Tag Archives: black and white

Caroline Ventura

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As an artist there are some people who I LOVE photographing. I could photograph them everyday. There is something about their beauty, bone structure, and spirit I love to capture, that my eye finds fascinating and wants to study them over and over. This is the case for jewelry designer Caroline Ventura who is one of (along with Heather) my muses. I first met Caroline on a shoot for Cup of Jo three years ago and we have been friends ever since. Did you know she was the first cinemagraph we ever shot? We just never tired editing it until AFTER our first public one. She was the first person I photographed at our old studio and this shoot is our first together at our new one.

We are both artists and we have known each other as photographer + subject for sometime now. I’ve shot Caroline beautifully, I’ve shot her COOL, but as we have been getting older we are looking to find more depth in our work. I’ve been wanting to focus less on the clothing in my personal shoots these days and more on the beauty of the female form. Caroline and I were going to meet up for dinner and I said, hey, let’s do a shoot before we head out, which eventually turned into a night of film photographs, margaritas, girl talk, and these moments below.

… and just for fun I asked Caroline a series of fill in the blank questions just for a new take on an old friend.

I am most inspired by…

My friends. I’m so lucky to have an incredible circle of talented friends who all support each other and push one another to do/create beautiful things.

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An ideal day for me is…

When I can see blue skies. As long as the sun is shining, anything can be thrown my way.

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My favorite artist is…

Lia Chavez, who is doing really beautiful things in the art world right now. I am so fortunate to call her a friend. Her solo show, Carceri, just opened at Two Rams on the LES. She is one of the gentlest and most humble humans and a huge inspiration to me.

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The best way I express myself is…

With my mouth. I talk a lot.

Caroline_Ventura_25  New York City is…

Home. No matter where I go in my life it always pulls me back.

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Film vs. Digital

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I‘m often asked in interviews the difference between film vs. digital, if film is dead, and how I choose which medium I want to shoot with. Film photography will always be a part of my life. It was how I was raised to take pictures; it is my roots in photography. It feels different to take a photograph on film than on digital even though so much of what they accomplish is the same.

When I shoot on film I am looking for a depth to the final image…quite simply, I find film images to have a soul. Maybe that has something to do with how you take the picture. We go through thousands of digital photographs weekly which feels like the next image diminishes the value of the one before. With film, even when I feel like I’m shooting a lot, it is only in the hundreds and when I push that shutter release each time, that shot is thought-out, composed, and one where I waited for that perfect moment. My friend Adam who had a show this past fall at the Sasha Wolf Gallery said if he ever had to teach a class in digital he’d make his students shoot on camera cards that only hold 36 frames to train them to think about each shot.

However, digital has this beautiful clarity, this “reach out and touch it” ability that I find so beautiful. The velvety texture of flower petal, the saturation of color in a blushing rose. Digital puts you there, in the moment, feeling the light, and seeing even what the human eye can’t. The speed with which we can capture, document and share with digital photography is so astonishing. Recently I tweeted, “Every two minutes, we take more pictures than the whole of humanity in the 1800s.” I alway say, photography is a right, not a privilege, and thanks to digital that has never been more true.

On a day where I just don’t want to sit at a computer editing or writing emails, or I need a break to get in the zone creatively, I find my favorite thing to do is photograph flowersFlowers represent so much about life to me: the beauty, the aging, the individuality and sexuality. I wanted to illustrate the difference between film and digital, so on my last flower study I took (as close as possible!) the same photograph on a digital Leica M with macro lens and then again on a 4×5 Toyo View Camera on Ilford Delta 100 ISO black and white film. I used natural light and did a variety of shots using different F-stops for a varying depth of field.

You tell me what you prefer: Film or Digital?

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Simple natural light setup in our studio, white textured cardboard background. Above, using the shutter cable release to avoid my hand shaking on the shutter release, which  causes motion blur. Most of the 4×5 exposures were between 30 secs and one minute. Below, focusing view on the 4×5 ground glass. 

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The outcome. 

at f/45

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30 Things I’ve Learned in these 30 Years…

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Recently I celebrated my birthday and I have to say, I’m really loving my thirties. I feel wiser, I look slightly older which I love but feel young enough that nothing hurts (yet). I am independent in a way I wasn’t in my 20s and I’ve finally found my rhythm in life. One of my favorite expressions is “If I only knew then what I know now”… so I thought I’d just write it down. The things I’ve learned in the thirty-some-odd-years for anyone younger listening and for anyone older who might like to share with me their lessons so that my next 30 years are just as bright…

1. Have a dream. Follow your dreams.

2. Failures are not mistakes, only the lessons that give us stories.

3. GO WITH YOUR GUT. Always, always, always.

4. “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” That is what I think every time I get a “little nervous”. We don’t know what is about to happen so we can’t live our lives as if we do.

5. You never know what someone is dealing with personally so be kind.

6. Knowledge is power and opportunity. Opportunity is everything. 

7. You may end up loving the things you once hated.

8. Do what you love for a living so you can love what you do. It’s the only time we’ve got, might as well spend it as well as possible.

9. Money does not define happiness.

10. It is the things that people make look easy that are the hardest to do.

11. A great photograph needs no caption because it has an idea, story or message within it.

12. Never be afraid to try something new.

13. Talk about what you love.

14. Giving is better than receiving.

15. Best friends are the keepers of your life’s memories.

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HowAboutWe…

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It’s that time of year, where were we all desperately want 60 degree days and to see the color green again fill our parks… but alas, here we are, soon the snow will begin falling quietly outside. The mother of a friend taught me something new recently that I have been trying to live by since my recent transformation: “Make it fun”. We all get stuck in situations that are not ideal (like winter) and instead of being negative about it, find a way to make it fun!

A couple of weekends ago Kevin used HowAboutWe for Couples to turn these last few winter days into a fun memory of the season with a romantic snow-covered mountain horseback ride! I’m beside myself with excitement waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones to begin so it was quite fun being a couple hours outside the city in complete silence pretending I was Khaleesi. You know I love horseback riding…I love seeing the world from a slightly higher perspective, watching winter’s angular shadows dance by as if they were the ballerina legs of nature.

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