photo of the day 10/13/2011. photo © Mark I Chester.
A photo of Cleo Dubois from 11/1983 with her snake Momo, which she danced and publicly performed with. Technically the photo is flawed, but I always liked it because of its emotional energy. Cleo was passionate and as always, very intense. But then Cleo is French. <eg>
Believe me, it was a different life back then. Cleo, Sybil and I became very close when Kaye went off to dance in Japan. Cleo was working while studying performance and dancing with Momo and fire dancing on the side. I was a penniless artist struggling to survive. (Not much has changed on that account!) So penniless that Cleo often gave me a few bucks, just so I wasn't walking around SF with no money.
I had no equipment other than a single hot light to photograph by and a camera so basic and simple that it didn't even have a self-timer. Because of the light, I over processed the film so that 400 asa film was rated at around 5000 asa. It made the whites totally blast out, a lot was lost in the shadows and the photographs were both grainy and often soft. Still it was a look and a look that I liked.
I was just beginning to explore photography seriously and I was rather shy about approaching people to be photographed, so I enlisted friends like Cleo to pose for me. I took many photographs of Cleo in the early 80s and there were other photo sessions where Cleo helped me out by working behind the scenes. (I am posting this in honor of special event, I just can't tell you what it is. ;)