December 31, 2002

The Year's Last Session, Working with L_

The final session of 2002 took place on New Year's eve, with L_ coming over for a mid-afternoon session. Though it is the last session of the year, I still miscalculated the light and by the time the session started, the light was failing, and exposures at the very beginning of the session were already pretty long.
8"x10" film
Given that the exposures were going to be 1/4 second or longer, L_ was pretty much limited to prone poses, lying upon the white sheets and keeping as still as possible. This didn't present a problem from the perspective of image making, as the light cascading across her body was more then enough to provide some beautiful images, but it was an issue from the point of view of varying the composition; there are only so many poses possible with a figure lying on a bed.
8"x10" film
One of the first images we made was more of a snap-shot then a careful, considered composition. As she was waiting for me to set my camera up, she crossed her arms and looked at me - I glimpsed the gesture and instantly asked her if she could hold it. About three minutes later, the exposure was made, with the focus carefully drawing attention to her mouth and lips in the lower corner of the image. Because of the low light, I had to work with a narrow focus anyway, but I suspect that the image would have been weaker with a full range of focus.
8"x10" film
After making a series of compositions exploring the lines of L_'s back set against the luminous, out-of-focus sheets behind her, I shifted to making some sitting portraits. The light by this point had dropped so much that I decided to push my film to an exposure of E.I. 800 (pushing film lowers the shadow detail in an image but, in this case, I felt it was better to make the images, than worry about retaining all the shadow detail). Because L_ was sitting with her head against the window frame, it was possible for us to make images with exposures a full second long. Of the four compositions I made only two that had no motion blur; the images are very pleasing, with a relaxed, casual feel to them that is often absent from my indoor portraiture.

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