3 out of 5 / by Mike Stacey

OK so this shoot was pretty quick but amazing. I only took 5 shots and 3 are keepers. Also, it's the first time I've shot with the 8x10" camera and a human - 3 of the shots are on 8x10 film, the other 2 on 4x5.

Muse: Bianca Wolff
Headpiece designed and made by GIAN Styling from a vine in the backyard.
8x10" Film

I had only asked Gina (GIAN Styling) to create this particular headpiece on the morning of the shoot, tough call but she knocked it up in no time after going outside and attacking the vine growing on the fence with some scissors. The result looked stunning and I knew that with Bianca's dreads (which kind of look like pieces of vine) the mix would be spot on. So the headpiece was being completed by Gina when Bianca arrived at our place. I quickly got the shooting space organised (read 'studio'), fixed the lighting in place using the tried and tested position that Bianca and I had perfected back in September last year - which produces amazing light - but only as long as the model can hold deadly still for up to the half second exposure times. Sounds easy but, no... not really. The slightest flicker of an eyeball will show up...

I set up a small table and had some poses in mind. Spread some hessian on the table, along with some Palm leaves - Bianca sat down and took those poses into her own places - perfect. Using the 8x10 really wasn't much different to the 4x5, as long as you are super organised. The results are mind blowing. Those big sheets of film have a tonality of their own. I used to see this in landscapes I shot with the 8x10 but nothing like what you see in a portrait. A piece of 8x10 film is 4 times larger than a piece of 4x5 film and that difference shows not just in resolution (which I don't care much about) but in tonality (which I care about a lot).

These images are going straight into the Adorned series and will be shown in August at Gallery One88 in Katoomba in a joint exhibition with Bianca. The joys of working with such an experienced and clever team - Gina and Bianca, is one of the best things life can offer.

Muse: Bianca Wolff
Headpiece designed and made by GIAN Styling from a vine in the backyard.
8x10" Film - in camera movements (tilt) to create the blurred lower and upper sections.