Photo Daily: Frances Ascending

Frances Ascending ©2006

Frances Ascending ©2006

I love experimenting with different light sources in my photography. Unusual light sources. Back around 2006, I was doing a lot of shoots using black light. The images were interesting, the white elements in the frame taking on a hyper quality. Leaping forward from the other colors, which were pushed back in importance.

And right out of the camera, those images were very blue. I liked the way many of them turned out. But it wasn’t until years later when I went back and experimented with different kinds of color processing in post with them that I found another equally interesting look. I played around with converting them to black and white. And then sepia.

At the time of the shoot, I was using long exposures because black lights are not nearly as powerful as conventional lighting and I was shooting handheld, which meant that there was a little motion blur happening as well. But that was fine with me, because the images were a little otherworldly anyway.

And I discovered I really liked that look as I went back and rediscovered specific frames from those black light shoots, now not obvious what light I had shot them under. The whites still had an unusual glow, but the other tones began to be more balanced out as well.

I made this photograph with my great model friend Frances. It was a wonderful day of experimentation. One of those, hey, let’s try this, shoots that we loved so much. During those shoots, we often didn’t know whether we’d end up with something great or not, but the journey to that place was always so inspiring.

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