Collective Inspiration Challenge No. 1: Inspired by Amy Jasek

For me, the wonderful thing about film photography is that there is always something to learn. After I learned how to load a camera and actually take a photograph, I wanted to learn how to process the film and make prints. Then I became obsessed with learning everything I could about light.  So for the last year or so, I have been shooting primarily portraits in a studio setting, using a veritable grab-bag of continuous lights, reflectors, hideous DIY modifiers, etc.  

My style tends towards emotive, high-contrast, and somewhat spare.  I want my shots to tell a story and I want my subjects to draw the viewer into that story.  Simply put, I want each portrait to feel like a complete person.  

For the first Collection Inspiration Challenge, I was paired with the amazingly talented Amy Jasek. My Inspiration for the challenge also happened to be one of my favorite photographs from FSC ever.

Amy Jasek,  Dancers,  2014

Amy Jasek, Dancers, 2014

I LOVE this photograph.  Technically, it is amazing.  But more important to me, THE STORY.  The motion and joy of it just blow me away.  And I was really taken with the contradiction of all the wonderful soft swirly-twirly lines with the sharp contrast.  So these things were my inspiration.

At first, I thought I would leave the studio and actually try shooting street photography.  But I knew that (a) my results would be less than sufficient and (b) I wasn't really going to leave the studio.  So I decided to attempt to use my studio to recreate the look and feel of a night-time street shot.  And once I had noodled that out, I thought about how to interpret the joyous chaos and motion of Amy's shot, considering my somewhat moody photographic tendencies.  What I decided was to attempt to capture that contradiction of swirling lines with stark contrast, as well as the idea of a subject who is exactly where she wants to be.  

My set-up was my giant DIY bookends with black fabric, a strand of old glass bulb fairy lights, two soft boxes, and my bad-ass Interfit tungsten head with beauty dish.  I shot with my Mamiya 645 Pro TL and 80mm f/1.9 on the tripod, film is Tri-X at 800 processed in ID-11 stock.

And this is the result:

Ruby Falls,  W  oman with Umbrella , 2015

Ruby Falls, Woman with Umbrella, 2015