Worked with "Polly" in the Studio last night (13th Feb)
She is an actor as well as a model, and much more experienced than Helen (No disrespect to Helen).
Creative juices were flowing from the start.
Firstly, I shot for the "Light: The Language of Photography" project. An enhancement of the stuff I did with Helen...
I think this series of shots work because the outfit complements the "Trippy" nature of the lighting effects.
The same as the last time, I would set the camera to a 5/6 second exposure, and fire the flash and while the shutter was open, Polly would wave the cloak, etc. Jamie helped in a few of the shots...
As I mentioned, Polly is an actress, and when she changed costume, my creative juices went to Edwardian thoughts, so I gave her an idea we could both fly with... "You're a woman in WW1, and you've just received the telegram that your husband has died in the Somme..."
Next costume change created what I call "The black widow" or possibly "Lizzy Borden"
After she had slit her own throat, and cut my hand off, we continued on with the psycho bitch aspect, enrolling an eye-patch, and a mesh bag (I do love my hoard of props...)
It was a pretty easy going shoot. Polly was creative, slightly crazy, and well up for it. I'm still ocming to terms with the lighting in the studio (I am not used to the height and width available, so I'm not using it to its best advantage...
Physically exhausting though. I need to get famous, so I can hire an assistant...
Polly and I (With the help of Chris) recorded a safety video, aimed at new models, who are maybe being pressured by unscrupulous photographers. I'll get round to editing that...
This is a series on Helen (This series needs to be seen in sequence).
Helen is a mature amateur model, just dipping her toes into modelling. She was insecure about her wrinkles, and some life experiences, and has unfortunately shot with a few misogynistic photographers in the past, so I talked and shot progressively through the shoot to enable her personality.
I refused to Photoshop her wrinkles and blemishes (Except one bit of smudged lipstick) as the point of this entire series is to show the beauty of a mature woman...
My Entry for the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2019 - singles.
MOST were shot during term time / immediately before term time, one is a few years old...
So, booked the studio for a four hour shoot today, and "Helen" to model for me.
As usual, the purpose was multifaceted. I wanted to explore:
Ideas for my "Light is the language of Photography" project.
I wanted a mildly erotic set.
I wanted to add to my transgressional imagery.
I wanted to create possible entries for Portrait competitions.
I wanted to explore different formats of photography.
The first thing I have to say - and admit to - was that the different formats of photography idea fell flat. I simply didn't have time to work with the Bronica or the MPP on the day, so that will need to be explored later.
Obviously, the main subject was Helen. She was a mature, but inexperienced model, and I spent a great deal of time talking with her about her experiences, and what I hoped to get out of the project.
The "Ligth is the language of Photography" concept produced a few images that I quite like, and which I maybe want to extrapolate on. Here they are...
The "Mildly Erotic" part was (To me), very effective. Jane was inexperienced, and obviously nervous, but a creative and sensual person, and we weren't going to be pushing any boundaries anyway. Here's some of the results...
I actually started with portraiture. It's an easy icebreaker, and lets everyone get familiar with each other, and the studio environment.
I REALLY like some of the results. I wanted to show a mature woman. I told her I would not be photoshopping wrinkles, laughter lines or pores. I wanted the real her, and I think I did that on several occasions. Here are some of the results.
And, finally, the Transgressional element. I think this worked best of all...
An "on-the-road" documentary with the legend.
Still shooting "Fillum" at 83. Mamiya RB67, med format...
Nice to see he seems happier than when I met him a few years ago...
This was a highly appropriate lesson today.
It is something I've been experimenting with during the course, and here (not in any form of chronological order) is some of the stuff I've been experimenting with.
Instax. This is a small instant camera. Think absolute budget end of the polaroid market. It gives a cartridge of 10 prints, which develop before your eyes. I'm using it in pretty much the same way as any other camera, and comparing what it produces, and what a DSLR (Or Med Format) produces.
The comparisons are various, from the tactile feel of the little print, to the development process, it feels more intimate and personal than digital, with its instant gratification of a vibrant Jpeg on your viewing screen.
Medium Format. I've booked out a Bronica Etrsi, and ran some film through them. I am still astonished at the vibrancy of 30+ year old film I found that I'd used in my own Bronica some decades earlier, and will comment on the current results when I get the film back...
Large format (5x4). I've booked a tutorial for this, and expect to use it as a portrait medium in a few days. I've just put this here as a place holder.
Darkroom. For the first time in 30 years, I ventured into a "proper" darkroom. To be a bit "silly" for a moment, it is an experience, not just a mechanical manoeuvre or two. The smell, the inherent cold of the room, the red safelight that bathes the equipment... They are all part of an experience of creation. The wait, the calculations, the drying...
DSLR. I've upgraded from my 5D Mk 11's to a 5D SR during the course of this course. I have found it a completely different challenge, and more different (Not necessarily difficult) than I thought it would be. It is a more technological piece of equipment than the Mk 11's, and I continue to develop with it.
Possible mediums to experiment with...
A little bit of confusion (perhaps) has arisen. It may be simple misinterpretation, or knee jerk reaction to the word "Nude" but I'm going to define something called "Levels" here.
Levels are what models work to. Alongside price, it is one of the first things a photographer needs to discuss with a model. It covers what they are (And equally important ARE NOT) prepared to work to.
This is a list from a popular modelling site. It's pretty much in alphabetical order rather than by style. I've notated the levels with what they are.
Wedding Why a model would only do "Weddings" is a mystery, but it is a level.
US Mag An adult "level" - generally, held open, perhaps pseudo masturbation.
UK Mag Similar to US, but less of the "held open"
Toys The insertion of adult toys...
Sheer Can be called implied nude
Promotional Available for promotional work (Pit lane girls, etc.)
Portrait Available for Portrait sittings
Pinup "Saucy" images, akin to the fighter plane logos, etc.
Nude Nudity. Non-open leg.
Lifestyle General modelling, such as sports, fashion, etc. Fully clothed
Glamour "Page 3", Betty Page, etc.
Fitness Fitness modelling
Fashion Standard fashion modelling.
Fetish Covers all fetish and BDSM modelling.
Erotic Shows a significant sexual element - not necessarily by being nude, but suggestive.
Dance Specific dancing modelling
Cosplay Cosplay specialities.
Commercial For use in commercial projects.
Continental Another term for US Mag
Bondage Subset of Fetish
Body Paint Body paint models
Beauty Generic beauty work.
Alternative Goth / Punk, etc.
Adult Can be girl / girl (Soft and hard) Boy / girl (Soft and hard), full sex, etc.
Well. Here goes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.