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What if


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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What if

20 Nov 2020 8:06AM   Views : 221 Unique : 123


I’m going to encourage your photographic fantasies today. If you won the national lottery, or if you discovered that you’d been left a fortune by an unknown relative, what purely photographic extravagance would you indulge in?

Would you travel – post Covid – to a series of iconic locations? (You can combine a holiday with the extravagance, but ‘going on a cruise’ isn’t allowed unless the extravagance is documenting the lives of the crew!) Would you update your camera bag with a shop full of new kit? Book yourself onto a series of courses to learn everything you need to become an international success?

I think I’d have my own studio… Somewhere convenient, secure, warm and quite large. It would have a high ceiling (which is important for some lighting setups) and would be painted black all over (so that there would be light where I wanted it, and nowhere else), though I’d also have a lot of big white reflectors available, made of sheets of expanded polystyrene. I’ve worked in very few places like that (most are white ‘to make the most of the light’) and the experience is very different.

While I’d move all my existing lighting equipment in (and I have quite a bit), I would love to have a large set of Broncolor lights: Swiss-made, powerful and reliable. All the existing kit would be equipped with a new trigger system, so that I could get everything to work together (at present, I have several triggers, all of which work with some of the lights, while none work with all of them. It can be frustrating!)

I mentioned large – this is important for several reasons. One is that it’s always useful to be able to place lights a distance behind the subject – and, come to that, it’s good to be able to separate the subject from the background to avoid light spill (though this would be far less of a problem with my black décor!) Another is that I’d love to be able to shoot the same subject from all sides: true, I’d probably need to change the lights, but moving a large and ornate bed, or a dining table and chairs around to get different angles feels like a lot more hard work!

There would be plenty of private space for changing room and makeup, plus shower facilities… and while I’m on the subject, I’ll have a ‘wet’ area with the facilities to provide a curtain of rain in front of a model, as well as on them. Still black – this looks amazing, as I discovered once upon a time at a studio in Derbyshire (sadly, now, moved to new premises).

And prosaic things: a set of large tables to lay out cameras and lenses on, so I don’t lose anything, with dim but definite lighting. Probably a fridge to keep film in, and secure lockers to keep cameras on-site.

And – of course – a kitchen area, with a kettle and plentiful supplies of tea, coffee and biscuits. Including Oreos: I hate them, but they are, apparently, the only vegan biscuits commonly available. Tea and biscuits make any studio function…



dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1732 England
20 Nov 2020 8:08AM
Pictures: Katie Green at a Hasselblad/Broncolor demo day in 2012 at the Hasselblad Studio in London: as close to the ideal as I've met. And Miss39Wright, showing the necessity of hot drinks - she'd been firebreathing, naked, on a frosty evening in the Norfolk countryside...
bluesandtwos 11 435 1 England
20 Nov 2020 8:59AM
Unlimited £££s Smile

Small farmhouse, Northants/Cambs ( family ties) with a few acres of woodland , maybe the odd stream and a smattering of stone outbuidings. One barn, converted to a studio as per yours. A place where I could invite people I like, who smile and laugh a lot, to use everything (free of charge and I will supply the drinks and food) so I can enjoy their company and by association learn so much. No point me having all the gear and no idea!!!
As long as the people were nice people ( I'm fussy who I spend my time with! Smile) and left the place in good order, they could come whenever they wanted.

Photographically I would like to travel to India, to what was Burma and to Nepal. My Dad was with a film unit out there during the war and used to send my Mum home pictures of himself in various places. I would love to go and take similar pictures from the same places if they still exist. I know the Taj Mahal is still standing!Grin

Fantasy over back to reality!GrinGrinGrin
chase Plus
15 1.9k 479 England
20 Nov 2020 9:59AM
All that money..... a nice big studio built to my specifications with loads of wonderful props...and a place to store them Wink
A trip to India and Japan with several cameras and lenses on my own, private jet.

Dream on................................
altitude50 16 20.4k United Kingdom
20 Nov 2020 11:36AM
Nice detached house with a proper fitted wet darkroom, cinema (and other) nicely fitted rooms of course. Pizza oven. And a new computer! I wouldn't need a studio.
Sort out my digital camera and lens needs, find out more about travel to and in Iceland (the country not the food shop!) and hire the best local guide when I got there.
(When I have renewed my currently expired passportGrin)
Not much else.
rontear Plus
17 23 9 England
20 Nov 2020 2:42PM
To work with you John and a certain inspiring model at a suitable location for inside/outside nudes. Listen to your Ideas for lighting serious art/erotic subjects. Have a cup of tea and discuss the days events.
Hope you and Janet are all well, this will be over but not soon.
Regards Ron
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1732 England
20 Nov 2020 3:45PM
Cheers, Ron! That's the most complimentary comment I've had all week!

And you're so right: the challenge is to stay mentally and physically fit for when we emerge, shyly and nervously, like fledgling birds from the nest...
mistere Plus
7 6 4 England
20 Nov 2020 5:51PM
Oreos: Not, the only vegan biscuits commonly available SmileSmile If £££ was no object I'd go for a property big enough to comfortably accommodate our ever growing
family (an essential photographic extravagance, family portraits, etc. Smile. It would have more than enough space for a very large and well equipped studio. With a massive
and quite deep swimming pool inside and a very large pond (lake) in the grounds. both for underwater photography of course.
As well as a nice Villa in Rome with an apartment available for visiting models, friends and photography tutors. Smile You can't photograph the place if you're not there, can you ? Smile
I think that covers most of the immediate necessities, if I think of anything else I'll let you know.
JuBarney Plus
9 33 5 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2020 6:13PM
All that money:
A new camera so I can get half decent bird shots
Some one to one tuition for better shots
Lots of travel, perhaps to the Cook Islands
Someone to do my housework! ... and my cooking.
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1732 England
20 Nov 2020 8:56PM
Ju, next time I manage a holiday down your way, you're on: no charge.

I can't do anything about the rest, but that one I can. And I have Zoom, WhatsApp and FaceTime.

Dave - comprehensive. Definitely comprehensive.
SlowSong Plus
12 9.3k 30 England
21 Nov 2020 5:09PM
I have all the equipment I want, but I'd really love a chauffeur and travel planner. I'd love to get out and about all over the country to take photos entirely to please myself whenever I wanted. I hate driving. I'd get a nicely fitted-out campervan, someone to plot my routes, and a tent for my "staff" to sleep in overnights. Not much then.
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1732 England
22 Nov 2020 11:35AM
Modest by many standards!

I quite like driving (though I detest 'motoring' - commuting, following the car in front, when the challenge is simple avoiding trouble rather than the road itself...) But I do understand.

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