Leaf Aptus 65
"The Leaf back offered color that seemed more true – just like I got from film or a color negative. With the Leaf, quality was actually better than film."Indira Cesarine
Indira started shooting when she was 15 at the Parson School of Design Summer School in New York. At her high school, Choate Rosemary Hall, she showed her work to the head of the photograhy department who created an independent study program for her in the photographic arts. "I would go out and shoot whatever I wanted," she said, "to develop my personal direction."
For her subjects, she always preferred people and portraiture. Indira had her first exhibit at age 16 with portraits of girls from her school, exhibiting at The Paul Mellons Art Center. "I took my camera everywhere. I would go out to parties, events and nightclubs with my older sister to take pictures."
With photography, she has always been extremely dedicated, making the majority of her own prints, while she shot film. "For a long time digital hadn’t caught up to film – the detail, color tonality – the color was not 100%, not rich color, had variations."
By age 18, Elite models saw her portfolio and covered her photography expenses to shoot models while did her degree at Columbia. "I was introduced to the New Faces division of Elite Model Management and began my career as a fashion photographer. Shortly after I started shooting for other agencies in New York, such as Ford and Wilhelmina."
Even though she started out young and loved photography, she didn’t think that it would become a career. When she graduated from Columbia, she considered her next steps: taking the traditional paths like finance or law, or to pursue her photography passion. So she gave herself a deadline of 2 years to make herself into a photographer. "It also helped that my parents gave me as my graduation present a Mamiya 645 film camera."
Indira moved to London, and started working quickly. The deadline gave her a lot of incentive, and despite her age she had a large portfolio to present. "At that time there weren’t so many 22 year old, female photographers with impressive portfolios running around London," she said.
She started by testing the Leaf back for color and comparing it to other backs. Indira selected the 28 MP Leaf Aptus 65, prefering the color quality, finding it to be closer to film, and approached the look of medium format film. "The Leaf back offered color that seemed more true – just like I got from film or a color negative. With the Leaf , quality was actually better than film. It got to the point where for certain assignments there was even too much detail, such as close up beauty images where you could see every pore and bit of facial hair. This was a new side of photography that didn't have to be dealt with in the past with shooting film."
This means that for beauty shooting there is more material for post to make images more adaptable for editorial use. Indira has been using Leaf for 5 years "In digital, the client is happy to see what they are getting right away. Faster turnarounds. Makes life easier."
With her multimedia projects, Indira prefers the image quality of high res Leaf digital images to complement the HD quality of her video projects. Since she is mixing media 16:9 video format with files of the Leaf sensor dimensions, she can compensate with the Leaf file without compromising quality. "it is complicated to mix flash and ambient light photography in multimedia projects, as flash is incompatible with video and the formats are different. For exhibit purposes, I find it works well to juxtapose HD video art presentations with high res printed images from my Leaf back, as the quality of the prints in high resolution is so beautiful."
"The Leaf file is also good for making massive digital prints, like for the recent exhibit in Paris, I had several video projections mixed with 35 prints displayed around the gallery. I wouldn’t have been able to create exhibit-ready images with a lower quality back."
Indira sees that quality is better with the digital revolution, and that what sets a photographer apart, is not just techniques. "In order to compete as a photographer these days, not only do you need to know photographic techniques and lighting, but also retouching, video editing, web design, digital tech solutions. And of course the best equipment makes a huge difference!"
Touted as "photographic child protege", Indira Cesarine's first solo exhibition was at the age of 16 at the Paul Mellon Arts Center. By the time she graduated high school she had exhibited 4 one woman shows of her photographic work. While finishing a triple major in Art History, French Literature and Women's Studies at Columbia University, she began shooting for a variety of top modeling agencies including Elite, Ford and Wilhelmina Models. Once she finished her degree, she went to London to pursue her interests in photography and journalism. Within 6 months of arriving in London, she was appointed Editor at Large of the British magazine "Don't Tell It", and began shooting editorials for many magazines.
Over the years her work has sparked the interest of some of the world's top creative directors, having been commissioned for British Vogue, GQ, Glamour, Marie Claire, Tatler, The Times, In Style, L'Officiel as well as many other international publications and advertising campaigns. She is currently represented internationally with agents in New York, London, and Milan.
Her career as a director began with her first short film, "City of Love" being featured at Cannes Film Festival in 2007. Since then she has directed, produced and edited numerous short films while maintaining an active career as a photographer. In 2009 she produced and launched the multimedia publication XXXX Magazine, showcasing original multimedia productions of fashion and video art films.
In January 2010, her work was exhibited in a solo show in Paris at Visionairs Gallery, presenting large scale photographic images juxtaposed with her video art productions she directed for XXXX Magazine. Other recent exhibits include New Fashion Shorts at the Tribeca Grand in September 2009, London Fashion Shorts at Machine-A Gallery in February 2010, View Imaging exhibit in New York in December 2009, and the Distorted Beauty show in April 2010. Her photography has also been chosen to appear in Dolce Gabanna's 20th Anniversary book curated by Fabien Baron, out in June 2010.