Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dark Showers: Bond by New Manhattan Studios

When I was compiling my stories for last year's Last Gasp Of Summer, I Knew I wanted to include Bond and New Manhattan Studios.  Wes had shared with me some of his shots of Bond on the beach from his previous trip to California. The combination of a naked Bond, with the rocks, seascapes and the incredible sunset created a visually stunning set of panoramic images. (Beached Bond)

New Manhattan Studios photos by Wm Weyeneth

I often ask, (bug) Wes about any new work or shoots with Bond.  I think Bond has become one of the sites most featured, and most popular, models.  I have enjoyed watching his growth in front of the camera and the many creative ways that Wes, Alex and now NMS's Bill, have found to capture him. When Wes informed he dug back into the archives of the California shoot, I was eager to see what he found.   I'll let Wes fill you in how Bond ended up in the shower, and back on FH!

Wes, New Manhattan Studios:
'It’s always a delight to go rummaging around in a long-closed folder. You never know what overlooked gems you might find among the raw files. It’s a special treat when the name on the folder is Bond. Working with this model is always such a delight that just looking at any series of his pictures brings back memories of sun-filled, laughter-filled afternoons. Such was certainly the case here. I remembered the day. We had been working with Bond and a friend at the pool in late morning when the afternoon model arrived early. I had handed my camera to Bill, our West Coast affiliate, who was assisting on the shoot. I had suggested that he and Bond work together for the remainder of his session while I started setting up with the afternoon model.'

Bill and Bond left the pool and headed into the shower. Knowing the space, I had been skeptical of their success. Architecturally the shower is impressive. As a venue for shooting a model, it has its challenges. Principal among them is the very uneven distribution of the light: bright light from bare windows in the top half of the frame, deep shadows in the lower half.'

'Last summer, when I had first reviewed the photos captured that day, I had quickly dismissed the shower stall series as a noble but failed attempt. The series had been underexposed and many photos showed motion blur from shooting at the slow shutter speed required. In my pass through the files that day, I did not flag any of the series for further consideration.

This summer, while searching for additional images to augment the pool shots, I tumbled directly into the shower series which had followed the pool shots. Near the beginning were two captures that appeared to have been throw-away shots, taken at the start of a session as the photographer adjusted his settings. Staring at the dark image of a man seated in the shower, I slid the exposure setting on my software to brighten the image by two f-stops. Revealed was an image of stunning light and beautiful simplicity. But it was the light that gave me pause. This was the light I associate with the Dutch Masters. Glorious light flowing from a window into a dark space.

"Wet!" This might work with the pool shots. Were there more? I had not taken these photos, I did not know what to expect as I moved through the folder searching for more images that might have this same, beautiful ambient lighting.'

'In the end, I found and tagged two dozen files for editing. More importantly, a nearly-lost collection of beautiful art has been rescued and shared. In the folder that I once thought contained a failed experiment done in a challenging environment, I discovered some of my favorite work done with this model during 2015.'

'This newly-discovered series of Bond photos are being previewed here on Favorite Hunks. These previously-unpublished photos were taken on the same day as the work featured in Captured Shadows #1. Wet!” will be published as an uncensored photo series in an upcoming issue of Captured Shadows, our quarterly physique art portfolio. 

Bill has had his art featured on the website and in Captured Shadows before. But this exceptional series warrants our rarely-bestowed byline. New Manhattan Studios photos by Wm Weyeneth. In the meantime, if the viewers want to see more of what Bond did that day last summer, they need to check out Captured Shadows #1, California Dreaming, with 46 uncensored pages devoted exclusively to Bond.'

Thanks to Wes for sharing his story above, originally posted on his own blog. So....about those pool images.... You'll find a small sampling of them in the post below.  Please oblige, and maybe forgive, my foray into fiction, The more time I spent with Bond in the pool, the more a story started to be pieced together in my mind.  The appearance of a mysterious blonde stranger pulled all the pieces together.  I hope it pulls on a little something for all of you as well.

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