At Wit's End

©Steve Chong


Tech Info


Camera: Sigma SD9
Lens: Sigma EX24-70mm
Film: Digi ISO100
Aperture: F8
Shutter: 1/15s
Filter: None
Light: Natural Light from Windows
The idea has been brewing on my mind for weeks. Shooting however, couldn't commence immediately, as I have to wait for my beloved sister to come back for holidays as well as to find those eye balls. Acquiring the eye balls proved to be the most difficult aspect of the project. I have been searching everywhere for them, including unscheduled visits to optometrists and doctors.

"Do you have eye balls Sir?" so I asked.

The reaction from them range from shock to surprise and disbelieve. Some even suggested me to use bull's eye! Anyway after much research I finally bought them through the Internet. While waiting, I spent time searching for the woods and painting the background.

Took me a while to persuade my sister to have her hands painted. She finally convinced after I promised her that I would give her a cut if I manage to sell this piece. Though reluctant she maybe she was however, found the idea to be interesting and challenging.

After many trials and tribulations, I found the best result could be achieved with natural light from windows. In order to obtain the soft and diffuse lighting, I used a very thin and soft fabric to cover the windows. I brushed the wood gently and stuck the eye balls on it with blue tack. Next, I asked my sister to position her hands gently and posed as though the eye balls were about to be pushed off. Sound easier then done. Like usual she complained throughout the entire session.

The lower part of the image was rather straight forward. I bore a hole in the wood and asked my sister to put her hand through. You could probably imagine how she looked when I asked her to perform all these stunts.

A little post production work was done to have that eye appeared falling. Too bad you couldn't see this image in 20x30, because there is a small piece of wood sticking below the falling eye ball.

Took us three shooting sessions in three days and more then 250 shots to get this piece. Thanks to the preview mode of digital camera, I found I could almost get the perfect exposure without fuss. The image has no grain and noise whatsoever.

I really can tell you how I bring this shot to reality. However, I believe one needs a streak of insanity to conceptualize this :-). This image is the result of such interesting excursion.

Updated: 21, July 2007
Despite the fact that this is the very first image from the Eye series, however, it was not sent to any international salon, it was only until recently that I have decided to send this piece for evaluation, fortunately it started to get some recognitions it deserves.


1. PSA Best Creative Gold Medal 2nd Sicilian Photo Contest 2007 (4 Trofeo Internazionle "Le Gru'") Italy
2. PSA Best Creative Gold Medal 2nd Sicilian Photo Contest 2007 (3 Trofeo Internazionle "Prmiato C.F.F) Italy
3. PSA Best Creative Gold Medal 2nd Sicilian Photo Contest 2007 (12 Concorso Fotografico Internazionle "Naxos") Italy
4. Certificate of Merits 2nd Sicilian Photo Contest 2007 (12 Concorso Fotografico Internazionle "Vanni Anderioni") Italy

All rights reserved.
No part of this website, including
graphics, text and design may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form without the prior written permission of the author.
Best view with 1024x768,  IE 5.5 and above.