I have been progressing with my diptych portraits of friends and Rotary colleagues as per my previous post here. I have now completed 8 portraits of which I think I may use 6 in my final submission for the assignment. One of the ones I have retained so far is also a possible for exclusion. I managed to get the reflection of the lights in the subjects glasses, which I find irritating and could possibly be regarded as technically inept. Having said that I have looked at the work of many top portrait photographers and they too make this mistake sometimes. The difficulty is that with a large format camera you just don’t know what the exact final image will look like. Once the dark slide has been inserted into the back of the camera it is no longer possible to see what is in the frame. A slight movement back of the subjects head and the reflections radically change. Also working with film one doesn’t get the instant feedback.
My film development processing has been improving although I do still get problems with marks on the film. These are particularly obvious when shooting against a plain grey background. I am currently experimenting with using distilled water for the final wash with wetting agent and modifying my technique for agitation of the film during development…..the learning curve continues. I have also signed up for another course with the Chelsea School of Art which is specifically on large format photography including film development.
I thought I would experiment with different forms of presenting my diptych work which now has the working title 45 seconds… I have made a short test video with Final Cut Pro X. The transitions between the two portraits of each diptych is deliberately fast to accentuate the change in expression…The video is on Vimeo. Just click the image below to view it.