Project: Neon Bondage
My Neon Bondage project was started back in 2013, I realised that electroluminescent wire, which I was familiar with from using it in my computer for lighting (more often used in modified cars) could be used in place of rope for bondage, partly inspired by some designs I saw in neon signmaking, which is why I named the project Neon Bondage (obviously it's not possible to use actual neon tubes, as those are glass tubes filled with neon gas, the obvious alternative as it gives a consistent light is EL wire, LED wire, sometimes called 'neon wire' is just a number of LED's which give both directional and inconsistent light).
For those who don't know, EL wire uses a copper wire core coated with phosphor with a second fine wire wrapped around that, with a couple of flexible plastic layers over that. It runs on either a battery pack or mains power supply via a transformer that creates a high voltage (90-120v) 1KHz AC (very low current) which makes the phosphor glow.
It proved very tricky to work with as the wire we used was about 5mm thick and was both relatively inflexible and fragile compared to ropes (too much flexing or too tight a turn and the wire can break or the phosphor break off), add to that the rigid nature and plastic clothes-line feel it was challenging.
From my perspective it was reluctant to stay where I wanted it and hard to tie knots into, the decorative knots you see in the photos is about as tight as it could be safely tied. To finish the ties I used small translucent cable ties, on advice from my sponsor EL Wirecraft.
From my models perspective, Pinkerbell it was very physically challenging, decorative ties already often take quite some time but working with EL Wire poses had to be held for far longer, up to three hours! she also found she wasn't able to relax into a tie like you would with rope.
It certainly proved challenging to work with, in the end, we required 16 shoots to complete the project, and I personally feel the resulting photographs are beautiful. What you see is exactly as it was photographed, theres no 'photoshopping' or similar trickery. The photos I like the most are as usual the more elaborate and decorative ones, but some of the very simple ideas also make for very striking photos.
The book is currently available for pre-order via my website, I'm currently going through the process of making small adjustments after receiving the first proof-copy, as soon as it's perfect it'll be available to ship. The sample photos both I and Pinkerbelle are uploading are all taken from the book which has 100 photos (most of which you'll need to buy the book to see!).
For those interested in technical information:
Our EL wire came from EL Wirecraft and we were working with 5mm wire in four colours, Blue and Red we had in 2x 10m lengths, Green and Pink we had in 4x 5m lengths, total 10m per colour, 40m total. In addition to the wire itself you'd need the transformer boxes, we found one was enough for as much wire as we ever used at once, and we used the 8xAA battery power supply, though mains transformers are also available. A huge bag of 100mm translucent cable ties was also required! and wire cutters both for removing cable ties and in case of an emergency requiring the wire to be cut (easier than EMT shears in this case).
My Camera is a Nikon dF and most of the time I was using a Nikon 50mm f1.8, some earlier photos were taken with a Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 lens. Photography was done in a blackout studio and at ISO400 mostly to keep the shutter speed up for handheld shooting, a single room light through a doorway was the main directional ambient light source. A typical camera setting for this project was 1/30sec at f1.8 and ISO400.
My model for this project was Pinkerbell.
It's Electroluminescent Wire (from EL wirecraft). Not LED, Not UV.
It's not 'photoshopped', it's pretty much exactly as captured in-camera.
Yes it's safe, no it's not comfortable, yes it's hard to work with.
The ties are all 'real', the EL wire is the 'rope'.
The book is currently available for pre-order and will start shipping late January 2018 (as soon as I'm happy with how the photos look). Pre-order through my website now - http://www.BeautifulBondage.net/neon - when fully available it'll also be on Amazon, through my site you can order signed copies and I ship worldwide.