I’ve got this wonderful photographer friend who visits from time to time. 91-year-old Bill Moore, had a studio for half-a-century in Westfield, New Jersey. He photographed weddings, families, kids and miles and miles of the sewer system in Essex County (who knew you could take pictures underground in a sewer). He gave up his studio some years ago, and this D-Day veteran is active today selling advertising for the Piscataway OUR TOWN newspaper. I met Bill about 8 years ago when he worked for my professional color lab and he now acts as my unofficial mentor in matters photographic. He urged me to install my incredible movable lighting system at my new studio and he is a strong proponent of the classic ‘skim’ light.
We had some fun this week. He arrived in a plaid sweater vest and Irish cap, and he looked like one of the mid-century portraits of a hard-boiled Irish writer. So, I pulled down the classic grey background, and hit him with two skim lights from behind to make his hair pop, and elicited from him the part of the quintessential poet from Galway or Donegal.
He then turned the camera on me, to show me his ‘skim’ light (you can see it edging the left side of my head).
Even though he’s having a bit of trouble hopping from the camera to the studio set to move the lights, he can still take a neat portrait. It must be like riding a bicycle, you just don’t forget how to take a picture, or how to mug for the camera!