David Bowie Framed Thin White Duke Triptych

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David Bowie Framed Thin White Duke Triptych

"He just looked at himself and he knew exactly how to make himself have such a different edge, and you can't either bottle that or sell it, he just had it." - May Routh

Taken by Duffy during the third of Five Sessions with David Bowie during the filming of Nic Roeg's cult film - "The Man Who Fell To Earth."

Whilst on location in New Mexico for The Sunday Times Magazine, Duffy managed to organise a separate photo shoot with David. The plan was to get away from the set in good time and travel to the White Sands National Monument - a heritage protected white desert. Composed of soft gypsum crystals at over 4200 ft above sea level, void of life and vegetation. This was the perfect place to photograph Bowie who in the film plays an Alien from another planet. By the time Bowie was ready to travel to the location, it was already early evening. With the sun going down and only limited time and equipment to work with Duffy was taking a big risk. This would be the only time he would be able to take these photographs. Using one-second triple flash exposures he was fortunately rewarded with a set of unique and atmospheric shots of "The Thin White Duke."

The center image is the first of 5 released from the session, the vast emptiness of the Tularosa Basin can be seen in the background. The sun is rapidly setting throughout the shoot further enhancing the dramatic triple exposures. One of Bowie's many skills was to remain incredibly still and poised. This made him the perfect subject for these high-risk shots. By keeping his head completely still, only moving his arms and hands the full effect of the triple exposure is achieved. The top image - Thin White Duke #2 and the bottom image - Thin White Duke #3 show this in full effect.

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