February 24, 2005

Jane in Moncton

Jane and I began working together last summer, having the opportunity to work outdoors several times. For this session, however, we were to work indoors, mainly due to the freezing conditions outdoors (being the middle of winter and all).
Digital infrared original
Jane was visiting Moncton for a conference but did have an evening available to work with me so I set up my lighting and we began working. As opposed to using all three lights, and continually having to adjust one thing or the other, I decided to use the most basic of lighting approaches and set one flash head above the couch on which Jane was posing. On this flash I used my large (30"x60") softbox, to give the light a soft, even quality.
Digital infrared original
Unlike our previous sessions outdoors, where Jane and I worked with the body in the landscape, this session was focused on details. With the softbox positioned high above her, the light gave beautiful description of form, yet gave soft, delicate transitions from light to dark (with direct light, these transitions would have been harsh and contrasty). This focused the images on form and shape; this, combined with shallow depth of field (a result of using my 50mm f/1.8 lens at large apertures), allowed me to make a whole series of images that walked the line between being details (because of the close-up composition) and abstract (because of the shallow focus).
Digital infrared original
It was a great pleasure to work again with Jane whom I hadn't seen for many months but, as enjoyable as it was, I couldn't help but feel how lacklustre the images were compared to the work we'd produced outdoors. I have never really overcome my frustration with working indoors with studio lighting, and while it is definitely preferable to not photographing at all, it often falls so far short of my work outdoors that it becomes more about practice and experimentation than actually pursuing the making of images.

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