Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Image from Collaboration with Sylvia and Praxa, Hallway, December 19, 2011

Step by step Praxa adds layers to the presentation, and allows me to document each step. While many others would only want the final product photographed, he allows the construction of the image to be shown as well as his technique.

Working with studio lighting for the first time, I make attempts to move Sylvia into positions emulating my traditional work, raising her above the camera and placing the light to her side. She is asked to look down and away from the light, allowing her eyes to relax and focus on the lens rather than the light.

With this image another world opens up for me, allowing me the possibility to work indoors and yet attain a sense of connection between this work and my work from around the world. Today I experimented with a few more options and look forward to our next session, hopefully the first week of the new year.

I share my deepest gratitude with Sylvia and Praxa for this gift.
Halim Ina Photography

Friday, December 30, 2011

Collaboration with Sylvia and Praxa, Hallway, December 19, 2011

We meet after work and arrange a session in the hallway of my building.

Within a span of three hours, perhaps four themes are presented seamlessly and a dozen rolls exposed. Even though Sylvia needs to work early the next morning, she gives of herself as she has before and allows Praxa the time necessary to bring his vision forth.

Over the next few months we will collaborate further, allowing me a chance to bring into my portfolio images unlike those already present. My hope is that my lens will do justice to Praxa's vision.
Halim Ina Photography

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Blindfold, The latest creation by John Mikhail Asfour, December 25, 2011

I have been blessed to have been surrounded by genuine people throughout my life. One such person is my dearest cousin, John Mikhail Asfour. He has always shown me an immense ability to love and to ask for little in return.

Through tragedy as a young man he found purpose. In a conversation earlier this morning, I was informed by John of his most recent publication. It is named 'Blindfold' and can be found on websites ranging from Barnes&Noble to Amazon.

The following is quoted from McGill-Queen's University Press, and includes his poem 'Silver Threads.'

'Blinded by a grenade in Lebanon as a teenager, poet John Asfour came to Canada armed with James Joyce's words, "For the eyes, they bring us nothing. I have a hundred worlds to create and I am only losing one of them." Blindfold investigates the ways in which disability influences our lives and is magnified in our minds. In a series of thematically linked poems, Asfour draws the metaphor of the blindfold across the eyes of sighted citizens who are impaired by estrangement, emotional complexity, and social pressures.

A sense of exile and belonging dominates the poems, following the journey of a blind man whose life in his new land has been hampered by prejudice and barriers to communication. Exposing the rich and surprising possibilities of a life that has undergone a frightening transformation, Blindfold relates feelings of loss, displacement, and disorientation experienced not only by the disabled but by everyone who finds themselves separated from the norm.

 Silver Threads

He recalls

the absence of sound, the impossible silence

the disappearance of light.

He is only aware of

the movement of his

mother's hand inside

her purse, looking

for her handkerchief.

He recalls her

warning not to play

with unknown objects

the type that explode on impact. Later,

he lies in the dark remembering

how she pointed out

the silver threads of the morning light

just the day before

and he sparkles

with guilt.

Review quotes

"Asfour provides readers with a deeply moving glimpse into the frustrations and disorientation of physical loss, as well as the heroic effort to find the language and metaphors that will translate his experience into poetry." Harold Heft, The Montreal Gazette

John Mikhail Asfour is a translator and former professor of literature. The editor of the landmark anthology When the Words Burn: An Anthology of Modern Arabic Poetry, he has written four previous books of poems.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Magdalena, Model, Sister, Mormon Rocks, Outside of Los Angeles, California, Fall of 2010

Over the past few weeks her images have been printed in the darkroom. Few other individuals are represented as much in my portfolio as Magdalena. The image above was made late last year in an area called  Mormon Rocks just outside of Los Angeles.

The location served us well, since Los Angeles for most of my stay was cloudy and unusually wet. Magdalena and her dear good friend met us early on this glorious day and followed us to the rocks. The fact that they drove through two hours of traffic to make it to our location as the sun appeared made a deep impression on me. They impressed me even more so by bringing with them an endless array of clothing, all of it dark and timeless as requested.

On our way to the location she shared with Bailey a worry: perhaps her new hairstyle would be an issue for me. The night before she and her friend had cut each other's hair and she shaved the sides of her head. Bailey assured her in my absence that the new style would be a hit. As I entered the car Bailey shared this with me in Magdalena's presence, all to my delight. We would be documenting her like nobody else, and as she will never be again. Nothing could have pleased me more.

We found a spot on top of a formation for us to work. The wind was incredibly strong yet Magdalena adapted beautifully, never complained. With the wonderful support of my dear friend Bailey, we were able to switch between outfits and work for perhaps two hours before the sun disappeared beyond the clouds. 

Magdalena likes to move while being photographed. Unlike those with preferences for static poses, her dance is a way to express her thoughts at any given time in a most fluid manner. We danced on this day, and she was sensitive enough to listen for the shutter release... almost anticipating the movement within the camera itself. As the mirror lifted out of the way and the curtains opened, the shutter clicked and Magdalena continued with her movements.

The image above is but one snapshot in the series, a series I will continue to print.
Halim Ina Photography

Monday, December 12, 2011

Raven Le Faye, Model, Friend, Parking Lot, Oakland, California, Fall of 2010

She brings with her an incomparable selection of clothing. Before we meet she sends images of her clothing for my review, all laid out neatly and numbered as well. She is the only model from the San Francisco area to allow for changes in my schedule, the only woman to truly desire inclusion in my portfolio.

Before my last day in Los Angeles, I decide to make the trip and document this most exquisite spirit. 

My experience with Raven Le Faye is nothing short of educational. In a previous posting under her name in my blog her story is told. In this posting it continues. To this day she shares the images from our collaboration through her blog, she stays in touch with me and sends messages once in a while as friends do. 

While my images of her are quite different than anything else in her portfolio, she feels comfortable enough to include them, to showcase them. She understands the role she plays and advances my work through her efforts as well. 

She is a giving and confident woman, changing from one outfit to another in this parking lot without question or resistance. The sun strikes her eyes with exuberance and yet she adapts. She learns to look in other directions, to take advantage of the black asphalt surface. The wind begins to pick up during our session and adds a sense of motion to the work. The dress begins to dance, and her hair follows.

When our session ends, we talk for a bit and go our separate ways. The drive back to Los Angeles lays ahead of me, and my flight home happens to be the very next afternoon. For innumerable reasons the task of this return is effortless. The very last roll of film from the trip is finished on this afternoon, as the sun sets behind the trees and telephone wires.

Her work can be seen below.

Raven Le Faye on Model Mayhem
Raven Le Faye on Tumblr
Halim Ina Photography