BM15052023

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Paris and Michael booked us to shoot their wedding, a beautiful wild affair in a rambling old yacht club over the water. They both got ready at home, Paris wearing Michael’s mum’s wedding dress from the 80s, and we shot some beautiful stormy Autumn light portraits in their fav places close to home before heading to the yacht club. Both of them loved the multiple exposure vibe on Portra 400 that’s a big part of our look, as well as the beautiful low contrast Schneider lens look on the Rollei’s, which always works so well in full sun. So we were aiming for a few classic portraits in full light to show off the sparkle of that 80’s dress and Paris’ brilliant red hair, and then one good banger of a multi-exposure for a print on their wall.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

Paris and Michael were very familiar with our distinct style of multi exposures and were big fans, so we just chatted through quickly what we were gonna hit (we’d already planned that spot together the previous day) and then we got to it. I always want couple to look calmly heroic, full of dignity, and the best version of themselves they can imagine when I’m shooting these kinds of portraits on that old camera.

What did you say?

“This is your light falling right here, lift your face up to it and just bask in this last glimpse of the sun on your wedding day.”

How did you compose your image?

Framing compelling squares in 6X6 is a very different challenge to 2X3 or 16X9. A square is a very naked canvas and it’s easy to kook it if you don’t have your focal length compression right. Esp with multi-exposures I’m always dividing the viewing ground glass into a classic thirds grid in my head, placing subject detail and trying to remember excatly how much space I have to work with for additional exposures – and especially which part of the frame has the less exposed part of the first image so that it’ll take the next layer sharply. Composing great and compelling 6X6 images with texture layers overlaid in camera requires having a good solid idea of what you’re trying to achieve before you start building it in-camera. In this case I was trying to achieve a triple-lineup with each image just kissing the one before.

How and what did you focus on?

A medium format camera, the Rolleicord is a TLR with a ground-glass that you look down as you focus. So I guess it’s a kind of live-view… lol. Shooting at f11 in full light you have a reasonable focus plane to deal with, but it’s still a challenge under pressure.

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How did you use the light in your image?

With the sunset behind me , the light was falling directly on the bride which illuminated her directly which also helped to have her stand out from the background.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Rolleicord IVb

Lens

Schneider Xenar 75mm f/3.5

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/500

Aperture

f/11

ISO

400 speed film

White Balance

Portra 400

How did you edit your image & what did you use?

No editing in post, scanned on Noritsu. The final image that you see is exactly as it came back from the film lab.

Software Used

Other, Film Lab

Preset

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What challenges did you face?

Using an old camera on a high pressure shoot is always a bit of a pulse racer, esp when you have a very small window of light and you have to choose digi or analog.

How did you solve them?

Back yourself, know what the couple hired you for and roll the dice.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Making analog multiple exposures in camera is a really enjoyable discipline, requiring a refined understanding of your preferred camera, the lens contrast and tone, and especially of your preferred film stock and how much latitude you have to work with. And then you need some good ideas for building multi’s that actually add to the story of the day rather than just being a cool trick.

Bayly & Moore

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The brilliant madness of love – Aotearoa/New Zealand & Everywhere

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