Tiffany 2013


I’ve worked with Tiffany on two prior occasions, but she had subsequently moved away. When I heard she was going to be back in town, I suggested we do a shoot for old times’ sake. I suggested perhaps a bridal shoot, or various other locations, but she was insistent: she was coming back to Ventura for only a short time, and she wanted a beach shoot to remember during the cold, wet months of the Northwest. I’m glad she insisted! We had great light, and a sunny, not too windy and reasonably warm southern California winter’s day. I love the results!

Tech details at the end.


All the color images were shot on my Mamiya 645AF, 80mm f/1.9 lens and Fuji Pro 400H film. The last shot was taken using a Busch Pressman 4×5 camera, with some of my remaining stock of Polaroid Type 54 instant film (long out of production).

4 thoughts on “Tiffany 2013

  1. Matt, lovely stuff as usual. Love the feel especially for the first 4 shots.

    Few questions for you. Where there mostly back lit? Around what time of the day? Did you use a fill reflector or just let the sand reflect light in Tiffany’s eyes? It seems like the dynamic range is huge!



  2. Hi Elie, and thanks! Yes the dynamic range is huge, but that’s because it’s film. 🙂 I exposed for the shadows (i.e. had my incident meter pointed away from the sun and at the ground a little), and rated the film at ISO 100. Fuji Pro 400H film performs much better when it’s overexposed. No I didn’t use a fill, just the ambient. And yes they were all backlit except for the ones where Tiffany is lying on the log. Sand does bounce a lot of light back at the subject of course. We started around 9am, which at the time was about 2.5 hrs after sunrise. Using a little shade from trees helped, but mostly it was full-glare sun on the beach. Gotta love film!

  3. Thanks for your comment, Dino! I find the 1.9 lens to be hard to focus on the 645AF. Some weeks I would have almost every photo in focus, and others I’d have nearly none. This shoot had quite a few OOF shots as well. F/1.9 is pretty extreme for an 80mm medium format lens, so there’s always going to be a lot of hit-and-miss wide open. But I think the AF series are designed for f/2.8, and and as a result you can’t focus the 1.9 as precisely as you could on the older models. That’s my theory anyway. I hear lots of people complain about the lens and lots of people love it. When it’s working, it’s gorgeous! I ended up selling mine though, because I couldn’t trust to get focus on client sessions.

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