It's good to go back over older shots and I have a periodic habit of going back to stuff shot exactly [or as close as possible] to one year ago.
On the 19th September last year I had the pleasure of shooting withfor the first and – as it turned out – only time. It'd be nice to try and do another shoot with her. Various things got in the way of it happening before now.
The thing I really liked about the lower of the two shots here is that it showed her in an un-guarded moment: she was getting a can of drink from a vending-machine. I was still shooting. The first snap was totally 'her': natural, playful, shy, a little vulnerable maybe. It was one of my faves from the shoot and although Irish has a copy of it, I hadn't posted it anywhere until now.
The top shot was in exactly the same spot… she'd gone back into a mode of being more posed. I was still working the light. The light was the second reason I'd taken the first shot and the main reason we'd been in the street at all: at 3.45 – 4pm in mid-September the sun comes straight down the main street in China Town. It's perfect backlight.
Irish had asked me, when we first met at the station, where 'all my lights' were, where my gear was and when my assistant was coming.
I had all the gear I needed, I said, in the one small nag I was carrying. The lights? Give then sun 15mins, I replied, and it'll be perfect. Assistant? Yeah, sure, sometimes I work with one but we didn't need one that day.
She looked a little nervous about me and my skills. I think she was used to working with people who shot flash all the time, brought loads of gear and an entourage….
Twenty minutes later, when I showed her the first shots on the screen of the camera – already shot in a high-contrast black and white setting I have – she was totally with me, totally energised, 100% happy.
I remember her surprisedly saying, as she studied the back of the camera: 'But they look like the finished pictures…..'
It's nice to make someone smile so much. She was fun to work with. It was a great few hours of shooting.
Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 Ai
Black and white done in-camera.
Little bit of grainy processing done to the second shot, in SilverEfexPro.
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