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Eleven Kinds of Loneliness is the title of a collection of short stories by Richard Yates, which explored the post war disillusionment and isolation of the 1950s, following the lives of ordinary people disappointed by their inability to fulfill the promise of their youth.

I chose this title for this image for a couple of reasons: Firstly, it is a gorgeous title, haunting and enigmatic, open-ended and oddly specific. Secondly, it was to be the theme and resulting series of a recent photo shoot that was a crash and burn failure on my part. I was going to do a series of eleven images, each with a theme of loneliness (loneliness of illness, loneliness of a bad marriage, etc) and using the umbrella as a metaphor throughout. Much planning went into the shoot, all to no avail - perhaps a bit too ambitious on a limited budget and all to be shot in one day.

In any event, I wanted to start the year off with a little out with the old, in with the new, and I have managed to get that umbrella and concept into this latest round of images featuring model Ed Barron despite the setback of the failed shoot. Perhaps not as grand as I would have liked, but I am still pleased to have the umbrellas flying just the same. As a device, or metaphorical construct, they say so much: protection, defense, solitude, comfort, desperation…and now I can let the failed shoot and its concept rest, as I have my Eleven after all.

Regarding this image, it was a bit of a monster edit after all, taking over 15 hours to complete, and requiring a lot of fine tuning to get it clean and neat. I think this image is very open-ended, open to interpretation and flexible. I can certainly tell you what each layer means to me, but I think I will leave that to the viewer this time. It was a long edit, but a great way to start the new year doing what I love to do. Thanks for viewing and reading.

Model: Ed Barron

A blog showing the layers of this image is available on my website, at:

michaelbilotta.com/blog/eleven-kinds-of-editing

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