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A venture

dudler

Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

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A venture

3 Mar 2022 8:25PM   Views : 246 Unique : 167

11864_1646339198.jpg

Two years ago, I bought a new car, and one of the less-obvious benefits was a voucher for a portrait session at a local studio – I won’t name it because I’m sure many other businesses do the same thing equally competently. Covid delayed matters somewhat so that it wasn’t until this February that pictures were taken.

We went as a family – along with Mrs D (who hates having her picture taken) we had our children, our son’s wife, and Della, our 5-month granddaughter. A novel experience for all of us, with the formality of a large professional studio, and a hard-working photographer who shifted an amazing number of ideas in just over an hour.

We had a bit of a photographic theme to the day – all of us but Mrs D are, to a greater or lesser extent, photographers. What I hadn’t realised was that this might intimidate our photographer – she was in awe of my Exakta VX. But we all had fun photographer included.

It made me very much aware of how much energy a professional has to put into shooting. She was the power source for the whole session, with a number of excellent ideas for setups and poses that kept things moving along.

Technically, she used two or three lighting setups that were obviously tried and tested: and it was notable that she checked exposure with an incident meter after every change of lighting. She used a crop-frame Nikon with a zoom lens – 24mp is clearly enough under studio flash.

Both Emma (daughter-in-law) and I were surprised at how close she placed the lights, and sometimes how close she shot from: none of my own 85mm standoffishness! This was clearly a positive choice, as the studio would have allowed three times the separation.

For some shots, she used a honeycombed reflector on a flash unit pointed at the wall behind the subject – for a few frames, with a purple gel on it. Gels are much easier to handle, I realised, when you have lights that use LED modelling lamps (tungsten lamps run hot, and melt gels).

She talked and asked questions constantly – getting people to respond, to move, to interact. Whenever we just stood there, she intervened and restarted the momentum.

We have yet to view the results: I may well write more in a blog then.

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Comments


ugly Plus
14 9 58 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2022 10:22PM
It sound like a good photographer just had a master lesson being used as a model.
Nice Blog John.
I hope we get to learn from you master class lesson.
Regards
Dave
📸 😃 📸
Chrism8 15 1.0k 32 England
4 Mar 2022 8:55AM
The closer the lights are to the subject/s the softer the light is, the lights look to have a transparent cover but are much smaller than when fitted with softboxes, hence why the photographer had them that much closer.

Chris
dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1937 England
4 Mar 2022 9:02AM
The question in my mind is - why not use big softboxes? Why risk wideangle distortion?

I'll know more when we see the results.
thewilliam2 5 1.6k United Kingdom
4 Mar 2022 9:58AM
Shooting distance is a matter of individual choice. My wife shoots from a much closer than I would and, when we had our studio, used much smaller light sources.

I had a similar deal with a local car dealer and one customer brought his own camera and asked me to take a few pictures with it. Unfortunately, I couldn't connect it to our studio flash lighting!
dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1937 England
4 Mar 2022 2:08PM
I agree that it's all about choice - and I'm a fan of not taking risks - shooting close up is always risking distortion if anyone gets too close to the edge of the frame, or if someone moves a limb directly towards the camera...
Robert51 13 7 128 United Kingdom
5 Mar 2022 3:12PM
I think when you see the results you will be happy John.
Most photographers I have found find a way that works for them, and I'm sure this will be the same.
Look forward to seeing them if you post...
DaveRyder Plus
8 6.3k 14 United Kingdom
7 Mar 2022 5:20PM
Did you offer advice on her approach....
dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1937 England
7 Mar 2022 9:48PM
No, and not just tact!

Emma and I were there, partly, to see what someone else did. Any lessons to be learned? (There were definitely a couple of ideas for engaging sitters!)

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