient and shoot enough frames until I got the "best breath."
The result...? Buddha is blowing his good karma back to you, and to that special family I met a little over ten years ago...
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