The Return of Victoria Will, Dennis Orchard and the Disposable Camera

by Libby Peterson

June 02, 2015

Photos © Victoria Will

A Return for Round Two
After having shot celebrity tintypes for the first time at Sundance last year, Victoria Will returned this time around with a streamlined workflow and lighting setup in place. But her experience this year wasn’t without hurdles: Being eight months pregnant at the time, Will couldn’t get near any of the toxic chemicals used to develop the plates, so she enlisted the help of Penumbra Foundation to give her a hand—allowing her to focus on the portraiture.

Among the many stars who walked through her studio doors this year was none other than the festival’s brainchild: Robert Redford. “I knew I wouldn’t have much time with someone so in demand, so I was ready with plates the moment he walked in,” she says. “In the end, I made two plates and he was out the door—a whirlwind, but a dream come true!” This was Redford’s first sitting (top left) with Will, but she also saw some familiar faces: “It’s always very rewarding when a subject comes in and says, ‘I love the shot you took of me last year,’ and that is exactly what happened when Jason [Schwartzman, top right] walked in,” Will says. “Since we had made one plate together already, we reached for the props this time. It’s always so great to have a willing and collaborating subject.” See our Video of the Week post on PhotoForward for details on her gear and Profoto lighting setup.

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Photo © Kim Byrne

Dennis Orchard Bounces Back
It’s been almost a year since Dennis Orchard—a seasoned wedding photographer well loved within the photo community—had his life-threatening cycling accident. He sustained multiple serious injuries after the front brakes on his bike failed while going downhill: a fracture on the back of his skull, dislocation of all ribs on his right side, four broken vertebrae and a perforated kidney. Having been found by a local resident who called emergency services, Orchard is convinced his outcome would have been far worse had it not been for the swiftness of the Air Ambulance crew that was able to facilitate immediate medical attention and whisk him off to a nearby hospital where he was placed in an induced coma for two and a half weeks.

After another two and a half weeks of rehabilitation, Orchard was back at it; he returned to his mentoring work with WPPI’s U.K. affiliate SWPP in early August and shot his first wedding in early September (plus six subsequent weddings throughout 2014). He’s also kept busy with his other diversified projects, including shooting for art galleries and apartment refurbishment companies. Though an illness kept him from attending WPPI in Las Vegas earlier this year, he is intent on returning in 2016. As a previously recurring 16 x 20 print comp judge and chair—plus being one of five photographers honored with the Triple Master designation—he is sure to receive a warm welcome back.

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Broncolor FT System
Broncolor’s new FT parabolic lighting system offers a little something for everyone. It uses a dimmable and adjustable focusing rod to spread light throughout a parabolic reflector. The continuous light (available in either 1,600W HMI or 2,000W Tungsten heads) is adjusted using a series of interchangeable focus tubes that sit inside the umbrella. You can choose a softer, wider diffusion or a more focused, spotlight-style beam simply by sliding the focusing rods. For the still photographer, the dimmable, flicker-free performance of the HMI FT1600 aids high-speed exposures. The HMI’s color rendering index scores a high 95, so color accuracy is assured. Four of Broncolor’s parabolic reflectors will work with the new focusing rods and lights, including two new reflectors developed specifically for the system.
Prices: $3,500-$6,200 (various kits)

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Lumu: A New Illuminating Tool
Photographers who deal chiefly with ambient light might appreciate the Lumu, a little half-sphere gadget that’s designed to convert an iPhone into an incident light meter. With a measuring range of .15 to 250,000 lux, it also sports temperature compensation and infrared rejection. No batteries are required for the .94 x .78-inch Lumu, which plugs into an iPhone’s jack and then can be snapped onto the included necklace cord or slipped into the leather case when not in use. As of now, the Lumu works only with iOS devices (iOS6 or newer), and it works with the accompanying Lumu Photo, Video and Pinhole apps, which are all free.
Prices: $129 (silver); $149 (black)

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Toting Luxury Leather
In the small northeastern Italian town of Bassano del Grappa, craftsmen are putting the finishing touches on a new group of stylish bags and accessories for photographers. Named after those “you entrust with your own skin,” Barber Shop Bags uses real Italian leather and, in an effort to ensure attention to detail and personalization, offers name or initial inscription on any item. 

The bags range from the Pageboy (fitting one DSLR, an additional lens, a mini iPad and small accessories) at 10.4 x 6.3 x 3.4 inches to the Mop Top (which can tote two DSLRs, three additional lenses, a 17-inch laptop and accessories) at 12.2 x 16.5 x 6.7 inches. Barber Shop also makes shoulder and wrist straps as well as single and double bridles—most notably the vegetable-tanned leather Sideburns, which can hold two cameras at a time, a product surely made with the wedding photographer in mind.
Prices: hand/wrist straps, $64-$75; bridles, $151-$484; bags, $260-$761

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Bringing Back the Disposable Camera
The photo world has been revisiting film photography with a vengeance, and now with Photojojo’s new app, Disposable Camera, every ‘90s vacationer’s best friend is making its way back into the mainstream. The app makers were determined to keep this experience as authentic as possible; once Disposable Camera is downloaded on a smartphone, the user takes 27 photos via the app—there’s no going back and deleting—which are then automatically sent to Photojojo’s printer. Ten business days later, the photos arrive in 4 x 6, full-bleed, thick matte card stock form.
Price: free ($12.99 for 27 prints)

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