Friday, May 30, 2008
Portrait of MJ
Click above for a larger image
This is a portrait of Mary Jane taken using a flashlight and the 4X5 camera with a sheet of Tri-X Pan film. The neighbor’s cat had followed MJ in and snoozed out on her lap.
The flashlight/time exposure technique was used. The room is almost dark and the shutter is opened. A flashlight is used to carefully add light to the areas desired. The flashlight is completely covered with black tape. As long as it’s kept moving, it won’t show even when within the frame area of the image.
Being able to use the light on an oblique angle showed the folds and details of her coat, and set a highlight on the brim of her hat. On the other hand, her face is fully lit without the shadows that would have been formed by side lighting. It is not a “soft” light, and won’t create the soft shadows that wrap around an object’s edges as a soft box does. The end result looks more like the 1940’s era photos of film stars, which was typically lit with film style lights. MJ’s pose was her own addition to the mix, and fits the style. A 25 year old refrigerator is lurking behind her, but thankfully it caught no light.
All it takes is a tripod, flashlight and camera.