Category: Modelling and Fashion


This image is from a recent session with a great model, and features a couple of props. She is using a vintage phone receiver (1940’s vintage perhaps) I picked up for a song, and she brought along a jewelry box. Together with her great pose and expression I think everything works together to tell a story.

Phone Heartache

(Mamiya M645 with 80mm f2.8 lens, single strobe through umbrella. Shot on Fomapan 100, developed in Blazinol, a Rodinal clone 1:50 for 8 minutes)


Today’s image is from a shoot with Pash, a local actress/model of Iranian descent. She has long, exuberant hair, and in this image it was arranged to conceal much of her face; I was trying to create a sense of exotic mystery. After the fact, I started thinking about the tradition in Iran of women wearing head coverings (and in other Muslim countries where the requirements for female concealment is even more extreme). To me, I cannot help but see these mandatory coverings as symbols of subjugation; in this picture, I hope I am creating a feeling of power emanating from the emodel, with a different kind of concealment.


Mamiya M645, 80mm f2.8 lens, Ultrafine Xtreme 400 film, developed in HC-110 Dilution B


Back in the early 1980’s I shot this picture of an antique piano stool belonging to my parents. Fast forward about 30 years: I inherited the piano stool, and now it is a favourite prop/support for portraits — I love it!

Christina Mallais029

Mamiya M645, 80mm f2.8 lens with 25A red filter, one strobe through umbrella. Ilford SFX 200 film, developed in HC-110 dilution B for 9 minutes

Yet Another Happy Accident

Old cameras are many things, but often “idiot proof” is not one of them. Today’s image is from a roll of Delta 400 shot about a week ago. While unloading the film I noticed I had set the aperture incorrectly for the flash, and I overexposed the film by around two stops. I decided to underdevelop, or “pull” the film, so instead of developing for a full 15 minutes in HC-110 (Dilution H) I just did it for 12 minutes. The negatives are still overexposed (I probably should have tried 10 minutes or so). but what a great vintage look! When I scanned the negatives, a slight colour cast was left; more often than not I remove it (or replace it!) as it is not attractive, but this time it was perfect! I’m going to experiment with this workflow so more, that’s for sure! 🙂

Vintage glow

Broken and Unbroken

Here is another image from the Broken series I have been doing. The idea was that even if the camera eye is broken, the human eye endures. The model Shreeti was perfect for this shot; even with an impassive expression,her gaze is very powerful.

Shreeti Broken017

Mamiyma M645, 80mm f2.8 lens, strobe through umbrella. Film: Fomapan 100, developed in Xtol 1:1 for 9 minutes

Vintage Colour

Recently I’ve been enjoying reading a book called Color Photography: The First Hundred Years, 1840-1940. I love the look of the old colour processes that preceded the advent of Kodachrome in the mid 1930’s.

Today’s picture is another digital lighting test from a recent shoot. The model really liked the tests, so I took this one and applied a duotone effect that reminds me of the slightly faded, not quite real look of the dawn of colour photography.

Vintage Colour Look

Dancing With the Light

This image is from one of the more complicated lighting set-ups (at least complicated by my standards) I’ve done so far. Two strobes were used, one from the left with a “snoot” in place to restrict the light spread, and a strobe off to the right, shooting through this lovely piece of wood. The holes in it allowed it to function as a “gobo“, allowing a dappling of the light, and placing light patterns on the wall. The concept we were going for was a jazz performer in a club, and the lighting really helped get the mood I was going for.

The Jazz Musician #1

Taken with Mamiya M645J, 80mm f2.8 lens, 2 250ws strobes @ f8. Shot on Fomapan 100, developed in Xtol 1:1 for 9 minutes, post processed using Nik plugins.

Hybrid Happenstance

I continue to work a lot with Ilford SFX Infrared film, as I love what it does with people’s skin. I used it last Wednesday for a shoot with a lovely young model. Although this film’s nominal speed is ISO 200, I normally shoot it at ISO 25, because of the red filter (25R) I use to accentuate the effect. This time out though, I had a senior’s moment and shot it at 100, 2 stops underexposed. After thoroughly cursing my own carelessness, I looked online for the best way to process the film to salvage something, and ended up developing it in HC-110 developer for 19 minutes, to give a two stop push. The results are amazing! The glow and grain really work well together! I’ll have to try to screw up more often!

For the the image below I took a hybrid approach, using Nik Silver Efex Pro on the negative scan to accentuate the graininess and texture.

Infrared portrait


Today’s photography is from a shoot on Sunday, December 18th. In addition to the model, I was working with a hair stylist, make-up artist, and clothing designer (who was running the shoot). It was an interesting experience, and I learned a lot. Shooting film certainly does put the pressure on to “get it right”, since there is no immediate feedback (as in digital)! Film was perfect for the look, in my opinion. I scanned the negative, and added a bit of toning and glow in post-processing.


Shot with Mamiya M645 camera, 80mm f2.8 lens, Ultrafine 400 Xtreme film, developed in Xtol 1:1 for 14 minutes.