Model Eight - On Location

I posted a few shots a while back from a session I did with my friend Model Eight. The long and tedious process of pruning my archives continues. While I'm getting rid of a lot of images that just don't work, I am finding a few that I didn't see fit to process way back when but I've found something I like in them with a fresh set of eyes years later. Such is the case of these images taken on location in the nearby small town of Taylor.

Originally, I was capturing images primarily with color in mind. The shots below were set aside as non-keepers and after processing them now in black and white, I like them a lot better. I used Lightroom with VSCO film simulations as a base to create a dark noir-ish look. These were all captured with a minimalist set of gear - a Fujifilm X100 and an off-camera hot shoe flash. No, you don't need a lot of fancy gear to have some fun and create interesting images. Enjoy these shots that I brought back from the cutting room floor, taken back in November of 2011.

Model Eight - Studio

Lately I've been going through my photo archives and doing some cleanup work. I've been looking at my work with a critical eye and ruthlessly deleting images that are just taking up space on my drive. There are plenty of images that I never did anything with, particularly from my early days of learning the art of photography. Looking back through my archives I see plenty of images that just need to go away. They weren't good then and they aren't good now. On the other hand, sometimes I find things that I set aside because I just wasn't sure what direction to take them. Sometimes it takes a fresh look years later for something to click.

Such is the case with some photos I took of my good friend and model, Model Eight. We were playing around in my studio (aka an empty room at my old office building). I was experimenting with hard light using one or two hot shoe flashes off camera. These photos were all captured with the intention of being color images. Back at home on my computer, they just didn't seem to work in color and for whatever reason I didn't even bother trying to process in black and white. I was so new to portraiture and I just figured I'd screwed up. Yet, for some reason I didn't delete these images. When I came back around to these files in my archives years later, I finally saw something.

I used VSCO presets in Lightroom as a base to process the raw files from my Canon DSLR and came up with a look that I liked. I still ended up deleting a lot of the old files but a few like these were saved from the cutting room floor. What I was missing at the time I shot these was  vision on my part. I was experimenting with new techniques, which is certainly not a bad thing, but I didn't have any idea where to take what I was capturing. That's the most difficult lesson to learn in photography - learning to see, both what exists in a moment in time and what has the potential to exist. Gear and technique are such a small part of the puzzle. Being able to see in your mind what you want to create before you click the shutter button - that's the secret to creating something special.

Huit Noir

I did some headshots of my good friend Eight for her acting portfolio. After we got done with the standard 8x10 headshot we played around for a bit with some film noir inspired portraits. In about 15 minutes we had several different looks with simple lighting changes and some wardrobe accessories. These were all done with two hot shoe flashes - one Rogue gridded hair light and one key light that was either gridded or shaped with Rogue accessories. The black side of a 5 in 1 reflector served as a backdrop in Eight's small apartment. As usual, my talented model/actress/director friend pulled off some very emotive poses and expressions. Here are 8 shots of Eight in noir style.

Images were taken with a Fujifilm X-T1 and XF 50-140mm lens.