April 11, 2004

Miranda and Monique in Morning Light

8"x10" film
After two studio sessions with Miranda and Monique, I was incredibly pleased to finally have the chance to work with them in an available light session. The difference between working in a studio, where the lighting is determined by myself, the setting has to be created, and the pose evoked through suggestion, and an available light session, where I am responding to the light in front of me, the models are reacting to a more natural space, is incredible. Granted the available light space we were using for this session is as artificial as a studio can be, with the futon being moved from the living room to the kitchen, where the best light is, but my visceral response is the same - a studio session feels artificial and constructed, where a natural light session feels, for lack of a better word, real.
Digital original
Where the studio session saw me focusing almost exclusively on digital images, for this session, I frequently switched between the digital camera and the 8"x10" view camera, taking the extra time to focus on images that seemed particularly striking to me. In an outdoor session, changing from one camera to the other can be reasonably quick, but for indoor images, where the composition is often very tight, and accurate focus and framing is critical, it can often take five minutes or more to set up the camera and finalize a composition. Fortunately, with the models posing on a futon, there was little worry about their comfort (though even on a comfortable bed, holding a pose for close to ten minutes can make anyone stiff) so I felt at liberty to work with the view camera when an image called for it. To some degree, I think the models sense the compliment involved in bringing the view camera into play - it is a direct way of affirming the potential in a particular image, and while it takes somewhat longer to make the final image, using the larger slower camera is a definite comment on the caliber of the image being made.
Digital original
After a couple of hours of working, I had exhausted both the models (it is surprising how trying staying still for long periods of time can be), and the photographic possibilities. I was very pleased with the session as a whole - the ease of responding to the models and the light as the session unfolded was welcome after so much studio work in the past weeks and, while the images revolved around the same models, and indeed, many of the same poses, the results were much more satisfying, both in terms of the images, and the experience of bringing them into being.

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