Everyone Loves A Bit of Bailey..

I think it is definitely true to say that David Bailey changed the face of fashion photography in the 60's. He was innovative, quirky and ridiculously talented as he helped create and then capture the 'Swinging London' of the 60's. Born on the 2nd of January 1938, Bailey is regarded one of Britain's best photographers. Each and every single one of his photographs oozed freshness and the image quality was unquestionable, all thanks to his beloved hassleblad. 
He was launched into celebrity status by his 'Box of Pin-Ups' which was published in 1964, that contained everybody who was anybody in the 60's: from Mick Jagger, The Beatles, fellow photographer Cecil Beaton, Jean Shrimpton to the East End gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (somewhat controversially!). His success only continued to soar as he shot a record breaking 800 pages for British Vogue in one year alone..!

Aside from his photographic success in his own right, who could mention Bailey without a particular 60's icon popping to mind? Bailey and Jean Shrimpton were a match made in heaven.. Of his lover and muse, Bailey said: "She was magic and the camera loved her too. In a way she was the cheapest model in the world - you only needed to shoot half a roll of film and then you had it. She had the knack of having her hand in the right place, she knew where the light was, she was just a natural." 

Jean Shrimpton
Mick Jagger
Bailey and Shrimpton
Fascinated by the sharpness of Baileys images, and intrigued by analogue-induced frame, i decided to step away from the digital age for a day and try my hand at using a hassleblad. EVERYTHING was 10 times harder. I had to manually figure out my exposure with a little clicky-machine thing (excuse my lack of technical vocabulary), adjust to a square frame which completely altered my perspective on composition, and on top of this the lens was flipped... so if i wanted to aim my camera upwards i had to move down, and the right and left was opposite too. On top of all this, i had to manually focus each frame while attempting to hold the heavy camera still... AND I HADNT EVEN STARTED THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS... Using a hassleblad was one of the best photographic experiences i've had to date, it was challenging and it tested my patience several times... But it made a refreshing change from absent-mindedly pushing a button and then loading the image onto a cyber-world of pixelated colours. The nurturing, lengthy process of developing your film makes you love each image all the more, and believe it or not, i do actually miss that cramped, chemical smelling, pitch black room where all the magic happens. There really isn't anything more magical than seeing your picture evolve onto a previously plain sheet of glossy photo paper in seconds.

My Hasselblad Experience, Model - Tally Dowds

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