Parnelli Parnes - Sessue HayakawaThursday, June 10, 2010
|iPhone "fixed" & with vignette|
When my Nanaimo photographer friend Gordon Lafleur noted my iPhone portraits of Arts Umbrella dancers here he sent me a playful email:
Cool photos of the dancers. I-phone pics are pretty cool. But just go out and buy yourself a digital camera and get with the program mate. Canon xs, my camera of choice for my personal work, $399.00, at Walmart.
That is not going to happen while I can still buy and have Ektachrome processed in Vancouver. It is not going to happen while I can find b+w film for my 35mm and medium format cameras. And I will keep printing these negatives in my darkroom while b+w photographic paper is available. And, of course, there is the addicting pleasure of playing with my transparencies, negatives, prints and my Epson scanner.
Still today is a banner day for me as the Georgia Straight has published here and as hard copy my iPhone portrait of Bard on the Beach actor Parnelli Parnes in the character (a villainous one) Don John from Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
I would like to make the folks at the Straight realize I never had their high standards in jeopardy as I did have a Plan B. It involved my taking portraits of Parnes with real film and my trustworthy medium format Mamiya RB-67. I have been shooting for magazines for too many years (since 1976) for me to take chances, and, in particular in the use of a device I was not entirely sure of.
The original idea was to take a portrait of Parnes in his street clothes. This I did and then have him go through the Bard makeup and costume change (WWI Italian military uniforms) and then snap his picture again. Bard publicist , Cynnamon Schreinert arranged for me to take the pictures last Sunday afternoon in the makeup and costume change tent. This was a tricky operation as the floor there is quite tilted in one direction and I almost fell with my light stand a few times.
Parnes coming in was his friendly self and he reminded me that I had photographed him for the Straight before as one of the Banana Boys (see below). When he emerged in his uniform, with his handsome Oriental looks I thought less of an Italian soldier and more of the Japanese/American actor Sessue Hayakawa who played the scary but ultimately quite human commandant of the concentration camp in the film The Bridge Over the River Kwai. Parnes’ transformation was impressive.
|iPhone fixed but without vignette|
It was then that I decided that the before and after shot was irrelevant and that the one shot was more than sufficient.
|Ektachrome 100 G|
The original cast of the Banana Boys (left). That’s Parnes at the far right of the picture. I used a ring light with my camera crooked within the ring light’s enclosure for the odd effect.
Two scanned Chiquita Bananas(right).
The incorporation of the scanned bananas using Photoshop layers with the scanned negative from 6.
Much Ado – Don John
Antony – Mardian/Menas
In his fifth season, Parnelli’s Bard highlights include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure. Other credits include Around the World in 80 Days (Gateway); Tideline (Touchstone/Neworld); The 8th Land (Pi); Stuff Happens and Banana Boys (Firehall); Dog Eat Dog (The Only Animal); Cariboo Magi (Pacific); Peter Pan, Merlin, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Hobbit (Carousel); Coup D'etat (WCT); The Brothers Karamazov, Measure for Measure and Orpheus Descending (Stratford); and My Life Surrounded By Women (KAA Productions). Parnelli is a Firehall Associate Artist, Stratford Conservatory member and a Studio 58 graduate.
Bard On the Beach's Much Ado About Nothing
Another reason to see Much Ado About Nothing besides Parnelli Parnes has to be the director Dean Paul Gibson