I was a little skeptical about this shoot because I would be shooting on film, in a very dark location and I wasn’t able to use flash. I bought 800ISO film to combat the dark, but I knew this would instantly mean more grain. Even with the high ISO I did struggle a lot with this particular shoot. My exposure was f2.8 and my shutter speed remained at about 1/30-60. On a lot of my images there is an awful amount of blur, but this was to be expected. I was hoping to achieve some movement within my images to complement my static posed images. I originally shot in colour, but it just didn’t seem to work this time, the house lights were too red and skin tones looked awful. As soon as I received my images I changed many of them to black and white and felt a little better about the overall outcome. I’d say 25% were incorrectly exposed, but I did my best to get accurate readings at every interval, as the lights were constantly changing through the show, I simply had to guesstimate. I suppose I didn’t do too badly considering! What did go well whilst doing this shoot was that I was constantly moving around and trying different angles. The stage was at a funny angle though, so I was limited to some extent, but I think I have a good range of images from this set.
I had my partner there to take digital images and even he was having trouble with the 70-200 2.8. He’s no camera expert, but he did take a few interesting shots. I directed him to focus on the audience, but what images did I expect to get if there were semi-naked girls prancing around the stage? Yes you’ve guessed correctly, I had about 400 images of bums and boobs on the SD card.
When I was editing my images, I noticed when they were in black and white they looked very similar to the works of Susan Meiselas. This wasn’t intentional to begin with, but aesthetically I’m happy with the results. I think it’s quite an interesting juxtaposition, although the subject matter is fairly similar, my intentions as a photographer is not to show the negative aspects of my subject but the positive, whereas Susan Meiselas focuses on the troubled lives of carnival strippers.
I might re-edit some of my colour images and see if I prefer them in black and white, if they do accompany this series well, I may consider using the black and white medium as opposed to colour. But I’ll wait til my final shoot to decide.
Click images to see best quality.
Black and white images: