The second studio session with Miranda was a little more focused than the first; for one thing, it was better timed, being at the second day of her visit, as opposed to only hours after her arrival and I worked with a more traditional approach. I decided to further push the boundaries of what my new studio flash could do and see how close to mimicking my approach with natural light I could come indoors at night.
We started working with the flash located behind the white sheet, and
Miranda on the other side of it, posing on a futon-bed.This is very
similar to the way I work with natural light indoors but had a number of
advantages. Often with natural light, there is not much light, so I
have to use very narrow apertures to avoid movement from the model
breathing (I will make images with natural light that use exposures of
1/4 second or longer). With the flash, while I was still working with
relatively wide apertures (giving a narrow depth of field), I had no
concerns about the length of the exposure, as the flash was going off at
1/2000 of a second!
It was surprisingly different working with
the flash, as opposed to available light; for one thing, as much as I
tried to mimic natural light with the flash, it was still quite
different - the angle of the light was too distinct (it was too close to
the backdrop) and the degree of the diffusion was not the same,
probably because the rest of the room was in deep shadow. All that being
said, it was distinctly different in look and feel from most of my
recent studio work, making it a refreshing change, albeit different from
In the end, the most engaging image I made was of Miranda sitting up and leaning back against the futon. I used a close composition to reduce her arms to graphical elements, and focused the image upon her knee, breast and hair. This image, so different from what I'd expected to produce, pleases me nonetheless. Sometimes the best images are the ones you never thought to make.