In the early days of our career, I was working on developing a series of staged studio shots to add to our fine art gallery. The idea was to create a scene, measure the lighting and camera settings for the desired output, then have a guest model sit in for the final image. Remember, this is pre-digital, so no instant looks. You used a light meter, shot a test roll and had it processed. If we were shooting medium format, then we could have shot a test polaroid first. However, in this instance, I was using 35mm.
My ‘go to’ model for this type of prep work is my business partner Mary. She has suffered through hours of poses, lighting setups, staging mock-ups and costume changes. The idea was to set a scene in soft focus and create a piece that could be enlarged for an emulsion transfer over to canvas.
We did eventually bring in a model, but I preferred Mary’s test shots which we had transferred to canvas and displayed in our gallery. The image was shot using a Minolta X-570 on an MD-1 motor drive, using a Vivitar 100mm 2.8 Prime lens on Fuji G-100 color negative film. Lighting was provided by using a set of Speedotron Brown Line power packs. One Bank light, one Kick and one Hair light firing into a golden body reflector with a 2-3-1 lighting ratio. The image was scanned using a Minolta DIMAGE 5400 full frame.
Today the original hangs in our studio.