December 18th, 2014
In my continuing work with Fuji’s now discontinued instant 3000 speed film, I did a shoot with a wonderful, beautiful model, Reveille at her Dayton home. I was trying to use one of the cheap Polaroid cameras I had bought on ebay. Since then I’ve given up on those crappy cameras and gone back to shooting this film with my Speed Graphic.
As you can see from these photos, even though the quality of the camera is pretty poor, it’s still possible to get some interesting photos with a very talented model.
Even the blurry shots can be interesting sometimes.
Finding the right exposure with those cheap Polaroid cameras is totally a hit or miss process. And there’s no screen on the back of the camera to preview the results. Every miss uses another piece of this precious film. But sometimes the misses work anyway. Some are underexposed, some overexposed, but still the results can be interesting.
I also took photos of this lovely young lady with a “real” camera. I’ll share some of those in my next post.
In an unrelated subject, I just added a link to my Ello page over there on the right, under “Dave On The Web.” Go check out what I’m posting over there. You might find something you enjoy. And check out Ello while you are at it. It’s a fun new place. I’m using it as my photo social media site. It’s in beta. It’s buggy and the interface takes some getting used to, but there are no ads, they don’t sell your info, and nudes are ok. I like it over there. https://ello.co/davel51
December 18th, 2014
Yep, my publisher is having another calendar sale. Order by 11:59 December 21 and you can get 30% off. Just use the code NEWYEAR. Order from my online store here. Or just click on the calendar above, or any of them over there in the right column.
December 12th, 2014
I sometimes ask models to do completely unreasonable things. I try to always make sure they know that they can say no. But sometimes, more often than any reasonable person might expect, they say yes to something no reasonable person would do. That’s what happened last December when I asked Pippy Couture to pose for me at a beautiful spot in the mountains of Vermont. From what she has told me, she thinks it was worth the suffering.
December 7th, 2014
In case you are interested, I’m on Ello and I’ve been posting a lot of my old stuff on there. It will be my social media site for my photo work. Recently I’ve been posting my “docunude” series that I shot about 10 years ago. It’s environmental nude portraits of most of the models I worked with back then, like JoJo in the photo above. Come on over and check it out. I think you’ll be able to see my posts without joining Ello, but if you can’t, please let me know. I don’t know how to tell myself. And if you’d like to join Ello, a place that is sort of a cross between Facebook and Tumblr, but where there are no ads, they don’t sell your information, and it’s ok to post nudes…well, it’s invitation only, but I can invite you if you ask nicely. Here’s my page there: https://ello.co/davel51
Ello is in beta. It’s buggy and the interface takes some getting used to, but once you get the feel of it, it’s pretty easy to navigate. And it seems to be turning into a pretty nice community. I like it there. Check it out.
December 4th, 2014
A few more photos of Athena, this time taken with a “real” camera, my D7000 and my 50mm f/1.4 lens. I like that lens for portraits. These were shot stopped down one stop to f/2. It’s nice and sharp there, with a shallow depth of focus. The originals of these, of course, are in color, but when I was doing the edit it just seemed like black and white suited them, so I did the conversion. These were just quick and dirty conversions done in ACDSee.
These were taken at about the time Athena became pregnant with her twins. She has four kids now, so modeling is not her top priority. But I suspect she’ll get back to it one day. At least I hope she will.
November 30th, 2014
In case you were thinking about buying one of my 2015 calendars…
Hurry. You can get 35% off your calendar order if you place it before 11:59 on December 3. Just use the code: WQT32
November 26th, 2014
I’ve long enjoyed the 3000 speed instant film…both the Polaroid stuff and the Fuji copy. I was working on a project using that film when Fuji announced it was discontinuing it. That was a sad day. I have a stash of it and I’m continuing to work with it until it is gone forever. The film has a unique look that is quite lovely with beautiful tonality. It will be missed.
For many years I’ve used my Speed Graphic with a pack film back to work with this film. Shooting with that camera is a real pain in the ass, at least for me. I’m not well suited to the view camera way. So, I got to thinking, why don’t I pick up a cheap old Polaroid camera on ebay and just work with it.
Well, I ended up getting a half dozen of them and found a source for the unique batteries they use…I cobbled parts from some of them and got a few to actually work. And I found that they are real pieces of crap. Polaroid made a few good cameras, but those are hard to find and expensive. The run-of-the-mill standard Polaroid cameras that are out there in the thousands are junk. I tried to make them work and eventually gave up and went back to the Speed Graphic.
All this was back before Fuji announced they were no longer going to make this film.
But, as you can see here, I did take some crappy photos with the crappy Polaroid cameras. And some of them are not all that awful, in a crappy camera sort of way. I like these shots of lovely Athena from about a year ago…before she became pregnant with her new twins. With four kids now, Athena isn’t doing much in the way of modeling…but she’s still a great friend and a lovely person. I may coax her in front of my lens again one day. Maybe I’ll use a real camera next time.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
November 22nd, 2014
Along with shooting Lizzie AnneMarie with my instant cameras I also put my old Sima 100mm soft-focus single-element lens on the Nikon D7000 and did a few fuzzy photos with it. I’ve had this lens for something like 40 years. It was a forerunner of all the current fuzzy lenses out there and I like the way it looks. I wish it were a shorter focal length, since it’s the equivalent of a 150mm on my crop sensor Nikon, but I’ve learned to live with it. It’s a bit longer focal length than my preference for portraits, but I can make it work.
Lizzie had fun playing with some fabric to add some color to the shots. And I enjoy the results.
November 15th, 2014
Almost a year ago a new model came to the studio to do a shoot. It was a pleasure to meet and work with Lizzie AnneMarie. I’ve been working on a project using instant cameras for a while now and I decided to do some instant photos of Lizzie.
These first two are obviously shot with old-style black and white instant film. It was the late, much lamented Fuji 3000 film. Such a beautiful material, now gone forever since Fuji discontinued it. There’s nothing else that can produce a look just like this. I still have some of this wonderful film and I’m slowly using it, trying to make photos I love. I expect to run out of my stash in the next few months. That will be a sad day.
I also have been working with Fuji color instant film. It also has a unique look. Soon it will be pretty much the only option for instant film. I’ll probably keep working with it until Fuji takes it too away. I’ve also just gotten a Lomo instant camera that uses the new smaller format film from Fuji. I hope to do a little shooting with it today to see what it looks like. Stick around for a year or so and you might see some of those photos. Well, actually I’m thinking that I’ll do a few shoots with this new camera and then maybe write a review and show you some of the photos here. But first I have to actually shoot something with it.
Lizzie did a very nice job on her first shoot with me. We’ve worked together more since then and hope to do some more work in the future. If that happens you’ll see it here eventually.
November 12th, 2014
I make several trips to Chicago every year. It’s not that far away and I have a lot of reasons to visit. My gallery is there. I also have quite a few friends in the Chicago area. And there are some great models there.
Of course, the models and the friends are often the same people. One friend I’ve met through other friends and who is almost always at my gallery when there is an opening is Areia. She is more friend than model, but she has often expressed a desire to do modeling, though she is very shy about it.
Well, almost exactly a year ago she finally overcame her shyness and decided to do a quick shoot in my hotel room, just to get used to the idea of posing without all her clothes. I’m not a huge fan of hotel room shoots, but it is sometimes fun to see what is possible using the setting and the limited “available” light.
I think we did pretty well. Areia relaxed quite a bit and was able to do a good job. And the lighting was kind of interesting. It doesn’t hurt that she is quite a lovely young lady.
I didn’t keep Areia in the shadows all the time. I worked mostly with my wide angle, but I also pulled out the 50mm f/1.4 which I like to use as a portrait lens on my D7000. That’s what I used for this last photo.
The trauma of her first nude shoot must not have been too extreme because Areia has modeled for me again since this shoot. And that time we went outdoors to a great location and did very well. One of these days I’ll work my way through the backlog of shoots and get to that one.