Compare this with the number of viewers a decent photographer might get during a one month gallery showing and you can begin to understand why I like Flickr. It's a great way to have ones work viewed and reviewed by potentially hundreds of thousands of people.
In this series I would like to take five of my most viewed images posted on Flickr and share a few thoughts and comments. I would like to share how I made the image, what it meant to me at the time, and what the image has become.
The first image I would like to talk about is rather special to me. Here's why.
My wife and I had recently moved into Portland after spending far too long living in an outlying suburb. Once in town I realized there was a large community of photographers who met on a regular basis. Some groups met to critique each others work. Others met just to enjoy a beer and conversation.
I met Ray Bidegain in one of the small gatherings that take place monthly on the east side of town. Ray, as you may already be aware, is a very fine platinum print artist. His work includes figure studies (for which he is rightfully well known) and landscape images. After seeing his work, I was hooked on the idea of making my own alternative prints. Ray's work was selling well at the time and I thought perhaps I could make and sell a few images too.
Ray was renting studio space up in the north west part of town and was looking for other photographers to share the rent. It was a nice space. A little small, but it had large west facing windows. The space also had a large hand painted backdrop. I signed up with Ray and started paying him rent to sublet the space.
I posted a call for models in the local Craigslist Artists group. This gal was the first to reply.
We set a time and date and I started to gather my materials for the shoot. At the time I was working with an 8x10 Deardorff front swing camera with a 300mm f/4.5 Schneider Xenar in number 5 Compound shutter. I also worked in 4x5 using a nice Arca Swiss Discovery, which Ray has since purchased from me. The 8x10 film was TMax400. The 4x5 film was Ilford FP4+.
The image here was produced all in camera. The Arca Swiss 4x5 had a 150mm Schneider Symmar Convertable f/5.6 in #1 Prontor shutter mounted to the fore. The model was asked to meditate, which she obviously knew how to do. The halo was such a huge bonus that I was thrilled by the very first print I ever made of the model. I used a large softbox high off camera left and placed a 7 inch coned monolight directly behind the models head pointed at the backdrop. The setup was as simple as that.
I have since sold many prints. My Flickr page has received over 1,300 views to date. People have responded positively in all respects.
This image is a 4x5 inch contact Palladium print that I made. It is window mounted to 11x14 inches, and, I have to say, it looks great.
So many things came together all at the same time. It's one of those experiences that I feel I have been working a lifetime to participate in. I feel lucky.