Thursday, September 24, 2015

:sacred and profane:

I had two photography-related events this past weekend, both decided upon at the last minute, and I'm glad that I did both.

Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA is an amazing place, both for some amazing funerary sculpture and the grounds itself. I've done at least two photoshoots there in the past, and regularly visit and photograph in there still. I haven't done so again with a model because I tend to think that the posing in a cemetery theme has been done to death (ha), and plus I believe you need special permission to do so now.

This past weekend they held an event called "A Glimpse Beyond," which was a musical and dance-oriented performance that moved throughout the grounds with the audience led from piece to piece as the sun gradually set. I believe it was meant to show the stages of grief, as depicted by one main woman, and the final part was less morose, with a New Orleans-type band playing as the performers danced. I didn't go with the intention of capturing it, but as ever I always have a camera of some sort with me, so I'm glad that I did.

A fellow photographer that I know in Salem, MA regularly hosts photography sessions in his studio, and I've been meaning to go but time and money had always conspired against me. This past weekend the stars and my bank account aligned so I finally went. This session had one model and several photographers present, and we rotated turns of four minutes each, which actually felt a lot longer than I initially thought it would. This was also my first time shooting in RAW format, which I have avoided in the past because of the large file sizes, but the clarity in it is stunning.

For the indoor portion of the shoot we got to use studio lighting and remote flashes, which makes me want to obtain some for myself even more. I was really pleased with the results. It was certainly more of a pin-up sort of shoot, quickly becoming a nude one. The model was no newcomer (she told me she had been doing it since she was 10) and very easy to work with, requiring very little direction but I still told her to turn this way and that. I noticed that the other photographers tended to stay in one spot to take their shots, but as per usual I was all over the place trying different angles.

Me being me, I also asked if other things in the shop were usable as props, like a Ducati motorcycle.

I also took note of a skull, since she was from Arizona and had a "wild wild west" tattoo. I've been musing about somehow getting to do shoots for the Suicide Girls site, which mostly involves tattooed women, so I consider this practice for that.

Being on the tail end of summer, the weather was still nice so we all ventured outside to a nearby isolated site by the water that they apparently use a lot on shoots. The sun was facing towards us in some shots but I liked some of the effects that caused, either backlighting or lens flares.

Me playing around with props again.

All told I got nearly 300 shots from this, most that I'm happy with, and I don't think I'll be altering them much if at all, which is a more regular theme in my photography as of late but I hope to get weird and conceptual again too.