About 18 months ago, I had the opportunity to do a series of photos with Alexandra – a retired professional ballet dancer.
At 66 years old she still had the toning and suppleness of someone decades her junior. Here was a chance to capture the beauty and elegance of the human form, which was not about youth, but maturity and experience.
Setting up a black background, I placed a single light behind and to one side of Alexandra as she glided through a series of poses and movements. As the burst of the flash was too fast for the human eye to register what was being caught, I tethered the camera to a laptop computer so I could see the results of each click.
After the session I converted the images to black and white, and darkened down the shadows until just the highlights remained, creating images where the light, line and form were all now minimised and accentuated. The lines flow, the graceful body is partially visible and the mind fills in the missing details.
I ended up with a series of amazing images that took my breath away, but I’ve never quite known what to do with them. They don’t fit into any of the usual categories for marketing and promoting my business, so they’ve pretty much just sat on my computer apart from occasionally putting one into an online photo competition.
However, recently the Galloway Photographic Collective – a group of professional photographers I belong to – were asked to put together an exhibition for The Whitehouse Gallery in Kirkcudbright.
Photography is not usually something they sell, but from Feb 4th to March 4th, they have turned over the entire ground floor to displaying images from the Collective.
We were asked to produce photos that ideally hadn’t been seen before and had more of an art feel to them.
I realised I finally had the opportunity to show off these images of Alexandra.
I have printed 5 of them up at A1 size – about 60cm x 84cm – and on block mounts. Modesty thrown out the window, I have to say they look stunning, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them all together on the walls of the gallery.
If you can make it along to Kirkcudbright this Saturday at 11am, there will be drinks and nibbles and various members of the Collective, including me, on hand to chat about our work.
It would be lovely to see you if you can.