What do you do when you have no model?

You do a self-portrait!

On Sunday night back in April 1988, I decided I was going to submit some work to Tuesday’s Camera Club of Ottawa annual Portrait Competition. OK, short notice and no model. But I had an idea in mind. I set up my lights in my apartment hallway (about 6×6′) The main light had a silver honeycomb and was just inside the living room, at the 45º 45º traditional position.

I hung a small slaved  shoe mount flash on the ceiling as a hair light. My second studio strobe (key light) this was set to skim across my skin to pick up texture (ala Mr. Karsh) this was in the hall closet. My frame had just the edges of the door frame at the frame edges. I had a mirror behind my camera for composition. masking tape on the door frame marked where the top of my head would be in the frame.

Pentax LX, SMC Pentax-M 85mm f:2 lens. 35mm Ilford FP-4, printed on Agfa Portriga Fibre Based paper. Selenium toned for archival. Processed and printed Monday evening, mounted at lunch time Tuesday. Entered into the Competition Tuesday, won Best B&W Portrait of 1988.

Darrell

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