Gowlands' calendar photography
For forty years, the Gowlands have photographed women for calendars published by the Ridge Tool Company.
Every picture, model looking into camera, because she is not nude?
1965 calendar
Ridge Tool 1965
2001 calendar
Ivana, Ridge Tool 2001
Snow in the summer? Plastic snow, that is. The log cabin is two blocks from the Gowland studio/home. The tree is next door.
Raquel Welch, Ridge Tool 1964
set for Raquel Welch State Beach boys
When Peter photographs a young lady in public, he worries if men don't bother to watch. There certainly were onlookers when Peter photographed Raquel Welch before she was famous. Just minutes after she appeared on the set, fourteen men and one woman ganged up behind Peter's 5x7 Gowlandflex. Lifeguards in their jeep also sped over, thinking someone had drowned.
Lisa Auld
Lisa Auld, Ridge Tool 1986

Quick timing is essential for sunset pictures. One has only about ten minutes. The trick is to set up early to establish the pose and angle. Then, as the sun sinks and the model's face and body are in deep shadow, use a reflector or flashlight to focus.
Jill Thompson
Jill Thompson, Ridge Tool 1991

A very cold winter day did not bother Jill Thompson. A great jumper, she leaped with grace and ease. The strobe light did such a good job in equalizing the sun's weak backlight that the photo has a paste-up look, but it's real!
Tamara Killeen
Tamara Killeen, Ridge Tool 1991
Christa Campbell
Christa Campbell, Ridge Tool 1998.
A darkened studio, with a black cloth background from ceiling to floor, set the scene for the dramatic shot at left. Before switching off the lights, Tamara was posed and an exposure was made on polaroid. Satisfied with the result, assistant, Barry Chittem, took hold of a pole to which red Christmas lights had been attached. Tamara was asked to assume her pose and expression and hold perfectly still. Barry switched off the lights. As Peter held the shutter open, Barry moved the light draped pole in various patterns against the black background. When Barry took the lights out of the frame, Peter fired the strobes which included a six-foot Larson umbrella in front and two back-lights from each side.
Beth & Karen, Ridge Tool 1980
Beth & Karen Spect, Ridge Tool 1980

It may appear that a model stood by a mirror. Actually twins flanked an empty picture frame. Their clasped hands give it away.
Bobbie Phillips
Bobbie Phillips, Ridge test 1993

Two mirrors, made of mylar sheets, were taped to wooden frames, creating nine models for the price of one!
Colleen O'Brien, Ridge Tool 1993
Colleen O'Brien, Ridge test 1993

Colleen held her pose much easier than did the fifty helium balloons which separated at the slightest draft.
Vanessa Gleason Ridge Test 2002
Vanessa Gleason, Ridge test 2002

Renting the carousel on Santa Monica Pier required moving many strobe lights to the location and negotiating legal permits. The result, however, was worth it.
Jennifer Palmer flies towel
Jennifer Palmer, Ridge test 1999
Jennifer Palmer, Ridge test 1999
What's your angle? Depending on what the client prefers, Peter has learned how to accentuate a model's voluptuous figure or to make her appear slimmer. It is a matter of turning the body and moving the camera back to take in the whole figure.

Tina Peshek    © Peter Gowland 2006.

Tina Peshek 2001

Seelchun Sund in bubbles
Seelchun Sund, Ridge Tool 1992.
crew on the set
Model Seelchun Sund splashes in pool for this Ridge calendar shot. At right, Ridge Executive Peter Hayward studies Polaroid test, model wears alternate costume, George Kobashi holds hair-light, Barry Chittem holds diffusion screen, make-up artist, Nancy Ferguson, adjusts model's hair, and golden retriever requests a biscuit.
Model, Rachelle Bond, breaks for lunch after Nancy (make-up) and Katy (Alice's asst) have filled their plates. Everyone is hungry, especially Barry Chittem, #1 asst, who must delay eating until he prepares studio. Lunch takes one hour. The first exposure is usually made after 1:OO PM.
Barry eating sandwich assistant hunger
Crew In creek near Gowland studio. Alice is at left, Peter in foreground, model in background, and Ridge Tool Ad Director, Harry Palmer. May 1966.
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composed by B.A.S Last updated May 2007