it had been a really long time since I last did a “proper” portrait session, so when x-ray model agency asked me to do a test with mariane, I immediately agreed. sunday was coming up and I had nothing arranged, so we decided for a morning shoot. dear liz was happy to provide make-up and hair styling, and we set out on sunday morning for zappeio.

I was expecting the place to be empty on such an early time and I was planning to set up mariane in front of zappeio hall and let the speed graphic work its magic… but, surprise surprise, the leader of a political party had arranged a gathering there and the place was teeming with politicians, voters and police officers. so, plan b, we headed straight into the trees.

the time frame was quite tight, we had less than two hours before mariane had to go, and I settled with getting simple, natural portraits. straight on, I loaded up the bronica sq-a with a roll of kodak tri-x 400 and tried to catch the light that was filtering through the trees.

…then on to some against-the-light portraits…

…and as the tri-x roll came to an end (I was out of b/w film, too, just two rolls with me) I set up the speed graphic, paired it with the leitz hektor 150/f2.5 and looked around for some background that begged to get creamcheesed… I had some film holders loaded up with fomapan 400 and a couple loaded with expired kodak epn 6122 color duplicating film…

…it took me some days before I decided to develop the color films (always bored of heating up the chemicals), but the result was well worth it – expired cross-processed slide film, cheap as hell, kinda unpredictable but not without its merits…

…we’d already spent one and a half hour, what with the extra time needed for each large format shot, so I figured out it was time to pack up the speed graphic and go back to the bronica. the second b/w roll I had with me was kodak t-max 100 – two stops slower than tri-x but sporting a lot more of detail in the midtones….

…and that was it, we packed up and left just as that bloody politician was starting his speech. in total, 24 frames of medium format and 8 frames of large format were shot in the course of two hours. next time it’s gonna be longer, with more large format shots, which are a pain in the ass to set up but quite wonderful if they come out as planned.


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