fotini chan

studio mode

large format meets studio meets fotini korre: an afternoon spent trying to combine large format and a simple lighting set-up in a really confined space (living-room-turned-studio). large format in a studio is a very disciplined craft, since you're bound to a lot of tripods - the lights, the camera, everything is on a tripod. changing the lighting takes time, selecting a new angle of view takes time, framing takes time, focusing takes time... hell, even shooting a frame takes time - spontaneity cannot survive on a tripod. lots of patience is needed, and disappointment can quickly rear its ugly head. still, the results are quite interesting.

fotini had an earlier television shooting for mad channel, so she came around with a wonderful make-up, courtesy of maria pilafa. she was dying for some food and all I could think of telling her was "errr, ok, you can eat, but please do not spoil the make-up and the hair". she is a most wonderful person, smart and laid-back, and she loves linguini, a fact which should not be overlooked. kudos to her patience, both when posing ("now, you must stand still while I put the film in, change the aperture, put a cap on the lens, remove the darkslide, pick up the remote trigger, remove the lens cap, trigger the lights, put the cap back on the lens, ok, you can breathe.") and when coping with my moments of failing inspiration. I owe her a night out at an italian restaurant, during which I will convince her to pose on a second, outdoor, shooting, and then I'll owe her another night out at a restaurant, and... you can see how this goes.

the afternoon's tally was 24 frames - 12 large format sheets with the monorail omega view and a 6x6 medium format roll with the bronica. presented in this post are the best 8 of them - they are separated in three annotated chapters, like journal entries.


part I: static normality

photographer tries to shake rust off   //   decides to start with a casual large format set-up   //   omega view 45d, industar n-51 210mm/f4.5, fomapan 400   //   extra background light   //   rediscovery of college yearbook style   //   model frustrated; cause: receiving instructions like "just stay still and look straight into the lens"   //   removal of extra light leads to rediscovery of rembrandt style   //   normal film, normal lens and static set-up bring about quick exhaustion and slow death of inspiration


part II: mobile squareness

photographer in dire need of a fresh view   //   abandons large format in favour of medium format   //   bronica sq-a with 80mm/f2.8 and kodak t-max 100   //   no longer attached to the tripod   //   new-found mobility brings rejuvenation   //   still hampered by casual, formal viewpoint   //   decision to move closer and change angle of view proves invigorating   //   inspiration levels rising


part III: expired pictorealism

mobility of medium format brought fresh inspiration   //   photographer switches back to large format   //   chooses projection lens to emphasize depth of field   //   chooses expired film because there was none else readily available   //   omega view 45d, leitz hektor 150mm/f2.5, kodak royal pan, expired 1973   //   depth of field really razor thin   //   film's extreme old age results in excessive grain, fogging and staining   //   pictorealism winks an eye