Pocket Wizards & Anosh Irani's MumbaiTuesday, November 22, 2011
This sort of class is much different than any I might have taught some years ago. The students connect to the studio lights using a radio device called a Pocket Wizard. Some of their expensive digital cameras might be fried by the triggering voltage of the studio flash equipment if they were to connect directly by the now almost extinct flash cord.
But what is most different from what I might have taught years back is that there is much less emphasis on the technical side. My students are pretty good and they mostly know how to handle their complex little machines. It is the dealing with a person (we use male and female models), without clothes in front of you that is the real challenge.
here is nothing more pointing in the direction of failure than having a seamless paper background in a studio, a beautiful model, a light, a camera and photographer behind it. Unless you have a plan or a them you are doomed. I tell my students not to fall for models that pose. I prefer the ones that are new so that they do not contribute and my students must direct (gently, I tell them).
Last night we had two interesting models. One was young and sported a heavy-duty Mohawk and lots of piercings. Paradoxically what was a tad difficult about her was that she was placid, warm and gentle in her manners. She looked edgy but was not so! The other model, from India, looked a lot younger than she was and was very tiny. There was something about her that nudged at my memory. I asked her if she knew author and playwright Anosh Irani. She lit up immediately and was thrilled when I told her that I had photographed Irani and was in speaking terms with him.
I decided to carefully throw caution into the wind. I mentioned to her that Irani as a little boy had lived near or in Mumbai red light districts and that most of his wonderful plays dealt with the problem, usually in a most funny way. I told her that with a bad makeup job including running lipstick and heavy under the eye bags she could be converted into one of Irani’s characters who haunt his plays. She was not at all insulted that I had told her that she could act the part of a woman of ill repute. In fact she said she could act this to perfection. I urged my student so hire her for a private session in the school’s studio and to dress it up to resemble one of “those places”. I am not sure they took me seriously.
Should I take the theme up for myself?