Today we completed a Contessa entry we started over one year ago.
I never thought that we'd take this long to complete a Contessa entry. Or that we wouldn't qualify as finalists. But I have nothing to regret. This project has offered me an opportunity to work with people with whom I'd like to work again and it has also given me a rare opportunity to work with my own mini-supermodel with full hair, makeup, and styling support by the best MUA and hairstylist that I know. To Nikolas, I never take for granted the times you've chosen me to be your photographer for your personal projects. You're regularly booked by Edmonton's top photographers to work on some of the most coveted and closely held contracts we get to see in this market and I know that any of us would be just as honoured to have this privilege. To our models from this shoot and our shoot at the same location in 2009, I doubt you fully realize how easy you have made it for just about any other photographer to have picked up the same camera and created something beautiful with you in front of the lens. And to the person who owns this abandoned property north of Bon Accord, I need to meet you! In the meantime, I'll just thank Jason Hafso for sharing this location with me.
That's kind of a strange place on you to put bug repellent, Leanna.
Leanna helping Michelle with bug repellent while Nikolas does some touch ups.
Leanna receiving some touch ups of her own.
Not every photo is a winner but every shot is important. First photo lit with a tiny Norman 200B battery system and head shot through the diffuser of a 5-in-1 reflector as held by Nikolas. I wanted to keep the look consistent as with the previous year's shots so we went back to existing light.
The image Nikolas selected of Leanna's set for the final entry. I still remember Leanna being so upset with herself and with me because she thought that she did so badly that I gave up after under fifteen minutes of shooting. The selected image was the second shot after I changed camera angles and location slightly. Nikon D3 with the 135 F/2 Defocus Control Nikkor at ISO 100, 1/1600s, F/2.
Michelle catches me sneaking a shot of her from within the grass. I first saw Michelle on a motion picture set five years ago not long after I started shooting. This would be the first opportunity that I have to work with her and hopefully won't be our last.
It would be just seven minutes before we create the image that Nikolas selects for submission.
Same settings as with the other images but at 1/2500s. This was one of Nikolas' night looks for his submission. But we were shooting during the day and I was kind of lazy with lighting and tried to "nightify" the shot by improvising with some of the burnt remnants of one of the buildings on the abandoned site.
I had some time to expose a few 4x5's. All 4x5's shot on Portra 160NC with a jade green Toyo VX125, 135mm F/5.6 Schneider Symmar-S/Calumet Caltar-S at F/5.6. Exposure time was approximately 1/250s for the two shots with both subjects. Rear rise and front swing applied to maintain perspective and get both models in focus.
All 4x5's scanned with the Howtek Scanmaster 4500 driven by Aztec Digital Photo Lab Pro attached to my little tethering workstation. Some fine tuning of colour done in Photoshop CS4.
The sun came out and made this photo a bit more daytime-looking than I would have liked for Michelle's wardrobe and makeup. I hadn't thought of that when I was shooting but I'll remember for next time. It also looks as though I have some sheets of old 160NC and new 160NC mixed together. Look at the edges of the film!