End of a Portrait Thread?
Mar07

End of a Portrait Thread?

“The poet, the artist, the sleuth – whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial… he cannot go along with currents and trends.”—Alfred North Whitehead I guess we can add photographer to Mr. Whitehead’s comment. Today is the last day on a two-week run of portrait-oriented posts so I thought I would end it with an one of my favorite images of my former muse*, Ms. Tia Stoneman. A portrait of Tia is...

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What Size  is Your Umbrella?
Mar06

What Size is Your Umbrella?

“A Banker Lends You His Umbrella When It’s Sunny and Wants It Back When It Rains”—Mark Twain In my workshop “The Magic of Umbrellas” one of the topics that I talk about is size and it’s not just the size of the umbrella’s fabric that matters, there’s also a question about the diameter of the umbrella’s shaft. And while that may not seem significant, shaft size can affect the umbrellas you may already own and any...

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Working with the Classics: Speedotron
Feb23

Working with the Classics: Speedotron

“Remember that the person you are photographing is 50% of the portrait and you are the other 50%. You need the model as much as he or she needs you. If they don’t want to help you, it will be a very dull picture.”—Lord Patrick Lichfield Speedotron’s power pack and head systems are the studio lighting world’s equivalent of the American muscle car. They’re made in the USA, ruggedly built to take hard use, and powerful. The...

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Following Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’
Feb21

Following Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’

“The photographer, even in fashion and portraiture, has to have a standpoint. It’s important to know what you stand for, no? Most people just take pictures, but they stand for nothing.”—Peter Lindbergh Last year, at the suggestion of one of this blog’s readers (thanks Izzy) we added a new section to the right-hand column called “Top Posts” with the idea that if a person was new to the blog, they would see the most popular five...

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Lighting Tools: Shooting with Umbrellas
Sep23

Lighting Tools: Shooting with Umbrellas

If you follow me on Instagram (@joefarace) you may know a few months ago, my basement was flooded causing damage to the family room, bathroom and my in-home studio. As of Tuesday, all repairs and refurbishments to the family room were complete and we’re in the final phase of repairs to the studio. When it’s completely finished I’ll do a video tour of the 11×15-foot studio, showing updates and some of the lighting tools I use. Because...

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When’s the Last Time You Had Your Portrait Made?
Sep06

When’s the Last Time You Had Your Portrait Made?

I recently added new portraits of myself to the Bio pages of my Blog and main website. Both portraits were made by my friend Cliff Lawson and were not made during an “official” portrait session. They were shot while we were testing lighting (website portrait) or when Cliff was showing me his new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED lens (blog portrait, also show below.) Tech details for both photographs are at the bottom of this post. I...

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In the Studio with Flashpoint’s LED Studio Lights
Aug01

In the Studio with Flashpoint’s LED Studio Lights

The trend of using continuous light sources, such as LED, plays well with photographers integrating video into the services they offer clients. But there’s also a convenience factor. A continuous source lets you see the how light falls on a portrait subject exactly as it will appear in the final image and can use your in-camera meter to arrive at an exposure. I’ve tested Flashpoint’s rectangular LED light panels in the past and looked...

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