I recently had a visit from Roos, this beautiful young lady wanted to know how it would feel to be (in lingerie or naked) in front of the camera. But perhaps she would be too timid to pose nude … and if possible also anonymously.
No sooner said than done … I spent an afternoon with Roos, and we completed two rolls on the Rolleiflex TLR. I grabbed the first roll from a ‘giveaway’ box from one of my colleagues at KISP in Ghent. It was no longer in the packaging and I had no idea how old it was. Film rolls have an expiration date. Was it 10, 20 or 30 years old, about when the colleague received his education?
It was a roll with a high (Ilford Delta 3200) ISO value, which allows you to photograph better in dark conditions. Given its age, I gave it 2 stops of extra light, and developed it a little longer. The film came out of the developer completely gray, with a fuzzy image that needed a lot of digital amplification to get a somewhat visible image. (after developing I scan my negatives for further processing, as I don’t have a darkroom for making prints… and don’t take time for this either).
The second roll was more controlled, recent film (Ilford HP5), exposed and developed according to standards. What is quite remarkable to me is that after post-processing there is hardly any difference. Film is very “stretchy” and “forgivable”.
I think the images have become very intimate and remain anonymous. I was apparently able to gain enough confidence quite quickly to also make nudes. That is perhaps partly my merit, but also largely due to the strength that lies within this woman in particular, but also within women in general. The anonymous character also gives the images something universal and there is less ’embarrassment’ if there is no face on it. Roos is very satisfied with the result and here on my blog I can show them in full power, in their full honesty.
The camera for this sequence was my good old Rolleiflex. Focusing is difficult with this one as well. Focusing goes through a frosted glass behind the top lens, the accuracy of which is deplorable. ‘correct within half a meter’ is the motto when I work with this camera. Since we were shooting indoors, it was also necessary to use the widest aperture, resulting in the shallowest depth of field. Wrong focus will result in a blurry photo anyway. Flou artistique. The grain of the film completes the image. The photo is taken through the bottom lens, 6×6 cm negatives on 120 roll film. You take 12 photos on a roll. I bought this camera in a lot of 5 cameras, a few were still usable. The rest is just good for decoration.
Thanks for reading and watching!