Aryan Aqajani’s Fade to Black

© Aryan Aqajani
© Aryan Aqajani

Instead of getting embroiled in the film vs. digital debate, Australian shooter Aryan Aqajani lives in harmony with both mediums. No matter what gear he uses to shoot, he says he strives to convey “a sense of isolation, loneliness, darkness and deep feelings” with his images. This series, Fade to Black, does just that.

Inspired by the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Aryan orchestrated a shoot with elegance and mystery on his mind.

He writes:
“We chose a long black vintage looking dress, which makes a good contrast against a greyish walls of the building. For hair and makeup, again we went for an elegant classic looking style with a modern twist to it. All I wanted to capture was the feeling of being alone, lost in thoughts, longing for someone who is gone now and wondering what the future is going to bring.

© Aryan Aqajani
© Aryan Aqajani

I could not use strobes at the location so I should only rely on a gigantic source of light, the sun! Before the shooting day, I researched when the sun would be at the best angle for the look I was after. We arrived on the location at 2pm and started shooting around half an hour later.

In order to separate the model from the building, I opted out for fastest lens that I have in my kit, the Mamiya 80mm f/1.9 N. Although it’s a manual focus lens, it can be used on the Mamiya 645 AFD III and 645DF+ as well. This lens produces a very soft, beautiful, shallow depth of field.

© Aryan Aqajani
© Aryan Aqajani

Shooting on a sunny day with a large aperture like f/1.9 may force you to use ND filters, however, I had the privilege of using Leaf Aptus-II 5 with base ISO 25, which made the shooting effortless. After the shoot, I processed the RAW files in Capture One Pro. Lastly, I need to mention that Aptus-II 5 produces film-like files with great tones, dimensions, and dynamic range. Such attributes make it an ideal digital back for my new camera system, Mamiya RZ67 Pro IID, which I use exclusively these days.”

© Aryan Aqajani
© Aryan Aqajani

Shoot credits:
Model: Bea Sweet
Makeup/Hair: La’Tecia Thomas

See more of Aryan’s work on aryanaqajani.com. Connect with him on Facebook and Flickr.

All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Ayran Aqajani, all rights reserved; story is ©Mamiya Leaf. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or re-post elsewhere without written permission.

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