May 11, 1999

Victoria on White (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

35mm transparency film
A week after the outdoor sessions, Victoria and I had part of an afternoon to work together, and, as opposed to heading out (and spending more than half out time in transit), we decided to stick close to home, and work in my front room instead. As before, I covered the window with a sheet, and worked with the diffused sunlight.

The earlier sessions in the front room used 35mm high speed transparency film (Fuji Sensia 400) or Fuji's premium 100 ISO slide film (Provia) but this was the first session where I worked with Fuji's portrait transparency film, Astia. Of all the colour transparency films I have used in the front room, this has yielded the most incredible skin tones. Where before the skin was good, or could be easily corrected within Photoshop, the tones which were achieved with Astia are so accurate they are unbelievable. I have never worked with a film which had yielded such true-to-life skin.
35mm transparency film
The more I work with the front room setting, the more I fall in love with the process. A relatively small physical space, where the model is comfortable and warm, and a soft, yet bright and directional light source yields a very powerful environment to work within. On some levels, working in such a tight space might been seen as restrictive, cutting down on the options and possibilities, but at the same time, working within such a defined space seems to provoke creative framing and posing.
35mm transparency film
On the whole, while the biggest thrill of the images with Victoria was the rich colour, this is only because the photos sing so well as images alone. If they had been made on other film, they would certainly be as successful, but the strength of Victoria's presence before the camera, combines with the brilliant tones of Astia, made for a very powerful series of images. Much of the success of these images is a direct result of Victoria's comfort with the camera, and her ability to relax before it. If a model is uncomfortable, or if the pose is awkward, it shows in the images, and cannot be compensated for with the best film or cameras in the world. Victoria, however, loves being photographed, and this is the foundation on which these images are built.

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