Monday, June 23, 2008

Deborah on "earth"

Finally... earth, that along with fire, water and air concludes our "Elements of Dance" project.

With Deborah I wanted to represent a really earthy landscape, so after thinking about it for some time... Marta came up with the idea of the oil wells... like a place were there is a connection between the surface and what is underneath... and I liked it a lot. So, I went around looking for a nice spot... until I found this place near Culver City. I believe Deborah represented this idea very well indeed. I love her pose in the first photo where it looks like she's slowly coming out of the ground, like she's being born...

In the second image instead she's making the first step in this unknown territory. I love her foot strongly planted on the ground. That gives me that idea of robustness and stability I wanted to achieve with her.

But not everything was as nice as it looks like. First there was an ugly fence all around those wells. Second this place is right at the edge of a very busy road with a lot of traffic... at least around sunset! So I needed to set up the lights so that you wouldn't see the fence or other distracting stuff all around... including the road.

Anyway, beside some people yelling at us stuff I can't repeat from their cars... it worked! We managed to "hide" all the unwanted stuff from the images by playing with the lights. I underexposed the sky to make a silhouette out of the oil well until it was dark enough not to see the road behind Deborah.

As for the lights, I had a flash right over her with 1/2 CTO and one camera left with a red gel on it. This time I used cloudy WB to keep the real colors of the sky. Everything was fired by the on camera flash as usual. I wanted an image that overall looked really warm, also to make contrast with Bradley's photos that are very "blue".

After all I'm very pleased with the results of this little project of mine. I learned a lot experimenting with those two lights... who knows, maybe it's time to get a third one...
But most of all I started learning to work in the field, with the sun moving fast, the batteries of the flash dying on me... very different from a studio... very different!

To conclude, I want to thank again Cesar, Caitlyn, Bradley and Deborah for allowing me to work with them; thank you guys!
And last but not least, thanks to Marta for helping me out all over LA in doing this, your help was precious!

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Smartix said...

I like that foot too, and all the rest.

Paolo said...

Yes, it's really strong, like Deborah is!!

Zelzah said...

I loooooove these of Deborah! Raw and so mamma earth like her and her work! All around tremendous Paolo! Every picture in every series! I think you should set up one room and plaster on each and all four walls every picture from every person's shoot. I really don't know how you were able to choose one of each! I could look at all of everyone for hours.... BRAVO!

Bela Adu said...

Finally … “Deborah and Earth”. Of the two pictures, I think the one in which the dancer faces the camera has more of an earthy feel. She looks heavy, with the front foot almost rooted into the ground. She appears to completely belong to the Earth, while in the other picture she is connected to the Earth, but somehow longing for the sky. At least, this is how it appears to me. I like that overall the colors of these pictures are earthy, too. Add to that a well-thought background and you have a winner. Even though I think both Earth and Air deliver their message very well, I believe Earth required more mastery to depict and I bow to that.