alight

last friday was a wonderful sunny day, as opposed to the recent spell of bad weather we’re having, and I decided that it should not be wasted. constantina had asked me for a portrait session a while back, so we arranged a little trip to the seaside. the winter seaside is always a nice place if you want big open spaces, while at the same time you can get full advantage of the setting sun.

my speed graphic was stranded on the sidelines, resting on a service table somewhere in the netherlands (the repair went fine and the camera is now on its way back to athens), so Ι fell back to 135 and 120 film. the minolta xd-7 was already loaded with some polypan f 50, and I hadn’t aired the bronica sq-a for a really long time, so I took it along.

we arrived at the seaside early, but the sunlight was too harsh and I really get baked in direct sunlight (my body has a blown fuse when it comes to high temperatures), so we relaxed in the shadow until the sun was two hours away from setting, and the light had become more mellow – the golden hour.

I am quite wide-angle and static when doing large format portraits, but the 35mm format allows for fast pace and extreme close-ups – I tend to default to tight portraiture in such occasions, getting the most out of the 50mm/f1.4 lens…

…of course I still have the wide-angle bug in me, and wide-angle lenses really like big open spaces…

…and back to cream-cheese-the-hell-out-of-the-background territory…

a couple of dogs were around, they weren’t exactly friendly…

…the sun was getting lower by the minute…

…and when I finished the half-full roll in the minolta, I took out the bronica, loaded it up with a roll of ilford fp4+, fitted the zenzanon 150mm/f3.5 on it and I was back to square portraits after months of working with non-square formats…

I need to get these negatives to the darkroom – they will print nicely, and also contact sheets would be nice. 20-something images in the 35mm roll and 12 images in the medium format roll, almost all of them based on different aspects of the same face, they will make up good contact sheets.

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