22 March 2009

Cool Melissa

If you are not passionately devoted to an idea, you can make very pleasant pictures but they won't make you cry. - Ruth Bernhard




I took a break from photo work, and some other studying that I am doing to go see the movie "Knowing" with Nicholas Cage. All I could say was, "Damn..." after the credits began to roll. It started out fast, by impressing you with a plane crash, but then slowed down a bunch and made you try to figure out where things were going. It has few interesting twists, but in the end, left you wondering with a feeling of "NOW WHAT?" Interestingly enough, there is a question of faith that Cage has to deal with and when he comes to his conclusion, there is a reference to biblical prophesy. The thing is, nothing that transpires in the movie has anything to do with a prophet or how the Bible says events will unfold.


But onto photography...



As I write this blog, I am being interviewed via email by a young girl, or woman, I should say, who is the daughter of one of my models. She's a teenager doing an interview on people and their careers. She chose me since I am a friend of the family and she relates to me because I am an artist like she is. And this girl is good. She's got a talent and a potential, that properly cultivated and supported, could blossom into something great. Hold on... another email question... Okay, I'm back. She's asking some very good questions. At first I was wondering if her mom was helping, but she's come back with some fairly spontaneous remarks that would suggest otherwise. This is her own work. So for now, we are going over what its like to be a photographer and some of my background. Its cool.



I was recently featured by Unbearable Lightness, who's been helping Chris St. James run Univers d'Artistes. In her post, "The New Neasley", she made me sound like I was some high profile photog who went into a mysterious hiatus leaving everyone to guess and speculate what I was in the midst of creating. It was a good article that centered on my initial intent to suspend my nude work and the challenges I had in the attempt. Nine images of Brittani, Melissa, Trixie, Erica, and Gabriella were selected for the feature. This was a March 18th post but you can go directly to the link =>clicking here<=. You may notice that for this feature, Unbearable Lightness uses one of her recent photos as sort of a tribute the the Vegas theme for her image ID. Nice touch, Sweetness.



I mentioned before that you should be expecting images of a recent shoot with Model Melissa. This was our 3rd collaboration. It was right after editing the first work that I had the idea to do her with a wide-angle lens to exaggerate the perspective of her hips and legs (Canon EF-S 10-22mm). She's got the deceptive build for it. To look at her, she appears thin as can be, but when the clothes come off all that hidden shape and curvature comes to life. I was thankful for the fact that she allowed me to play with that idea. Not many models are willing to allow you to capture imagery that intentionally makes their butts look bigger. Melissa is very comfortable with the way she looks and trusted me enough to just let me play, 'cuz that's what I did. I experimented with angles and positions, while trying to get the desired effect with the camera lens. Many models would be very uncool with how close I had to get to get the exaggerations, but that's necessary when you work wide like that. When I get my Canon 5D Mark II, the 16-35mm L-series is definitely on the list. In fact, I don't think I will get that camera without two lenses...one of them being the 16 to 35.



One of the more interesting thing about this shoot is that its the 3rd time we've shot and its all been in her house in the same area. Normally, I'd have been bored silly by now and yearning to get her outside. She's even got the most interesting backyard, and I have yet to explore it. Part of that has been weather, but also, its been due to my business with the indoor work. The third shoot in particular took some patience because of the lighting challenges. I knew from the last shoot that coming during the time of day I was there would allow some interesting lines from the Venetian blinds in the window. This day however was very cloudy. We'd have the light for just a second or two and then it was gone. We'd wait for it to come back, but limitations on time forced us to move on. But when we'd see the lines return, I'd have her jump back on the couch, assume the same position and try to snap quickly. Some of it was trial and error, thinking I could bring it out in Photoshop with contrast corrections and blending options, but I finally got what I wanted. I love me some Melissa. And here is some of our latest work.

Hi, Charlie!

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