Friday, May 22, 2009

Every portrait is a gift

Portrait photography is primarily about what the subject chooses is give to you as a photographer. This takes the ability to effectively communicate what you are doing and be able to actually capture that moment. I shot this portrait today of Abdul Wahid Taha, as he looks out the window of his East Oakland home in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, May 21, 2009. Taha often feels apprehensive about leaving his home due to the violence in the neighborhood.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

New Lighting tests, thanks to buddy Dietrich

I have been using my good buddy Dietrich as somewhat of a sketchpad for lighting techniques I plan to use in the future. Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section. All this lighting is informed by years of street photography and understanding the style of light I enjoy shooting with.

All natural light, overexposed with sun behind head. Very simple yet effective method, just expose for the face, which is in shadow, and go up a stop and a half or two to blow out background.

I grabbed a couple foamcore panels and painted one side of each black to subtract light, and left the other side white to bounce light, and then cut litte doors in the middle to use as a gobo. The one below is created by creating a narrow beam of light with the two boards placed together over the strobe, camera right.
Same thing below, except the boards are moved closer to the light and farther from subject to create a larger, softer beam of light.
This is shot through the small door cut in the middle of the foamcore, placed roughly halfway between subject and strobe.

This one is a little more technical. Softbox camera left with bounce card directly under subject for fill, with strobe w/scrim over 1/2 stop directly behind as a hairlight.