A series on various historic and prominent figures and how would they see the world if they were photographers.
I think that Sam Neil if being a photographer would perhaps be involved in landscape photography among other genres, but landscape would dominate his photographic work. There are a few reasons for that.
Sam Neil spent his childhood years in Northern Ireland, a land with rich folklore and epic landscapes. Landscapes that echo poetry, combined with the moody weather of Northern Ireland it would very much ignite an artistic spark that in Sam Neil would last a lifetime. The second reason is that in his early teenage years he moved to New Zealand, which with its predominantly temperate maritime climate, amazing landscapes and abundant endemic plants and animals would further deepen and fuel the need for an artistic articulation.
For the sake of this fun photographic experiment, I will place Sam Neil as the fictional character Dr. Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park movie ( novel by Michael Crichton ) and directed by Steven Spielberg.
Naturally, dinosaurs come to mind when discussing Jurassic Park.
To photograph dinosaurs he would search for life size models that replicate their natural sizes as it would important to have the right scale of the animals regarding the surrounding vegetation and other objects.
To make the models appear more realistic in a photograph he would perhaps place them agains the sun, this would enhance the contrast and add drama to an image. Here he could use a medium telephoto lens focusing on the head and part of the neck. The protruding head and neck of the dinosaur through the trees at dusk with warm colours will add character to the animal. Photographing an Apatosaurus ( a herbivore ) will probably require to somehow tame the image and make it less threatening with this composition ( to make it differ in feel and mood from other carnivore dinosaurs ) but also to portray the magnificence of the animal.
Obviously photographing a Tyrannosaurus rex or “T-Rex”, life size model would require a different approach than photographing other dinosaurs.
In order to showcase the predator nature, ferocity, speed of the dinosaur, he would most probably use a wide angle from a relatively close distance. This would give prominence to the frightening teeth and jaw but at the same time give a feeling of speed and agility. Placing the sun behind the animal will provide the necessary tension in the image.
To add more character to the images he might also try using a pinhole camera of some sort, as it would soften the edges and although it would blur the image slightly, it would give the image an otherworldly feel.
As always, it is a fun experiment.