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The Last Waves of Summer with Charlie Clark

Updated: May 21

Please note that all photographs displayed in this post have been edited and colour-graded in Adobe Lightroom for optimal presentation.

It's around 4 a.m. as I pen this post. It seems that sleeping pills no longer offer a solution to my insomnia, so I turn to creative endeavours for some semblance of solace. Since writing about my nocturnal adventure with Lucie, I've been eager to share details of a beach photoshoot I did earlier this year with my friend, Charlie. Some of the images from that day really resonate with me, sparking an urge to document the experience in a blog post. Now, with sleep eluding me, it seems like the perfect opportunity to delve into it.

I first crossed paths with Charlie in 2022 during a photoshoot. We produced some remarkable work together, and she quickly became one of the favoured collaborators. This beach shoot, if memory serves, was our third creative venture together, taking place in March 2023. I've always been drawn to the beach, finding a unique sense of calm in its landscapes. There’s something about standing with my feet in the water, feeling the rhythmic pulse of the waves, that I find incredibly soothing. My aim for this shoot was to capture that sense of tranquillity and warmth, creating images that evoke feelings of relaxation and ease.

As the shoot was scheduled for March, I was concerned that the weather might be too chilly, given that summer was drawing to a close. Fortunately, we were graced with a brilliantly sunny day that had pleasantly warmed the beach.

Now, let’s talk about the gear I prepared for this shoot:

- A Pentax 67 with a 105mm f2.4 lens, loaded with Kodak Portra 400, Kodak T-MAX 400, and Kodak Gold 200

- A Nikon FM2 paired with an AIS 35mm f2.8, an AI 50mm f1.4, an Auto 55mm f3.5, and an AI 105mm f2.5 lens, loaded with Fujifilm Provia 100F, a slide film stock

The beach where we held the photoshoot is a locale I hold dear, and I'm keeping its location my little secret – though I welcome any guesses you might have, just for fun!

For the shoot, I asked Charlie to don attire that would complement the carefree, summery atmosphere. She chose a white dress paired with her favourite shade of green in a cardigan – a colour that seems to have become a signature in our collaborative works. We were fortunate to have an exceptionally sunny day, which cast a perfect light for our session on the pier.

Pentax 67, 105mm f2.4, Kodak Portra 400

Pentax 67, 105mm f2.4, Kodak T-MAX 400

Additionally, I captured a few frames using my Nikon FM2 loaded with slide film.

Nikon FM2, 50mm f1.4, 105mm f2.5, Fujifilm Provia 100F

To be quite frank, slide film isn't usually my preference, primarily because the results often have a bluish cast that persists despite my editing efforts. You might notice that some of the shots exhibit this colour distortion, even though I am confident in my exposure settings. Nevertheless, I see photography as an ongoing process of trial and error, so I'm not overly concerned. It's all part of the learning and creative experience.

Transitioning to the beach setting, I loaded a roll of Kodak Gold 200 into my Pentax 67. It turned out that this particular roll captured my favourite images from the entire shoot.

Pentax 67, 105mm f2.4, Kodak Gold 200

I was particularly captivated by the texture of the waves lapping against Charlie's legs, complemented by the serene, laguna-blue hue of the water. The tones harmonised beautifully with her outfit. In the photo where she's dancing, the vitality of the waves adds a dynamic, almost tangible energy to the scene. And then there's Charlie's sweet, engaging smile, which infuses the image with a sense of charm and intimacy. What more could I ask for? These photographs are indeed the most treasured captures of the entire photoshoot.

Nikon FM2, 105mm f2.5, Fujifilm Provia 100F

This close-up of Charlie’s feet not only highlights her tattoo but also offers an intimate glimpse into her personality, with the tattoo acting as a personal emblem. I'm particularly drawn to the effervescent wave bubbles surrounding her, which add a textured, almost tactile quality to the image.

Nikon FM2, 35mm f2.8, 105mm f2.5, Fujifilm Provia 100F

Moving on, I switched to a wide-angle lens to capture some more spontaneous shots of Charlie revelling in the water. These images exude an exotic feel, with the sea's striking blue and crystal clarity. Looking at them now, I'm suddenly filled with the urge to book a trip to Fiji. I'm truly in need of a holiday.

Pentax 67, 105mm f2.4, Kodak Gold 200

The photoshoot was relatively brief, lasting just about an hour, so the pace was brisk. Yet, every session with Charlie is an enjoyable and intimate affair; it's as if we're in tune with each other's thoughts. Now, let’s bring this blog post to a close with a portrait of Charlie.

Click here to check out Charlie's portfolio:


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What is Roll Trip?

Join me as I document the intricate tales behind multiple rolls of film, capturing the essence of varied photographic escapades. This series is a collection of detailed narratives, revealing the behind-the-scenes nuances of diverse shooting journeys. From the hum of city streets to the quiet of natural landscapes, discover the stories, techniques, and spontaneous moments that each film roll encapsulates.


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