Monochrome & Color Portraiture
Mar24

Monochrome & Color Portraiture

Most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have a built-in monochrome capture mode with some  offering scene modes, Canon calls’em Picture Styles, that let you enhance gray tones while making the rest of the colors less vibrant producing an old-fashioned hand-colored look. The reality is that you can always shoot in color and  make these kinds of adjustments after the fact using Adobe Photoshop or your favorite digital imaging software but...

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Shooting Sigma’s 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens in the Studio
Mar14

Shooting Sigma’s 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens in the Studio

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens is part of their Art series and has an angle-of-view equivalent to 45mm. It’s designed for APS-C format digital SLRs like the Canon EOS 60D I tested it with. The lens has a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) and produces quiet (for shooting video) and fast autofocus. It has Sigma’s Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting and the company includes a nicely made lens hood and case at no extra cost. The...

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Two Photographers, One Model, One Location
Mar13

Two Photographers, One Model, One Location

A great photographer once advised me to work with as few light control devices as possible. I try to do that because the less time spent working with my gear, the more time I can spend putting my subject at ease. If you give me a doorway I’ll use it as a prop. Doorways give subjects something to do with their hands as well as—I think anyway—provide a natural frame around the subject adding interest to the portrait. Image wascaptured...

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These Day LEDs Are Popular; Here’s Why
Mar09

These Day LEDs Are Popular; Here’s Why

Continuous light sources are popular with new and aspiring pros because they let you see in real time the lighting effect produced. LED-based studio lights do that without creating lots of heat, especially when compared to other continuous light sources. At the WPPI show one industry insider told me, “When LED delivers a form factor that looks like a monolight, studio flash is dead.” While I’m not so sure that I believe that statement...

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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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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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