FHM magazine asked me me to do a series of portraits of Enric Bayon, a known Spanish paparazzi, and author of “I Paparazzi“. It was one of my first collaborations with the magazine, and they asked me to make photographs of a colleague! Enric cooperated very enthusiastically in the various photos that I made of him. The picture that I was most excited about was an homage to Weegee, pseudonym of the celebrated New York photographer Arthur Fellig, of Ukrainian origin.
Some months ago was the inauguration of the exhibition “Murder Is My Business” in
New York ICP. It contains much of Weegee’s intense work from the year 1935 to 1946, a work made primarily on the Lower East Side of New York. He worked with a large format camera, the Graflex Speed Graphic and a flash from the same brand, and almost always with f16 and 1/200. He developed the film in a makeshift laboratory in the back of his car, and from 1938 he was the only photographer allowed to have a portable short wavelength police radio in the city. During this period he focused on the photography in the street, crimes, especially the killings.
1946 he settled down in Los Angeles where he developed another type of photography related to the world of Hollywood. These photographs can be seen in his exhibition “Naked Hollywood” since November the 13th at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
The entertainment world and the use of simple lighting techniques led me to decide which type of photography that I would do of Enric Bayon. They should be funny, direct, simple, and why not parodic?
I remembered the portrait of Weegee with his Speed Graphic and did not hesitate to propose to take a similar picture of Enric. It should be urban, but against a wall that gave the impression of being in a dingy alley of any city in the world. It should also be made with a technique as simple as the one that Weegee used, and of course Enric should wear a suit and smoke a cigar.
I did not have the camera nor the flash. For years Graflex manufactured the mythical Speed Graphic and from 1947 they developed a lighter version, the Pacemaker Crown Graphic. I had bought the latest version manufactured between 1958 and 1973, the Super Graphic and now the flash was the only thing missing. CasanovaFoto Collection did very
kindly lend me the flash for the session!
The photograph was taken with two Canon flashes, 430 EX II, one directed towards the model and the other one from the right side with 1/4 EV of the main flash to reduce the contrast of the shadows.
I did not get the light bulbs for the Graflex flash to work and hence I did not have any other choice but to generate the flash in Photoshop.