Getting this close to the business end of a gun is usually not a good thing. The Point Blank Project is a series of gun photographs that aims to eventually capture 100 different pistols in extreme, in-your-face detail.

“There’s a lot of photography of guns out there,” says the project's creative director Derek Blais.

“We started talking about guns as these kind of powerful figures, and then we started linking them to portraits of presidents, CEOs, people in the world who are very powerful. We thought, what if we shot guns the same way you might shoot portraits of a person: head on, point blank?”

They started with classics like the Beretta and the Desert Eagle, and moved onto other from a shop that supplied guns to movie sets.

Each photo is composed of 20 to 40 individual shots, to ensure that every detail of the gun is clear.

“We wanted to have the entire pistol in full focus--nice and crisp so you could see all the little imperfections, the little scrapes where the machine initially created the barrel,” Blais said.

Their first test print was 4 feet by 8 feet. “It was overwhelming,” Blais says. “We thought, ‘This is crazy, we’ve never seen guns this big before.”

2013-12-06

Co.Exist

In-Your-Face Shots Of Guns Put Our Firearm Obesssion Into Focus

The Point Blank Project's down-the-barrel portraits of pistols aren't meant to be politics, but they'll surely expose your deepest feelings about guns.

Getting this close to the business end of a gun is usually not a good thing. The Point Blank Project, from Toronto-based photographer Peter Andrew and creative directors Simon Duffy and Derek Blais, is a series of images of guns that aims to eventually capture 100 different pistols in extreme, in-your-face detail.

The trio wanted to work on a project together and landed on the idea of guns, but decided to approach it in a new way. “There’s a lot of photography of guns out there,” said Blais. “We started talking about guns as these kind of powerful figures, and then we started linking them to portraits of presidents, CEOs, people in the world who are very powerful. We thought, what if we shot guns the same way you might shoot portraits of a person: head on, point blank?”

After finding a local shop that hooks up East Coast-filmmakers with guns for movies, the group learned that some of the guns they stocked were real. “For movies that have closeup shots of pistols, something like a Quentin Tarantino film, they have real guns on site,” says Blais. They decided to take closeups themselves. Though they weren’t allowed to take the guns off-site, they set up a makeshift photo studio in the company’s vault, and started with classics like the Beretta and the Desert Eagle.

Each photo is composed of 20 to 40 individual shots, to ensure that every detail of the gun is clear. “We wanted to have the entire pistol in full focus--nice and crisp so you could see all the little imperfections, the little scrapes where the machine initially created the barrel,” Blais said.

Their first test print was 4 feet by 8 feet. “It was overwhelming,” Blais says. “We thought, ‘This is crazy, we’ve never seen guns this big before.” Four of the photos are up on display now at a Toronto store, and a gallery show is coming soon. “When you’re standing in that room and have four giant guns pointed at you, it’s pretty crazy. Some people were actually uncomfortable,” Blais said.

The photos aren’t intended as a political statement. “We’re interested in guns like any kind of guy is where it’s like you watch spy movies, and Bond, and Steve McQueen,” Blais said. “But we just kind of wanted to study them in kind of a scientific way. It did spark a lot of really interesting conversations around the pieces. When we’d be standing next a big 4-by-8 print and people would say ‘You’re glamorizing these things,’ we’d say, ‘We’re actually just studying them."

On the other end of the spectrum, they've also had the opposite reaction. "People say ‘Wow, this is crazy--I’m so glad not everyone has a firearm. They’re scary at this scale, and it helps exemplify that.’ We say, if that’s your interpretation, that’s totally cool.”

[Photos by Peter Andrew]

Add New Comment

12 Comments

  • Paul Armstong

    looney leftie with a chip on on his shoulder dreaming about doing it my way. that is scary

  • ExNuke

    Those show exactly what every violent criminal should see at least once. As a last sight if it isn't sufficient to change the way they think.

  • jack burton

    They are PHOTOs. Not real guns. Am I supposed to be afraid of a picture of a snarling dog, or a charging elephant? Do I continually duck my head when I see Thor swinging his hammer at the movies?

    That shows the emotional mindset of those out there who fear guns. Even a pictorial representation of some of them cause them to tremble and cower.

  • John Sage

    Not impressed? Not believing that for one second.

    BYW, hope you didn't have an orgasm when you saw them.

  • jack burton

    Sage is the type of person who thinks that carpenters have orgasms overseeing a hammer, and auto mechanics have orgasms over viewing car lifts.

  • Skip Stein

    These are great examples of what someone would see upon illegally entering my home. Show them to kids and adults as they certainly make an excellent impression of what you do NOT want to see; ever! This view may be the last one a criminal sees just before the flash/bang as he goes to meet his maker. Yep, two to the chest and one to the forehead; I practice regularly.

    One of the reasons crime has dropped in States where they respect the Constitution of the USA is that more people have been properly trained in safe/accurate use of guns for self defence. Criminals know that they do not know where they will encounter a well armed resident or citizen on the street.

    Remember IF you plan to legally carry or own a firearm, learn proper safe handling. from a certified instructor. Practice and clean your weapon regularly. Better safe than sorry. Better to have a weapon and not need it than need one and not have it as the criminal then has control of you and your family's life! Self defence beats surrender and death any day!