It’s always a delight to go rummaging around in a long-closed folder. You never know what overlooked gems you might find among the raw files. It’s a special treat when the name on the folder is Bond. Working with this model is always such a delight that just looking at any series of his pictures brings back memories of sun-filled, laughter-filled afternoons. Such was certainly the case here.
I had reason to dip back into a 2015 folder in order to pull a set of images of Bond around the pool for Tye Briggs to feature on Favorite Hunks. This was not hard. All the images had been edited a year ago; I just had to select a dozen or so. I was surprised to find that there had been very few distinct set-ups in the series. There were a lot of insurance shots, but precious few unique shots.
I remembered the day. We had been working with Bond and a friend at the pool in late morning when the afternoon model arrived early. I had handed my camera to Bill, our West Coast affiliate, who was assisting on the shoot. I had suggested that he and Bond work together for the remainder of his session while I started setting up with the afternoon model.
Bill and Bond left the pool and headed into the shower. Knowing the space, I had been skeptical of their success. Architecturally the shower is impressive. As a venue for shooting a model, it has its challenges. Principal among them is the very uneven distribution of the light: bright light from bare windows in the top half of the frame, deep shadows in the lower half.
Last summer, when I had first reviewed the photos captured that day, I had quickly dismissed the shower stall series as a noble but failed attempt. The series had been underexposed and many photos showed motion blur from shooting at the slow shutter speed required. In my pass through the files that day, I did not flag any of the series for further consideration. Many of the other shots that day made their way into Captured Shadows #1, devoted exclusively to one model, Bond.
This summer, while searching for additional images to augment the pool shots, I tumbled directly into the shower series which had followed the pool shots. Near the beginning were two captures that appeared to have been throw-away shots, taken at the start of a session as the photographer adjusted his settings.
Staring at the dark image of a man seated in the shower, I slid the exposure setting on my software to brighten the image by two f-stops. Revealed was an image of stunning light and beautiful simplicity. But it was the light that gave me pause. This was the light I associate with the Dutch Masters. Glorious light flowing from a window into a dark space.
"Wet!" This might work with the pool shots. Were there more? I had not taken these photos, I did not know what to expect as I moved through the folder searching for more images that might have this same, beautiful ambient lighting.
In the end, I found and tagged two dozen files for editing. More importantly, a nearly-lost collection of beautiful art has been rescued and shared. In the folder that I once thought contained a failed experiment done in a challenging environment, I discovered some of my favorite work done with this model during 2015. “Wet!” will be published as an uncensored photo series in an upcoming issue of Captured Shadows, our quarterly physique art portfolio.
Bill has had his art featured on the website and in Captured Shadows before. But this exceptional series warrants our rarely-bestowed byline. New Manhattan Studios photos by Wm Weyeneth.
Click on the links below to view the Wet gallery. Additional images from this series also can be found in our Fine Art Gallery.
I find it fitting that these two photo sessions, the pool and the shower, are being presented together. We were making use of the presence of a charming young lady at the pool that day but we had no idea as to if or how the images would ever be used. Ultimately, in search of a way to present them, they achieved a noble purpose by leading us to a cache of images that otherwise would have been lost.
Captured Shadows is New Manhattan Studios' quarterly Physique Art Portfolio, featuring physique art and art nude studies with the studio's top models. You'll also find behind-the-scenes and casual shots of the models as well.
Issue One, California Dreaming is a single-model portfolio featuring one of the studio's most popular models: Bond Brown.
Issue Two, Model & Photographer, is a double issue showcasing the work of Alex Corso on both sides of the camera at NMS.
Issue Three, Country Boy/City Boy, features Tim, Ricardo & Willi.
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