Amy walked into my little studio in Westlake Hills with her good friend Renae. Renae was my assistant for a number of years and maybe I remember those years as "the Golden Years" of photography partially because of my collaborations with Renae and partly because we had both time and optimism on our side.
The studio space was perennially and almost permanently set up with lights just in case someone interesting/beautiful/wonderful dropped by. We didn't over think technique back then. We played more than we (collectively) do now. There didn't seem to be much on the line to prevent a certain insouciance and fluidity to our pursuit of things like spur of the moment portraits.
I asked Amy if we could make a portrait and she, of course, agreed. She did a little touch up on her make up and then stepped into the sweet spot of a 40 by 60 inch softbox's glow.
I focused as well as I could with an old Leica R8, stopped the even older 90mm Summicron (no APO or ASPH) down to f5.6, Renae did a quick check with a light meter and we snapped our way through a 36 exposure roll of Ektachrome or Fujichrome. Maybe it was Astia. Whatever. It was some ISO 100 slide film and when I got it back from the lab I thought it looked great.
It's funny. Sometimes I post stuff to make a point about gear or technique but most of the time, at least with portraits, I'm posting stuff because I enjoy looking at it for a second, third or hundredth time. For me that's the real value of doing the work.
And the joy of it.
This is gorgeous. I come to your site daily for an interesting tidbit or two, and maybe a great comment written by another reader, but it's portraits like this that stop me in my tracks. Thanks for adding something wonderful to my day.
I'm not sure how you replace that incredible portrait with AI. But there again, I'm old.
One film I really do miss is Fuji 50. Soft contrast film with great color that matched so well with Cibachrome for prints.
The AI in your previous post was presumably “trained” in some way. Supposing it was trained on your portraits I wonder if the result would be closer to a decent portrait?
I hope we never take the humanity out of photography. Without that, it is to my way of thinking, lifeless.
I feel the "punctum" of this photo is the asymmetric left ear.
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