By now we’re all aware of what ultraviolet light can do to a hotel room–it’s why you’re still somehow paranoid that the swanky four-star room you’re sitting in might be covered in murderblood, sickness germs, or worse. Similarly, that fresh-faced beauty you gaze upon in the mirror in the morning light might be slightly more spotty under UV.
Photographer and filmmaker Thomas Leveritt filmed people in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park under UV light to illustrate the effects of the sun on our skin. The older the subject, the more the face resembles a freckled football. When he asks the subjects–all volunteers–to put on sunscreen, the effect is pretty astonishing.
Leveritt shot the video with a “modified Canon 7D, a regular Canon 7D, and some kind of Powershot,” largely, he says, because he could. “I believe this is one of the few UV motion cameras outside of research in the USA,” he says. “I figured out how to get enough light into a DSLR to let it record at sub 380nm wavelengths–it’s a pretty interesting problem–and then had this almost magical camera lying around, which takes great pictures. (I) found that people reacted so strongly and interestingly to seeing themselves in UV, I decided I should capture that. I messed around with various beamsplitter/teleprompter/coaxial rigs to get the right shot, before getting something which looked about right.” Leveritt says he did offer the idea to skincare brands, among other entities, but ended up just shooting it on his own steam just to get the thing done.
It’s far from the shock tactics of stuntvertising, but serves up surprise with real people nonetheless. Sunscreen brands should be kicking themselves for not thinking of it first, or else lining up to see how they might somehow collaborate with Leveritt.