Russell Darling tested out the Lomo'Instant Square camera on his two actor friends Michael Hanratty and Hector Moss. He took inspiration from 1970’s instant photos shot by Andy Warhol, and created a series of characters and ambiguous situations for the camera.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
As I child, I was inspired by the sci-fi world of “Star Wars”. Because a career as an X-Wing pilot probably wouldn't have worked out, I decided to take a more realistic approach, focusing on the aerospace industry. That brought me to study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where I earned a Computer Science degree with specialization in aviation and aerospace. One of my favorite student projects at ERAU involved creating a full-sized flight simulator using the cockpit of an actual Boeing 707, which featured high-end computer graphics for views out of the windows. I didn’t know it at the time, but experiences such as this would help me go from just watching the “Star Wars” films, to working on visual effects (and even brief on-screen acting roles) for two of the prequels.
It was a great experience starting my career at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic, where I was fortunate to contribute to numerous groundbreaking film projects and work with some of the best creative and technical people in the business. One of my most notable projects at ILM actually had to do with photography (well… cinematography, to be correct.) I was part of the team that created one of the first digital motion picture camera systems, which was used on "Star Wars: Episode 2." I’ve been working in the motion picture industry for 21 years now (which is even difficult for me to believe), with on-screen credits for 20 feature films. Highlights include the VFX Oscar winner "Ex Machina", “Godzilla”, “Cloverfield”, “Hellboy”, two “Star Wars” films and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."
What do you do?
Beyond my “day job” working on Hollywood blockbusters, I’ve been working on several independent film-making projects. I directed and produced the short film “Parker’s Son” which was created as part of a 48-hour sci-fi film challenge. I also created a comedy web series called “Lab Brats”. More recently, I also have been working on another more ambitious short film called "Doorbells and Gunshots". This has been a great project because I’m collaborating with two friends, Michael Hanratty and Hector Moss, who I also recently photographed with the new Lomo’Instant Square..
What did you choose to shoot?
For the Lomo’Instant Square photo shoot with Hector and Michael, I wanted to push myself to try some new things that I’ve never attempted before. I’m somewhat new to portrait photography and I thought it would be interesting to take inspiration from 1970’s instant photos shot by Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe. I love the raw, edgy, provocative, crazy and beautiful images that they created! Of course, with my film-making background, you’ll probably notice that I also took some inspiration from movies, such as “Eyes Wide Shut”.
What do you think of the Lomo’Instant Square?
I really enjoyed shooting with the Lomo’Instant Square. The square format is perfect for portraits, as it allows for an up-close intimate window into the world of that person. It was also very satisfying to see the photos right away and share them with my subjects. I’m really happy with what we shot. I hope people will like what they see too.