Chuck Espinoza Photography

Los Angeles Based Freelance Photographer.
About this shot | bands and artists | film

The end of an era

July 2, 2015

We sold our house! This marks an end of an era. This house could be considered Studio Espinoza 4.0 and with each new studio space I learn and create a space that works better than the last. All of my studio spaces have been in the garage of my house. My first two studio spaces weren’t much more than places to hang seamless. The house we just sold was our first purchase and one of the first upgrades “we” made was finishing the garage so that it was a space I could work with and work in. Having my own space to shoot, rain or shine, is an amazing experience and has allowed me to experiment and learn.

Once we started the sale process I knew my time was limited. I made some calls and got one of my favorite models in for a shoot. I figured I should go out with a bang so it was a shoot involving fire. This shoot was inspired by a friend’s work with double exposures.

The great thing about this type of shoot is that I get to learn. My first lesson (and the moment panic set in) was when the BBQ lighter fluid wouldn’t light.  WTF?!! My plan was to have a small flame camera right against a black backdrop then be able to pan the camera 90 degrees to  take the second exposure. Before the model got here I was setting up and testing my theory. In hindsight I think the lighter fluid wouldn’t light because it was a couple years old. The fact that it didn’t light got me on the phone calling local prop masters to find a solution. The fuel they suggested and had in the house was rubbing alcohol. It burned clean and quick.

For this shoot I would be using film and digital. While I was setting up and testing, I shot a handful of shots of just flames. My 5D has the ability to shoot a multiple exposure by adding to an existing frame. I chose the following frame in camera then shot the additional exposure of Claire. The beauty of using the 5D was that I could use the live-view to gauge where to place Claire in the frame.

Single exposure of flame
Single exposure of flame
Claire Dellamar
Claire Dellamar

Shooting Polaroids with the RZ67 wasn’t as fruitful. Without having the visualization of the live-view it was impossible to know what the flame exposure looked like in order to decide where to put Claire in the frame. That coupled with the timing needed to catch a good exposure of flames then rotate and shoot Claire made most of the polaroids look like this.

Polaroid Double exposure
Polaroid Double exposure

As cool as the idea seemed it was very one-note. After a handful of decent shots they all looked the same so we moved on. The final shoot after 4.5 years was a success.

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