3 Days, 6 Models – Poland June 2014
To follow on from my last post “Travelling Light”, I have just return from a trip to Poland visiting the city of Gdansk. Before departing I contacted Malwina at Malva Models to see if any of her models would be interested in a test shoot. I was in luck and perhaps because I had worked with other Polish model agencies before they were happy to oblige. Malwina lined me up six of her agency models across three days to fit my schedule. The girls I got to photograph were Karolina, Malina, Aniela, Paulina, Jagoda and Zuzanna. Each model brought their own style, look and clothing so I tried to tailor each session to compliment their strengths.
Photography equipment selected – thoughts?
To see what equipment I used please first read my post “Travelling Light”. Overall I was happy with my equipment selection. I only shot one roll of 35mm Kodak T-max film on the Leica M2 but I had it there as a backup to my Leica M9 camera which I used throughout. As expected the most used lens was the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 followed by the Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5.
What was the most useful item taken on the trip?
Without doubt my 5in1 80cm reflector. I didn’t realise quite how much I rely on good light, as silly as that sounds! Normally in the UK I am spoilt with an array of strobes, speedlights and light modifiers to let me create any light I desire. In Poland I found myself using the reflector constantly regardless of whether it was direct sun or raining, of which we experienced both! It also reminded me that in some conditions a reflector produces a better quality of light than speedlights and I think they are without doubt the best value for money light modifier.
Here is a sample photo from each model:
The first five photos were edited on my Samsung Tab 3 8.0 using the free photo editing Android app Pixlr Express. All photos are Leica M9 B&W JPEGs shot directly to Sandisk micro SD cards to then loaded straight into the tablet. Zuza’s photo is the exception, shot to standard SD card as it was the last shoot of the trip. I did similar basic editing to her photo (contrast and sharpness) in Lightroom 3 but I think LR3 exports are far superior. LR3 is the norm for me so I was struggling with the results from editing on the tablet despite the adjustments being so minor.
Samsung Tab 3 – Pixlr Express Edits:
Laptop LR3 Edit:
What would I do differently for the next trip?
I would look at the additional cost to take my much loved lights. Having no lights on a shoot for me was like shooting with one arm. I think every photo could have benefited from additional artificial lighting (made to look like natural light).
What equipment would I like to take with me but it isn’t practical?
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II 6×7 medium format film camera. When I have great models and a great location it makes me want to invest in shooting larger format film to obtain the highest possible results. I normally keep the Mamiya RZ for these situations but that said I should try to use it more as it is such a nice camera to operate.
Will I be visiting Gdansk and Malwina again?
Yes without doubt. I experienced positive feedback from the models and the photos taken were well received. We are already in discussion regarding my next visit.
Would YOU like the oppotunity to work with Eastern European agency represented models?
I am looking at the possibilty of organising photography trips to Poland where a small groups of photographers will get the oppotunity to join me for a few days in Gdansk and get to meet and work with some of the girls. If this would be of interest to you please get in touch so I can start to get an idea of numbers. Thanks.
Plenty more sample photos from the trip coming soon!