March 14, 2017

"Naked Ambition" Series, David LeBeck and St Merrique

"Naked Ambition" Series 

David LeBeck, in memory
 Art Model St Merrique

David, what do you see in your series ?

I guess the message is the sensuality of the creative act made manifest by her nudity and her body language.

The concept was something we came up with together, She wanted to be photographed with her type writer and I felt that a "Film Noir" look fit her looks, and the age of the typewriter

How did you create it ?

Well She lugged the type writer over the night before and we talked about the interest she herself has in Film Noir, at least the look. She's never seen any of the great films. I do have to educate her o that score. Maybe a double feature of "The Big Sleep" and either "Out of the Past" or "Double Indemnity" !

I bought her the hat she wears in the set the second time I met her when we were out looking for a spanish shawl for a set we wanted to do in homage to Alfred Cheney Johnston, the great photographer famous for photographing Ziegfeld Girls and other broadway stars nude and Hollywood stars in the nude when they were still showgirls in New York City. Well we never found that shawl.

I thought the concept of her sitting nude at her table writing with her masculine clothes (actually some of my clothes) thrown down to the side as she doffed them was a cool and interesting concept. The tie was her idea and it works to conceal and to reveal her femininity.

The blossoming of her womanly sensuality as she expresses the sensual feelings that she is writing about.

So we waited until the sun Had gone down and I made up the set using my art deco table lamp and my art deco sofa. The table is IKEA but it works. I wish I had a proper chair.

I lit it using the table lamp on the table and another table lamp for fill to the left of the camera in front of me. I had to use a tripod as even though I set the exposure index at 400 I wanted to shoot at F.8. Later I bit the bullet and went whole hog to EI: 3200 and wide open, F.2.8 so I could hand hold the rest of the set. I had a hell of a time focusing though.

What is your favourite photo in the series ?

My favourite is actually two. First is St Merrique 3, Naked Ambition 422. I love the look she gives the camera as if she was the narrator, a sort of naked female Phillip Marlowe about to take us into a world sordid and sexual. Dark and mysterious !

Then I love this one : St Merrique 3, Naked Ambition 397. The sensuality of her body language, the subtlety of her explicit nudity, her expression of near ecstasy !


roentarre said...

So hot and spicy. Great work!

unbearable lightness said...

This is wonderful to read. I always wonder how a series occurs. I am amazed at how well St Merrique caught the film noir vocabulary without actually having seen a film. I hope she watches "Double Indemnity" and then they do another shoot!

Thanks to both of you, David and Chris.