I am writing this blog post from the backstage dressing room of The Crucible, as we await the start of our last performance, so I thought another backstage portrait would be an appropriate subject. This is Annie, at fifteen the youngest member of our cast. She is a remarkable, talented young actor who combines wisdom beyond her years with the spirit and enthusiasm of a child; as such she is perfect for the role of Betty Parris.
(Nikon F2, 50mm/f1.4 Nikkor lens, Tri-X film at E.I. 800, developed in Diafine 3+3)
Today’s image was taken in the communal dressing room backstage at the Alexander Showcase Theatre’s production of The Crucible in which I have a role as Willard, the Marshall. (Five more shows to go, there is still time to come see us!) This photograph is an image of the multi-talented Sharon Zehavi, getting into character for her role as Abigail Williams, ringleader of the teenage girls.
The dressing room is small, cramped and noisy as people get ready for the show, but Sharon is clearly in her own universe as she seemingly allows herself to be consumed by the character of Abigail. The intensity is incredible. The exposure was 1/30th of a second, but she is so still, so focused, that if I had a tripod the exposure could have been a second or two, and there would still be no blur. Amazing.
(Yashica Lynx 5000e 35mm rangefinder, 50mm/f1.8 lens, exposure 1/30th of a second @ f1.8 on Tri-X film at E.I. 1000, developed in Diafine 3+3. Post work done using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2,
with additional post done by Sharon.)
Yes, it has been a while since I’ve posted. My role in the Alexander Showcase Theatre’s production of the Crucible has kept me quite busy of late, but I did have time yesterday to get out and do some shooting with my Nikon F2 35mm SLR and 24mm/f2.8 wide-angle lens. It was a reunion with Eastman SO-331 film, a special process film that is designed to be very contrasty, unless developed differently I used Diafine 3+3 and it seems to keep the contrast in check, although I will be testing with other developers. I did a bit of work in post on this image (toning and sharpening) so it is a hybrid image, sorry purists
I mentioned some time ago that I got to do my first cover photo for the new EP titled Leap by the incredibly talented Angela Saini and with her recording now released in Europe and about to be launched here in North America I can finally take the wraps off and show you a scan of the cover.
Angela is an artist who understands the importance of story; every song of hers has a story, and the concept that evolved for the cover definitely was definitely story-centric as well. The concept of the Leap cover was to show a mix of emotions surrounding taking the next step, taking the risk, “going for it.” That mix of nerves, fear, thrills and excitement you feel when you realize you are about to do something significant; the knowledge that when you go through the door, and take that leap, things will be different and that there will be no going back.
When going through the images there were a lot of very subtle differences in facial expressions, and the image that was finally picked I think has the perfect expression, full of the subtlety and complexity that Angela can muster so effectively.
The launch party for Leap will be held on November 14th at the Rivoli here in Toronto . I cannot go as I will be in 17th century New England that evening (as part of my role in The Crucible, being put on by Alexander Showcase Theatre), but that doesn’t mean you can’t go! The evening is sure to be a lot of fun!
In the meantime, check out some videos of her music!
I think slide film has its one particular magic: holding a strip of slide film in one’s hand is like holdng a collection of little universes, with each image being a doorway into each world. Today’s image is from a roll of Fuji slide film I shot in England this summer using my medium format Mamiya 645 Pro TL
The grounds of Hever Castle (childhood home of Ann Boleyn
Today another image captured on 6×7, but the camera I used was my Mamiya RZ67. Compared to the Pentax 67, this large, bulky beast definitely feels like a tripod camera, but is still a joy to use, at a slow, contemplative pace.
(90mm/f3.8 lens, Ilford Delta 100 film developed in Rodinal 1+25 for 9 minutes at 20C)
Today, another image captured yesterday at the Distillery District in Toronto with my Pentax 67. the 6 cm by 7 cm format has been called by some the “ideal format”; one reason is that you can print on 8×10 paper with no cropping to speak of. By contrast, 35mm would required 8×12 paper to do the same.
Despite this, I found a couple of my images worked better when cropped as square (or at least “squarish”), including this image. With the sun still relatively low in the horizon at 10 am on a mid October day I liked the start look of the shadows on the building.
(Taken with 105mm/f2.4 lens, Kodak TMax 400 film developed in TMax developer)