Jesse Willesee’s FLASH/MOB

Jesse Willesee’s FLASH/MOB

Now for something a bit different, but more of the same! Since 2010, I have been attending Jesse Willesee’s art events, starting from Seven Hundred Photos events. Last year, I enjoyed the Haunted Hotel show that he put on at the Kings Cross Hotel. So when the announcement came up for FLASH/MOB (which is basically the new name for Seven Hundred Photos), I knew I had to go.


Held 4 April at Beach Road Hotel in Bondi, FLASH/MOB had six hotel rooms each with its own installation and models, with fashion by Estate of Mind and Suck Is Free (HK). Of course, it was a bit smaller than Haunted Hotel (whose scale was quite mind-blowing and liberating in 2012, since prior to this we were used to being crushed into very small hotel rooms and corridors), and it was always good to see some familiar faces again.

I had also invited along Shiro Ang who had come all the way from Singapore but whose plans for landscape shooting had been ruined by very ordinary evening light and rain, but he came a bit later.

As always, the rooms presented different levels of challenges: many were lit by Kino lights (gelled orange, green and blue), which meant really nice light. But one in particular was lit entirely by blue LED strips and glow-sticks (and that was my favourite room).

The shows started using Kino lights last year, and they are set up to really optimally light the installations. So certainly, it has taken the edge off the lighting side of the challenge. But is it less fun? Maybe. I did recall in the first few Seven Hundred Photos event having to be really creative and really squeezing the limits of my equipment and skills to get the shots without blasting out the ambient with flash. Rather, the challenge had evolved to a higher level, which is finding the right moment and anticipating the shot and being in place to capture it.

Of course, the challenge of lighting remained true for the glow-stick room, which was pretty much completely dark when the blue LED strips blinked off. Since the light source was not a gelled light, that means very limited colour information would be recorded by the sensor. I wanted to retain the ambient feel of that room with the blue and the glow-sticks, but also did not want to allow the blue to blow out. So I used a single-LED torch (on my key-ring — I got it free from LED Lenser at last year’s Vivid Sydney) which provided just enough coverage to illuminate the face and part of the torso of the models without affecting ambient.

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1 Comment

  1. Marta Jary

    Really amazing shots!

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