Topless glamour image for advertising
Earlier today I was sifting through a storage area underneath the stairs where I found a large box that contained roughly a dozen folders with a large chunk of my old film archives and it was a real trip down memory lane. In the first folder I found the transparency for this image which is actually from the very last job I did on film before my first experiments with digital.
This topless glamour style image was done on my Hasselblad 501CM with the standard 80mm lens which was a wonderful combination for images of this kind. The lens itself was beautifully sharp as you would expect from Carl Zeiss, but that focal length had a way of making bodies look slightly long and angular without any major distortion. Somehow I am never quite as satisfied with body images done with 35mm cameras and don’t think the elongated rectangular format does the female body many favours most of the time. Forgetting megapixels I just find it easier to work with the format proportions of medium format cameras.
Despite finding myself knee deep in boxes I felt inspired enough to leave it all for a while and make a scan to do some basic retouching in Photoshop CS4. It’s been a while since I had done any retouching on film and it’s enough to make me laugh when I hear new photographers complaining about sensor dust when you see what film was like. Even though these transparencies have been well looked after in clean new plastic sheets and never removed until today there was quite a bit of dust and general mess to clean up compared to most digital images I deal with today.
This particular job was done for a company in Italy as part of a catalogue to advertise the sun tanning product you see behind the model and the client wanted something sexy and glamour orientated with moody lighting.
I remember at the time having to do some research to work out the best way to do the lighting because I was concerned about the reflections on the outside of the product with it’s brushed aluminium outer shell. Just to really throw a spanner in the works the whole job had to be completed inside the factory which was far from ideal.
One major consideration with this particular job was to ensure that the model didn’t become sun burned so we were never able to shoot for more than a couple minutes at a time, continually checking to make sure she wasn’t getting burned.
The model herself was a Brazilian girl chosen by the client and I remember that particular day was really quite frantic. There were supposed to be seven images to do that day and instead we did close to fifty that all required various changes. I raced from 7.00am until after 10.00pm to get the job finished and then headed down the motorway from Venice to arrive home in Milan after midnight.
One very positive point I remember from that day was the assistant who worked tirelessly and made my life far easier. He was one of the one of the rare few you find who are are a genuine asset on any job.