This photo is focused absolutely exactly on the nearest point on the rim of the pipe, with a large aperture. The only way that can be done is with a Messraster focusing device. No other focusing device can purposely accomplish that. None!

Even on the top-of-the-line Canon EOS- series cameras, which have the best auto focus system with the smallest sensors, the sensors are still too large to pinpoint the edge of the pipe.

This is a great example of the creative use of exact placement of the focal plane, which is only dependably possible with all types of subjects with the Messraster focusing device.

The photo was made while I was the photographer for a film being made in Berlin, in which Raquel Welch starred. When it was known that Welch was coming to Berlin to film an American Film, the producers wanted a star US Photographer to shoot the stills, for publicity effect. They offered me a fortune to shoot this relatively boring, uninteresting gig, and then agreed when I told them they would have to pay a lot more to get me to do it.

So I did my first and only gig at shooting stills for a movie. It was hell. Standing around and standing around, all day, while nothing but setup was going on. All day. I was bored stiff. So I went looking around the lot and spotted some wild props from older films. This figure was one of them, and the pipe was my idea, for the death-by-tobacco analogy, as I had recently found I was actually allergic to tobacco smoke and the doctors told me I had to quit cold turkey. The amazing change in my whole being from stopping was indelibly clear, because I stopped so quickly. So the effects of tobacco were clear to me and on my mind, even back then.

Later, Welch finally appeared on set and I was eventually asked to do some portrait shots of the star. I started and did a few, but then I noticed something: someone had just done Welch's makeup and a spot of dark makeup had dropped on her bosom, looking really ugly. So, inexperienced me, who was used to running my photo sessions, pointed out the spot to the star, thinking she would be grateful that I alerted her. Instead, she froze, stopped everything and made them remove me from her presence. Then, after a while, the producer came over and told me that Ms. Welch refused to work with me anymore.

I had an iron-clad contract, and they paid me every cent of it. But that was the end of my work in films. Never again!


© 2006 Mark B. Anstendig. All rights reserved.

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