I’m continuing to work with film. Both medium format and 35 mm. My mentor has been telling me for years “slow down, slow down!”
He knew film was the way I would actually do that and he was right as always.
When you have 12- 36 exposures per roll you think more carefully and compose and shoot more diligently.
I haven’t photographed my sister since the Women Of Colour series and with an upcoming beach weekend together, I thought it’d be a perfect opportunity.
As we’re both children of the 80’s, we can’t visualize of a shoot on a beach without thinking about Helena Christiansen frolicking on black sand with Chris Isaac.
So with this shoot, I wanted the same wet hair natural beauty and striking bone structure to come through. A moody elegance and low key glamour in the golden hour was what I was after. With her amber-colored almond shaped eyes and prominent features, I knew my sister Eleni could easily capture this mood.
I brought a few dresses and accessories. One was a silver and blue strapless sequin vintage dress that I bought years ago hoping one day I would shoot with it. Another was a mustard colored asymmetrical dress which I ordered online and was too long to fit me.
The sequin draped around her torso is a thrift store find.
I buy things sometimes years in advance, especially if it’s a good deal because I know I can create something great with it later on.
Sometimes it just takes the right person and the right shoot and it will work.
I didn’t order my film online on time so I was scrambling to find 100 ASA at the drugstores on the beach.
No luck !
The best I could find was a 4 pack of Fuji 400 speed so that’s what I used.
My gear consisted of my Canon Elan 7NE and 85mm prime lens and my 24-70mm lens. I also used one Wescott reflector to balance the shadows.
Of course changing the lenses had to happen when the film roll was finished!
Not used to working like that! You forget so many things when you are used to working with digital!
Aside from the blazing sun and biting horse flies…shooting at Assateague Beach was lovely.
It was almost empty so we didn’t have any weird comments from spectators.
The wardrobe being so in expensive, I wasn’t worried about sand or water, and a few times she got in and out of the water to keep her hair and skin wet.
I am enjoying being able to create great portraits without looking over 300-500 images.
I’m content now to look at 48 images max and work with the scanned negatives.
Not too much post production was done aside from toning, black and white conversion and smoothing the pixels.
Film at 400 speed can be quite grainy, which is why I was looking for the 100.
I am very happy with what I got. I wasn’t expecting to like so many frames actually!
That’s what’s nice with film. You have to wait, review the contact sheet and it’s a wonderful thing to be surprised.