Model, “Heidi Blair”, Delaware Shore, October 13, 2001




I’ve been winnowing multiple pages from old film-based “photoshoots” down to single slide file pages, scanning two to a few, and doing so roughly, and posting the same here and Flickr (for a while).

Three observations (and I have been here before):

— The women disappear into new lives with new names.  “Heidi Blair” will have an easier time finding the photographer from that long ago autumn day than the photographer (and viewers) will have finding her;

— I see had a “commercial look” back then and doubtless would have enjoyed shooting catalogs, which ambition, of course, compelled the “time-for-prints” shooting.

— Despite the wonders of old “Digital ICE”, Nikon’s dust-and-scratch removing algorithm (coupled with Hamrick’s VueScan software), film remains a little less convenient a medium than digital.  Both of the above were worked using Adobe’s Lightroom 3 and then ported to PhotoShop to clone out the rough edges of the slides.

–Lessons learned since way back then: watch the hands!   Also, leave some margin for cropping down to the subject (and that in addition to what the viewfinder leaves out of the presentation to the photographer).

–One may do a lot without “fill flash”, but in the most sun struck moments, we need either it or scrims.  Related to that: the larger the production — the more one has to carry! — the less the wandering about alleys, church fronts, gardens, and side streets.

Perhaps I am reorienting, taking a break from politics online and reading offline, and recalling what all that stuff in the closet — I get in there and say to myself, “oh yeah, I remember this gadget!” — was about.  Everything has been kept in good condition, including the battery pack and the main camera, a now old D2x, but my inclination, whatever opportunity comes next, is to keep things very simple for a start: one really may do quite a bit with camera, lens, flash, and reflector.

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A Note Regarding Models

They really do move on.

As drive costs have come down and capacity gone up, I thought I would try to recover old shoots from DVDs (and then, one day, toss them).

Why DVDs?

As many my age know, the computer purchased for the ages some ages ago has been long gone or long crashed, and the optical disks, so carefully written to and labeled have indeed become a part of the record of what we did.

* * *

Model-photographer culture, which is what I’ve called the phenomenon that has been mixing guys with cameras (GWCs), sometime gals, with at least modestly exhibitionist ladies (and guys) since the earliest of digitally communicating days had seen boom days at — I sure did a lot of wild stupid-clever writing around that venue — and (I think I need to reappear there).

Another favored term of mine from that era: “faux fashion photography”.

What was I thinking?

What was she (or he) thinking?

Should I caption these old pictures? — “Mother of Three, Westchester”?; “Copywriter, Los Angeles”?; “Actor and Comedian, San Francisco”?

I can see if I’m not careful writing here, I’m going to catch a bad case of Valley Voice (?).

* * *

Do you believe in magic?

Some of these cats are makin’ it!

Model, Ten Years Ago, October 26, 2003

I could not be more gratified!

Sooner or later, especially as I post from these (model-released) archives, someone’s going to recognize someone (or himself).

Should I get in touch?

* * *

And some are less easily found.

A common name within an ethnicity; few details, even about interests, left from the shoot: and they are gone, Out There.

Model, Ten Years Ago, May, 2003

If your screen is hot, you might see artifacts.

Although some work on the DVDs travels back to the Nikon D70 era, others persist elsewhere in 35mm transparency files: those may have been scanned on equipment primitive compared to the Coolscan 5000 ED, which is itself now a bit behind the age, but it will have to do for a while longer.

Perhaps I should dive right into those old slide files, choose a very select few per age or set, and see how they look 10, 20, or 30 (or 40) years after I sat or stood somewhere and pressed a shutter release.