Archive for September 16th, 2011

The opportunity to make an image of my Egyptian friend has eluded me for years. Finally, she found time in her busy life to let me photograph her.

I had fantasized about doing something that Monte Zucker might have done: use an Egyptian fabric as a combination background and veil, or maybe to put her on a white (high key) background with flowers or other adornments. But when the time came, it was a simple white sun dress on the beach in Malibu. Of course, I made images at the water’s edge. But the challenges that I like the most are getting out of the direct sun and finding an interesting place near the direct sun with soft, beautiful light that will wrap around the subject’s face with no need for flash or even a reflector — to get the image right when it’s in the camera.

I found it: a weathered sea wall near the water’s edge covered by the cantilever of a beach house. I metered on the wall itself at -1ev, anticipating that she would therefore stand out from the background, as the effective working space was rather narrow. ISO 100, F5.6, 1/200, Adobe RGB.

Now for the pose. (I thought of the masters that I have had the honor to know: What would Monte do? “Body turned away from the light … Face tilted and turned back to the light. Try a 2/3 angle.” What would Robert Lino do? (Something that I can’t, but I digress) “Now, drop your arm and lean, lean! Yes, the Lino Lean!” What would Bruce Dorn do? He would “dutch” the camera — probably to the left). “Now, relax the face and shoulders. Look down at that dog that just came up to you and is sniffing your right foot!”



So I posted this image in a way that I knew my son, Damon would see it … to make him jealous of course! He, by virtue of his worldly travels is in a position to know a bit of Arabic and therefore tried to confound me with the one-word response: Moza!

I quickly went to the Urban Dictionary, and there it was:

1. moza

is an egyptian [expression] ( most arabs use it as well )means chick , a very beautiful girl
ohhhh my god , did u see this girl , she is moza

2. Moza

Arabic word for banana

used to refer to cute Arabic girls with lighter complexions
“is that jouanna?”
“yea man it is”

she replies

Very funny! Seeking to further ingratiate Damon in my world, I texted her informing her that Damon thought that she was Moza. (What could possibly go wrong?)

She quickly replied, “Why is he calling me a banana?”


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