Large Format Portrait Test

Having a few experiments to do which were based on some big inspiration from Paolo Roversi, I asked local Blue Mountains model and friend Bianca if she'd like to do a shoot. Bianca was keen so I slapped a mood board together and we took it from there. Not much needed for this; just my 4x5 and some light.

Much of the inspiration had come from Roversi's images themselves but also from his technique. Rovers still uses a large format camera, a Deardoff 8x10 actually - usually loaded with Polaroid film. His portraits have an ethereal feel and this is what got me interested. Also, my primary camera before about a year ago was a 4x5, and sometimes an 8x10 so I was looking for new ways to use these cameras. I found it interesting that Rovers is one of the most sought after fashion photographers in the world and he still uses a big old film camera and often shoots exclusively in natural light - hardly ever uses strobes, and his images adorn the biggest fashion journals in the world.

So I had a couple of Roversi reference images in order to kick off this little experiment to see if I could get something similar. Once I had the lighting, film, studio set-up etc all worked out to give the resultant look I wanted, I could then branch out into my own visions using the same or modified set-up.

So the experiment went well, actually it went very well. Bianca was the best model I could have had, she tuned in to the vision and the style of image resonated with her. She could also hold a pose steady enough for exposures which ranged from 1/15 second down to 1/4 second. Plus her look is perfect for this, raw natural beauty, no fuss.