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Remote shooting, part 4


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Remote shooting, part 4

6 Feb 2021 10:57AM   Views : 517 Unique : 353


And this time, it’s better than ever! Long-distance (Stephanie Dubois moved out to Cyprus last year), but absolutely the most successful so far. Stephanie used to work in IT, and it showed in her different approach to camera control: she’d found that Zoom gives too much lag at that distance, so she uses a screen-sharing program called Anydesk. In practice, I found that the delay was much less than with Zoom (which I’ve used for all previous shoots) – around one second, rather than three or four.


What else? Well, the big thing – apart from Stephanie herself – is that she has a lovely three-storey house, with amazing light: in two hours, we exploited both bright direct sunlight, and wonderfully soft light, as you can see. Stephanie’s house is currently devoid of furniture, but the super-high speed broadband is up and running, and we made good use of it, with an exceptionally high shooting rate for a remote shoot. You know it’s cooking when the conversation stops dead and there’s a constant clicking, and that happened two or three times during the session.


It’s important to note that Stephanie is a very experienced model – she’s been professional for around 7 years, and has brought an exceptional intellectual focus to her work. Her previous job put a premium on seeing realities and thinking carefully: this takes nothing away from other models – most of the time, it’s not a key skill, but it sets her apart from the majority.


Stephanie’s house offers photographic opportunities on three floors, with various windows giving light of varying character, and there’s even a balcony on the top level where the sun was casting wonderful shadows from the railings onto the decking, and also onto Stephanie for our last set of pictures of the day.


Throughout the two hours and several changes of location, we made numerous technical adjustments. I had complete control of the technical settings on the camera, in Manual mode, while Stephanie moved the camera and tripod around and zoomed the lens as I asked. Partway through, she swapped the 18-55 zoom for her 23mm f/1.4 prime. She has a sure eye for the right viewpoint, and was able to alter and refine shooting positions when I wanted this – but I can assure complete novices that she can manage the arrangements for them if they want.


My big lesson for the day was how much of a technical leap forward Anydesk is compared with Zoom, though it does require a second communication channel, so that while I controlled the camera through Anydesk, Stephanie and I communicated through a WhatsApp video call on our mobile ‘phones. It sounds more complicated to have two channels of communication running in parallel, but it avoided overloading either with data. This made an enormous difference, and Stephanie had scouted the potential locations around the house well, so that the five-minute tour of the house at the start suggested plenty of locations, which we then moved through systematically.


A very large proportion of the images we shot were nudes, so I had relatively limited choice for the blog – but the session went so well that ‘relatively’ still gives me plenty of scope! I would be really interested to hear from others who have done remote shoots, including any alternative tech arrangements. And if you haven’t tried yet, please give it a go. It’s a lifeline for so many models at present.


All the models I’ve worked with are active members of Purpleport, but if you are not a member of that site and want to dip your toe in the water, please contact me and I can pass your details on to the people I’ve worked with so far.


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
6 Feb 2021 11:00AM
Very quick edits, mostly involving cropping nudes so that this blog can be available to non-members.

With getting on for 250 files from two hours' shooting, I am absolutely delighted with the results. Shooting abroad suddenly got a great deal cheaper...
pablophotographer Avatar
pablophotographer 12 2.2k 450
7 Feb 2021 12:43AM

Great job dudler and Stephanie.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
7 Feb 2021 7:09AM
Thank you, Pablo!
Chrism8 Avatar
Chrism8 16 1.1k 34 England
12 Feb 2021 8:08AM
Stunning shoot John, I'd have loved to have been there Grin
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
12 Feb 2021 12:53PM
Well, Chris, you can be... You know exactly how to contact Stephanie!

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