Tuesday, 4 May 2010


Firstly just to comment on last nights post, after a disappointing trip to Boscastle I had an off the wall moment with a bit of lateral thinking and my weird sense of humour took over.

So for tonight I am digging into the past, as I have mentioned in a previous post I used to belong to the local Camera Club and every couple of months we used to have studio evenings. This entailed the setting up of studio lights and having one or two models to pose for portraits, some of these young ladies were quite used to this but others were complete novices. The format used to be the lights set in the centre of the hall with a chair in the middle for the model to sit on. What followed was something I found very disturbing, a girl on a chair surrounded by 30 - 40 people all clicking away and asking her to move this way or that way, to look up or look down in what was a photographic free for all. I felt this was very degrading for the poor soul and would not take photo's under these circumstances if I even bothered to turn up at all. By the end of these sessions they either looked very intimidated or bored to tears. Now one of my favourite subjects in photography used to be portraiture but I can say from these evenings I only ever took 9 photos, and tonight's post is one of these. This model I think her name was Vannessa but I am not sure was standing around while the lights were being tested, I was checking the focus on my camera when she picked up a hat that was a prop put it on and glanced at the lights,I pointed the camera and took a shot before she took the hat off and looked away. This was the only photo I took on that evening back in 1980, and it has remained one of my favourite images.

The second image is the same one which I decided to play around with in 1995 on my first computer and an early version of Photoshop. I wanted to do something slightly surreal. First I gave the image a light Sepia tone and then with layers and masks proceeded to colour the different parts of the image and finally merged and flatten them. As a first attempt I was quite pleased with the result Finally just to add I processed the film and scanned the negative onto my PC in 1995


  1. Hi Monty,
    Not sure whether i'm relieved or surprised when you said photo of woman with hat on i imagined that she would only have a hat on and nothing else.Maybe that says more about me!seriously though i think the black and white shot is great and really like the lighting. Reminds me when i used to photo friends brothers etc and tried portrait photography and develop my own black and white images with an old durst enlarger in the 1980s.

  2. Hi Monts. I agree with Andrew. I think some subjects are made for black and white and this is one of them.
    You have done a very good job in Photoshop with the coloured image though... and as a first attempt I would say it is brilliant. O to capture the enthusiam again of youth. I remember my first attempt at painting a black and white print and very pleased I was with the finished article.

  3. What a great photo that is, Monty. There is something so atmospheric and dramatic about black and white. I'm not surprised it is a favourite, you should be very proud of it.

  4. I Love the B&W shot Monty. It has that 1950's Garbo/Monroe atmosphere, which I like. I was the same as Anthony; I was imagining something else!!! It's always good to get the imagination going; it put's the viewer in that artistic frame of mind!