February 27th, 2009 — 4:19pm
On Wednesday I had a session with a local model, a really beautiful woman with Southern Asian ancestry. We started out doing business shots on a white background for my stock collection, then I decided to move to more dramatic lighting on her, kept the white background but used a 10 degree grid on her face. Then I decided to do away with the white background and put another 10 degree grid on her hair. The white seamless paper became black without any light falling on it. Then I added the two panels I was using to prevent the background lights from hitting the camera into the composition. These panels are black on the side facing the camera and white on the other side. The white side started to bounce some of the hair light onto the white paper, which became gray. And here is the picture.
Technical data: Nikon D700 with 70-200 VR f/2.8 @ 82 mm, 1/250 f/5.6, ISO200 with two 10 degree grid lights, one to camera right and the other behind the model and to her left. Postprocessing included standard skin smoothing, cropping and mild sharpening.
I really like dramatic lighting - softboxes and umbrellas are fine, but sometimes, a dark shadow really helps create a mood. One day I will buy strobes with fresnel lenses on them to achieve the smooth transfer from diffused value to shadow that I want. In the meantime grids will have to do!
Comment » | Photo Sessions
February 17th, 2009 — 11:28am
On Sunday I had a studio session wit Nancy, a beautiful Chinese American doctor. We had two different objectives - one, create business images for my stock library, and two, create some fun, fashion/beauty images for Nancy. We use a pure white background for both, with some images taken with the illumination on the white seamless paper turned off to get a neutral gray backgroud. Nancy was very comfortable in front of the camera and gave me a range of poses and expressions that I was quite happy about, for a non-professional model. Here are some images from the collaboration.
Pretty girl in blue
Fashion shot of Nancy
Nancy as a business woman
Comment » | Photo Sessions
February 4th, 2009 — 8:18pm
A few months ago I bought a Nikon D700, and now I use it almost exclusively for my work. While the D300 continues to be a fantastic camera, the image quality, especially the high ISO capabilities of the D700 are fantastic. And then there is the full frame, which gives me the depth of field I really want when doing portraiture. The shallow depth of field provided by high quality portraiture lenses like the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 lens at wide apertures is just perfect for those natural light portraits. I have attached below two examples of what the D700 can do. The first image was done with f/2 and the 85mm lens. The second is a shot at ISO 6400 in a dark church in Chichicatenango, Guatemala. The image was able to capture the magic and ancestral mood and atmosphere of the place. I just love this camera with Nikkor lenses!
Portrait with D700, 85mm at f/2
Women in St. Thomas Church, Chichicastenango
Comment » | Technical
February 4th, 2009 — 8:03pm
I spent a week and a half in Spain visiting my family and enjoying the old world. While I didn’t do much photography, I did make some portraits of my loved ones, and also some fishermen and other folks I found. I want to share here a couple of images I like. One is a picture of my brother in natural light. The other is a picture of a really humble but generous fisherman that wanted to have his picture taken. Also taken with natural light. Just today I sent him and his buddies a few prints from the images I created. They’ll be thrilled when the get the envelope.
Comment » | Family, Photo Sessions
February 4th, 2009 — 7:47pm
Last month a did a headshot session with a local actor, Conrad Lyons. He was very professional and a pleasure to work with. We did two different lighting styles, one more 40’s style, with 6″ reflectors and grids, and another one, more contemporary, with a large softbox and reflectors. I have attached one image from each lighting style below. The first two use the old-fashioned style, and the other two are done in the modern style. I can’t decide which one works better for me, but Conrad really liked the softbox look better. What do you think?
2 comments » | Photo Sessions