To create the background bokeh for my Electric City shoot I once again reached for my power drill and wood saw. The plan involved building a 4ft x 4ft wooden frame and suspending six-hundred glass beads with black sewing thread. Lit from behind, the beads would create beautiful circles of confusion, reminscent of a city at night.
Sure, similar effects can be created digitally, but I had no appetite for cutting out faces and isolating tricky bits of hair. Post-production is always so much easier when most of the image has already been captured in-camera. There is also a certain organic unpredictability that can be very hard to recreate digitally.
Building the frame was admittedly a rather time consuming process. In total one-hundred threads were suspended between two-hundred nails. Each thread was spaced 1cm apart, hooked around a nail on one side and tightened by nut and bolt on the other. Initially I had tried gaffer tape to hold everything in place but it simply wasn't strong enough; the weight of the beads proved too much.