An Homage to E.J. Bellocq

by | May 22, 2018

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

John Ernest Joseph Bellocq (1873–1949) aka E.J. Bellocq was an American professional photographer who worked in New Orleans during the early 20th century. Bellocq is most remembered for his haunting portraits of prostitutes in Storyville, New Orleans’ legalized red light district. His images inspired novels, poems and movies including the 1978 film Pretty Baby.

I would be the last person to compare my work with any famous photographer, let alone E.J. Bellocq, but I am influenced by his (and some other photographers) work, including this portrait featured today of a young model. It was not my intention to produce a slavish copy but just an homage to his oeuvre.

Ho I made this shot: This portrait was made in my 11×15-foot home studio. I placed a 320 Ws Smith Victor FLC300 monolight fitted with a 24×24-inch soft box at camera left. Fill was provided by another FLC300 with a 45-inch umbrella mounted at camera right and placed near the back corner of my camera room. A Smith Victor 110i monolight with 24×24-inch softbox was used as a hair light. Background was an inexpensive 10 x 24-foot muslin, that was damaged beyond repair when my basement flooded, hung on my old JTL background stand.

Camera used was a Canon EOS 5D Mark I and EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens (at 50mm) with an exposure of 1/60 sec at f/14 and ISO 125. The image file was converted to monochrome and given a daguerreotype look using Alien Skin Software’s Exposure X4 plug-in.



My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography and includes information on all of the cameras and lenses used as well as the complete exposure data for each image. New copies are available from Amazon for $23.27 with used copies selling for $8.91 as I write this. The Kindle version is $11.99 for those preferring a digital format.