Recent personal work – how it was created

Click on any image for a larger view

I have recently produced a flyer and business card to promote ‘stylish portraiture’ and therefore needed a few new images that would work together as a theme. I have placed a few of the resulting images here with a description of how they were created for those interested in the technicalities. All but one image were shot over a single weekend with very simple photo equipment. All subjects were friends and family – no models.

The first image (above) was shot in a real bedroom, not a studio. Shooting in confined spaces is usually much more challenging than using a studio because it is always a compromise in terms of where the lights and reflectors can be placed and it can sometimes be very difficult to achieve the effect you want. Initially, I attempted to use the natural light from the bedroom window, only to find (as usual) British winter light is too low if you want the versatility of hand-held photography, rather than confining yourself to a tripod. As far as I remember, the natural light reading was something like 1/8th of a second at f4. Any subject movement also would have shown up, even if I had used a tripod.

I therefore decided to use studio flash – two Elinchrom heads, one bounced off the back wall with an opaque umbrella attached and the other shot through a soft box about 45 degrees off to my right. The head to my right was therefore essentially a ‘fill in flash’, as it was set two stops lower in power than the flash creating the backlight/environment light. For the final shot (above) I was stood on a chair. Camera used – Nikon D2x, aperture – F9, shutter – 1/100th of a second, ASA – 100, Lens – Nikon 18-200 vr at 36mm.

The shot above was much more simple, other than the fact that the 5 year old child involved wanted to play rather than be photographed. I had about 15 minutes to get the best shot I could (which is a common times scale with children), but was lucky enough to have lots of light and a perfect tree stump facing in the right direction for making the most of the background and lighting. I attempted to take this shot with a 70-200 nikon vr lens (probably my best lens for sharpness, plus its ability to throw the background out of focus when zoomed to 200mm and used with an open aperture). However, one big disadvantage of using a telephoto lens is that it is difficult to communicate with your subject (and in this case keep control) due to the distance between each of you. I therefore used a Nikon fixed 50mm lens at an aperture of f3.5, 100asa, 1/80th of a second. The second image of the 9 year old boy was a little easier due to his age. The Nikon D2x has the smaller DX chip, effectively magnifying non-DX lenses by an additional 50 percent (approx). Therefore, the 50mm lens would effectively have a focal length more like an 80mm – pretty good for portraits!

The next image (above) was simple to create, the hardest part was getting the baby to look towards the camera. This was shot with a single Elinchrom flash head with a small square soft box attached and offset to my left. The mother was actually holding her baby over her shoulder and was wearing a black shirt. The background was simply a black double bed sheet (which I purchased from Tesco for about £4) draped behind. To keep light off the background, I stood the ‘model’ as far away from it as possible and used a barn door or flag to shade the soft box and prevent light spillage in that direction. The image of the couple  was photographed in a very similar way to the baby. Camera – Nikon D2x, Lens – Nikon 18-200vr set at f7.1, asa – 100, shutter – 1/160th.

The final image (above) was shot for the front of a publicity flyer. This is in fact an old image, shot around 9 years ago on black and white film. I therefore don’t have an exact record of the data, but do remember it was shot with a single Elinchrom studio flash head, with a soft box light modifier that was around 4ft by 4 ft in size. The camera used at the time would have been a Nikon FM2, together with a 100 mm fixed focal length lens. Click on any image for a larger view.


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4 Responses to “Recent personal work – how it was created”

  1. Hellen CLARK says:

    I like your blog and wanted to say keep up the good work. Do you plan on posting more soon?

  2. admin says:

    i post as much as time allows

  3. HotWomen says:

    Keep working ,great job!

  4. admin says:

    thank you for your comments!

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