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Speed (and Lois Greenfield)

This month’s assignment for Insidious Tomatoes.

I came up with 2 shots, neither of which were my original idea on solving the problem. I have yet to locate the appropriate talent, so I was left to my own devices.

My first attempt was, well, a little too cliche for my taste:


At least it’s not the model on the railroad tracks wearing a gas mask and giving the middle finger. But it’s close.

The second, and what I am (currently) going with, is a (very large) variation on my original idea:


 Both are composites.

Hopefully I can identify the talent I need for what I really want to shoot. MTK.

Be sure to check out IT, particularly if you are looking for photography. If it’s not my style or specialties you are after, certainly one of the other photographers may be able to help.

I’m also excited to attend an exhibition of Lois Greenfield’s work at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts. Lois is definitely an inspiration and I like her approach to photography. Lois is, as they say, old school. I like that. It’s not my style but I like it. She uses a medium format camera and back but, unlike those who try to differentiate themselves by what equipment they use, Lois does so by how she uses it.

Lois shoots dancers almost exclusively, and not just for her client dance companies. They find their way into her commercial work and her fine art as well.

What intrigues me about Lois is how she photographs dancers. This is on 2 levels.

From an artistic perspective, what ends up on her files (and in print) are un-manipulated images of the dancers (in the sense of their movement being faithfully recorded). So their position and stunts are as happened. She also doesn’t use that much choreography (so it isn’t dance per say that she is photographing but the dancer). She basically lets it happen, focusing on their ability to control their bodies and their athletic ability. We see eye-to-eye on this one.

Speaking of focusing, the other thing that intrigues me is that while Lois uses a medium format camera and back, I’m not talking about a new Phase One. I’m talking a Hasselblad 500 C/M, a camera out of production for 30 years. You know, where you have to crank down the mirror and cock the shutter after each exposure. Now that’s old school. Even the back is a relatively pedestrian Leaf. I mention focusing because the Hassie is notorious for being difficult to focus on moving things. Like, you know, dancers. Heh.

And the Hassie has a 1/500 second shutter speed, so it can’t stop motion either (like the rig that I use when I shoot with flash). It’s up to the lights, and, again like me, that’s where Lois spends her money. Great minds, you know. Ok, she uses Broncolors. Old Brons, I think, but Brons none the same. These are the Lamborghini of lighting equipment.

So I’m excited by what lies ahead. I’m only disappointed that I did not get to meet her. Maybe next time.

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