Portraits: Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014

Portrait of Icelandic band Hymnalaya taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 7, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

I shot a personal project at Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014. I wanted to challenge myself to create a portrait series using a vintage camera format—a 1940s Graflex Speed Graphic 4×5. I integrated Fuji instant film and modern Speedlite flashes into my setup. Everything was done in-camera. Hit the jump to view the series plus extra images and notes about my process.

Portrait of Icelandic musician Bubbi Morthens taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 7, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic DJ Andrea Jónsdóttir taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 6, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic band Drangar taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 6, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician Mugison taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 6, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician Jónas Sig taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 6, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician Omar Guðjóns taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 6, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician Snorri Helgason taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 8, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician Kristjana Arngrímsdóttir taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 7, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician KK taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 8, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician Jón Rafnsson taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 7, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician Ólöf Arnalds taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 6, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician Skúli Sverrisson taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 6, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Portrait of Icelandic musician Steindór Andersen taken during Reykjavík Folk Festival 2014 at KEX Hostel in Reykjavík, Iceland. March 8, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

The Process

 (Matt Eisman)

I used a 1940s Graflex Speed Graphic 4×5. Every mechanism of the Speed Graphic is manual. It forces you to slow things down and consider every aspect of your shot before clicking the shutter, which is a beautiful thing.

 (MATTHEW EISMAN)

I was set up in a small room on-site at the venue. For my key light, I used a Yongnuo YN560-II speedlite with a Westcott 43” umbrella. It was placed in a reflective position with the black cover on. I closed it down somewhat to help to keep light from bouncing around. My rim light was another Yongnuo speedlite with an Opteka 1/8” grid. I set my camera’s leaf shutter to 1/400 to help knock down the ambient light.

 (Matt Eisman)

I shot with Fuji FP-100C instant film held in a Polaroid 405 film back. Fuji FP-100C creates an instant positive print same as Polaroid film. I saved the negative side of the film in order to reclaim a negative through a simple bleaching process. First I let the negatives dry overnight. Then I secured them to a small piece of glass (emulsion side down) with electrical tape. I found the glass for free at a local recycling center.

 (Matt Eisman)

I used standard household bleach and applied a very small amount to each negative.

 (Matt Eisman)

Close-up of bleach reacting with the film. I moved the bleach around for a minute or so and made sure it cleared all the black stuff. Then I rinsed each negative with cold water.

 (Matt Eisman)

A batch of cleared negatives.

 (Matt Eisman)

Negatives hung up to dry in my bathroom. After I cleared and dried all the negatives, I made scans at a local photography store. I imported the files into Lightroom where I did very minor adjustments such as B&W conversion.

Conclusions

The process was more tedious than my normal digital workflow but it was a really fun experience! The images aren’t perfect but they’re one-of-a-kind. I look forward to integrating this format into future projects.

Spread The Love

Like these images? Order prints or license images.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Band Portraits, Features. RSS 2.0 feed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *