The Story Behind Estella's Icy Blue LookTuesday, February 01, 2011
|Mia Ingimundson - Ektachrome 100G|
The theme will be to explain the photographs that appear in Wednesday’s guest blog by Errol Durbach on adapting Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.
From the moment I read Great Expectations in my Buenos Aires American Grammar School (I was 8 or ) I fell in love with Estella. I must confess that she really was my first true love. I was attracted to the impossibility of having a any kind of contact. Like Pip I was attracted, not repelled, by her icy coolness and remoteness.
So when I had the idea of inviting Errol Durbach to write his essay I immediately came up with the idea of taking pictures of Mia Ingimundson who plays Estella in the Gateway Theatre/A Blackbird Theatre production with Persephone Theatre Saskatoon of Errol Durbach’s adaptation of Dicken’s novel into the play.
|Mia Ingimundson - Fujichrome T64|
Having met, photographed and seen Mia Ingimundson a dress rehearsal performance today I can attest to the fact that here we have an Estella that is completely in character with the Dickens novel.
Without having yet met Miss Ingimundson I came up with the idea of taking her picture using the “wrong” film. In this case it would be Fujichrome T64 Professional transparency film balanced for Tungsten (3200 Kelvin). This meant that if I used a flash (daylight balanced to about 6000 Kelvin) I would get pictures with a blue-cast. Slight correction (slight warming) in the scanning process would make my Estella icy blue and remote.
There were a few factors that combined to modify my approach. One was that my 25 year-old Dynalite studio flash was being repaired in Calgary so I had to use a portable Norman 200B. This unit is efficient and quite powerful but it lacks the quartz (balanced for 3200 Kelvin) modeling lights that would have mixed with the blue flash to an interesting combination of cool and warm. So I brought along a very big and heavy (fortunately my friend Paul Leisz manhandled it for me) movie studio type Fresnel spotlight. I used the spotlight to cast a warm light behind Miss Ingimundson. But the effect was not as I wanted it because I had to take the photo in a cramped back stage corner. I picked the corner because it had Miss Havisham’s wedding cake table.
|Errol Durbach - Fuji Instant Print Film|
In Durbach and in Estella’s blue portrait I further modified the picture using the Corel Paintshop Pro 12 vignetting tool. The other picture is of an Estella taken with my normal Ektachrome 100G which is balanced for flash. As much as any of you might prefer it, I like the icy blue one. That’s my Estella, the one I fell in love with so many years ago.
A Further Explanation on Degrees Kelvin and Colour