Apr 22, 2010

Gandolfi Precision 8x10 inches - Studio Portraits, Lisbon, 1996


Hictiandro and Mário

When I bought the Gandolfi Precision, back in 1996, I was anxious to try it under the control of studio lighting. It was also, in a way, an easy form of getting acquainted with the camera and it's characteristics. Although I had sometimes used a Linhof Technika, I was at the time much more familiar with the monorail design, making most of my work with a Sinar camera. It was also advantageous for me to get used to handle the much bigger film size in the comfort of my darkroom.

So, I just got some T-Max 100 and looked for some "volunteers" at hand: in this specific case, my third son Mário (now 20!) and his friend Hictiandro.

All black and white negatives were developed in Kodak HC-110, dilution B. I should maybe further write, that I never was a great friend of HC - 110... (Mr. Ansel Adams, will you please forgive me?).

To shoot these b&w images, I equiped the Gandolfi with the Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 480mm MC, and the session took place on the 4th of April.


A short time later, I decided to experiment with some color in 8x10", so I ordered some Fujichrome Velvia 50. As I was looking for some colorful subjects, I thought that it might be interesting to photograph some african girls. The only thing I asked them, was to pose with something dressed that they would think of as typical african (living here for long, or already born in Portugal, I got the feeling that they hardly knew what that could be... Well, they tried...).

I like these photographs, because I think that you can instantly perceive that the girls were amateurs, however they shone and possessed a lot of dignity. I am sure, that they had never posed in front of such paraphernalia, at least in front of such a big camera, but they seemed to have no problems whatsoever about that, they looked joyful and confortable at it.

Lots of natural talent!

I am very thankful for their patience and goodwill. They were very, very kind.

(I have already posted another photograph resulting from these sessions on a former post dedicated to the immigrants. Please be so kind and take a look, if you wish so).

The main light was in all cases provided by a Hensel Autolight.

The transparencies and negatives were scanned with an Epson Perfection 4990.

I can honestly assure you, that looking at a Fujichrome Velvia (with a lupe) in this format is just breathtaking and thrilling!!!

Well, at least for this old school fellow of yours... I hope that you enjoy.

Good night, sleep tight.



  1. Your wit is evident in your writing, Rui! I love reading your posts :-) And needless to say (but I shall still say it) I equally love the photos posted here. I hope you are fine, Rui.

  2. Hi Esther,
    Glad to hear/read from you, and thank you again for your nice words.
    Yes, I am getting much better now. Pain is getting less and less, and I can sleep again at night. Movement of my right arm is also improving, the sun shines with Spring, Summer gets near, the birds fly and so life keeps on rolling.
    Oh yes, saddly, our politics and economics keep on being crap, but we got long ago used to it... We better watch the flies, because the shit remains the same...
    Hope everything is also getting fine with you, and that you are a little more optimistic than I am, but I guess you should be.
    Many greetings from the other side of earth,