Once you have made an image you are proud of, you will want it to last. Always store films and prints in a cool, dry, acid-free environment, preferably in the dark. Prints hung on the wall should never be in direct sunlight, and the mount and barrier board at the back of the print should be of acid-free materials. if you wish to sign your pictures, use a soft pencil, rather than a pen. in the case of digital images, make backup files of your originals before postprocessing them. Standard CDs and DVDs have limited lives, in some cases as little as two years. Look for archival ones, which will last ten times longer—they are more expensive, but you will save a lot of time by not having to reburn them so often.
Making archival prints
Exposed to light on the wall, these prints have begun to degrade; you might think the effect looks quite nice, but they will continue to deteriorate. They have suffered from insufficient fixing or washing. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, and don't make the mistake of thinking that doubling the stated fixing time will make the image last longer; instead, the fix will penetrate the paper base, from which it will be very difficult to remove.
The small image shown left is scanned from a postcard I made years ago from this photograph. The large image above shows a print made recently from the negative as it is now; it seems that not all of the negative was fixed properly. The problem was that i didn't rotate the developing tank sufficiently, or there wasn't a sufficient quantity of fix. This shows just how essential it is not to cut corners in the darkroom.
My camera, loaded with transparency film, was dropped in the sea. i had the film developed, hoping for the best, but here you can see the damage done by the salt water. Digital restoration was possible, with skill: the face was repaired with skin colors from the chest, using the clone tool and healing brush, and larger areas were repaired with selections from undamagec skin, put into a separate layer, and brushed over the damaged area. The same technique was used for the sea and sky, and the overall color was repaired with selective color.
PHOTOGRAPHERS' GALLERY 149
Welcome to the world of 10 top photographers renowned for their nude ¡mages. Each of them has created a picture specially for this book in the style they are known for, and has then explained how it was achieved: their concept, the preparation for the shoot, the equipment they used, and the way they worked with their models. With their variety of visions and approaches they demonstrate that photography can go in a number of equally valid directions.
A careful study of their different styles will pay dividends. You will notice how every photographer chooses to fit every element of the shoot to his or her concept. Some, like Andreas Bitesnich, Sylvie Blum, and Giorgio Gruizza, use their studio as a setting, whereas Gavin O'Neill gives his bare studio the feel of a location. Ocean Morisset puts his model at a window and uses only natural light, while others—such as Gabriele Rigon—use an extra light source to emphasize the location's atmosphere. Ragne Sigmond conjures up the atmosphere of the classical world in her studio, while Allan Jenkins comes so close to his model that the environment has completely disappeared from his image.
Have a look at the different lighting directions used to sculpt the models, how light sources are combined, and how rarely the main light comes from the front. You will see that few models look into the lens, and that many even hide their faces. And when they do look into the camera, study the expression they convey to the viewer. There are also good examples of how dynamism is created through athletic poses, and stillness through relaxed, natural poses.
Listen to the way the photographers communicate with their models and assistants, and look at how they try out different possibilities until they find the final images. Some, like Almond Chu, vary their styles, whereas others, like Lyn Balzer and Tony Perkins, clearly choose a consistent style,
Learn from these great masters, analyze their imagery, and read their stories. However different their styles might be, what they all have in common is a passion for photography and for the beauty of the human form, and a quiet determination to create strong, personal images.
LYN BALZER & TONY PERKiNS
lyn balzer & tony perkins
Lyn majored in photography while studying for her arts degree, developing a strong individual style that brought her a significant client base even before she graduated; Tony studied environmental science. To balance their studies and commercial work, Lyn and Tony set up their own small studio in an old factory in Darlinghurst, the creative heart of Sydney. They have exhibited in London, Barcelona, Sydney, and Melbourne, and their work has appeared in magazines internationally.
Our fascination with the Australian landscape stems from an upbringing on Australia's east coast near the idyllic rain forests and beaches of Byron Bay. "The Ravish of Nature" is a recurring theme in our exploration of the nude. inspired by diverse visual sources such as Rodin's sensual watercolors, Marcel Duchamp's masterpiece Given, and the surreal qualities of David Lynch's Blue Velvet, we explore the erotic tension between the potency of nature and the implicit sexuality of the naked female. Strangelands, our evolving series, is the world that we enter in our images. it is a world that exists between the boundaries of the everyday and the exotic—marginal places such as abandoned quarries, deserted beaches, or swamps. our models are a mix of professionals and amateurs, chosen as much for their spirit as their physical presence. We like to work with girls who both understand our vision and are keen to collaborate on exploring our visual language—our muse has an inherent, unfathomable presence.
We shoot exclusively on medium-format negative film and have developed our technique through years of experimentation. We find the format provides the perfect balance of high-quality images with an ease and freedom of movement, which is important when shooting in some of the harsh locations in which we usually work. We choose films that enhance the surreal qualities of our images, embracing the startling strong colors of our country—vibrant blues, greens, and reds. A combination of flash and available light amplifies an abstracted, otherworldly state— impossibly blue skies, raw textural flora, and pale ethereal forms.
Our images are all created in camera, with little, if any, postproduction; it is the small imperfections that emphasize the apparent fragility of the feminine form in the face of nature.
www. lynandtony. com
152 photographers' GALLERY
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