December Portraiture Session With Shana

by Harlan, January 5, 2014

Shana may not have any modeling experience, but you wouldn’t know it by the way she’s natural in front of the camera. She’s another student at the Arts Council, and I was lucky enough to have a portraiture session with her.

I shot three rolls of medium format Ilford Delta 100, and I finished off my box of 4×5 sheets of the same film. In addition to the Delta, I experimented with two 4×5 sheets of long-expired Kodak Tri-X 400. The Arts Council has boxes of expired film, which had been donated to the organization by photographers over the years who abandoned film.

There was no telling how the expired film would respond to exposure. The result wasn’t bad, but if I use the film again, I’ll have to make some additional exposure adjustments. The film has become somewhat foggy and less responsive to light. When I scanned the negatives, I was able to compensate for the film’s problems digitally, and if I decide to print either of those two Tri-X sheets, I should be able to deal with the problems in the darkroom.

I printed one of the medium format negatives last week, and it’s apparent that the camera really loves Shana. Unfortunately, my skills leave much to be desired. I managed to miss the focus point I was aiming for in almost all of the thirty shots I took using the Mamiya RZ. I’m not sure what went wrong, as I thought I was continuously checking the focus through the magnifier. Nevertheless, everything looks more-or-less fine on a small screen, but it’s not what I wanted. I made the most of it with this series, including some really nice close-ups.

My hope is that I will get to work with Shana again. I would to try a different lighting set-up. Almost all of my portraits have been moderately to mostly dark, not quite low-key, but tending in that direction. For my next shoot with Shana, assuming I’ll have the opportunity, I’ll want to move to a white backdrop and a different lighting set-up with strobes.

For the digital scans, I added a little warmth to the image, more like how the photographs will look when I print them.

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About digital prints. Chromira prints are produced by a high-quality print shop in the Princeton area. Metal prints and canvas prints are produced in New York City.

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    • Shari Berman Landes
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    • January 6, 2014

    These are stunning!! Great job!

    • Harlan Landes
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    • January 6, 2014


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