One of the things I could do in the studio that I couldn’t do with my first outdoor shoot (besides having fully naked models) was to have most of the body in the shade to get maximum texture. But what I discovered was how cool the pics were with low light exposure of the body but not full shadows. In this back portrait of Jelle, I love not only how the flowers pop, but how you can still distinguish his shoulderblades, the subtle lighting of the right shoulder, etc. Definitely something to explore in more detail next time.
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Kodak Portra 160
Model : Sarah
In preparation for the shoot I tried to capture colourful textures in the Hong Kong Botanical Garden. There were beds of these yellow flowers and I hoped that they would carry accross in the double exposure process. They did, as clearly evidenced here. I like how Sarah’s complexion and red blonde hair blends with the flowers, and I also like how her clear eyes pierece through the texture.
Fuji XT2 (XPAN) + Dubble Jelly
Model : Lara
Towards the end of the studio session I wanted to experiment a bit so I asked Lara to bring her hair back and shot in mid motion. Considering I was shooting at the speed of the lights (1/125s) I knew I’d have blur but I hoped it would be legible still. What I didn’t count on was the lighting scheme which has most of her body in the shadows (hence lots of texture) and the Dubble Jelly delivering funky colours. In the end, a lovely accident.
Fuji XT2 (XPAN) + Kodak Portra 160
Model : Patricia
My first attempt at these flora+skin double expos was black and white only, and during the second session I shot 6 rolls of Ilford FP4+. But I wanted to attempt colour as well. I shot 2 rolls of Dubble Jelly and one of Kodak Portra 160. The Dubble was hit and miss (to say the least) but the Portra was quite convincing. And again on this shot the luck of the draw is on display. The long pointy leaves shine green in Patricia’s dark hair, and they look like snakes to me.
*Lit by Leaves*
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Ilford FP4+
Model : Madline
So last month I ran my first nude studio session. I had done some nude backs a few years ago as part of the Unknown Armies series of photos, but never full nude. But the Flora double exposure project only works by superimposing the flora textures and human skin. The initial session was bare chested guys, which I suppose is nude (or should be) but socially acceptable and easy to set up. For this second session, I had 11 models, including 8 girls, and that’s a different story. Or so I thought. The truth is, within minutes of the session starting I didn’t pay attention anymore. I didn’t have time. It was all about lighting and composition. Anyway, this picture is one I really like, with the long palm leaf acting kind of like a strange lighting mechanism. It would have been an entirely different picture with a denser texture, but it’s again one of those things where luck plays a large part.
I hadn’t thought too much ahead on my process for this session : the key aim was to test my lighting equipment. So I ran the double exposures the same way I do for my texture portraits: shoot an entire roll at -1IL, then shoot the entire roll again at nominal exposure. But looking at the pictures it’s clear that this type of double-exposure doesn’t lend itself too well to that process : I should have shot the two shots in a row on the same frame. Su the successful shots are happy accidents. Like this one.
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Ilford FP4+
Model : Lilly
There’s a high degree of unpredictability with double exposures in general, but with portrait double exposures as I do them, that’s magnified : orientation of the initial shot, framing, distance, focal length… So I knew the results would be hit and miss. But some of the hits are interesting in that they tell a story of sorts even though the shoot itself didn’t.
Fuji XPro-2, 85mm, f/2, 1/160s, ISO 200
Anaïs was an absolute trooper that evening, ready to try every crazy idea I had for deranging shots, and even suggesting a good few herself. This is one I like a lot (again, an outtake from the main thing, but one that gives a very different feel from the submitted shot.) This is also the only shot that I submitted without any texturing or grunging up, the light was just so great naturally.