Tagged: Portrait photography

3 Classically Beautiful B&W Portraits by Cassidy Kristiansen

© Cassidy Kristiansen
© Cassidy Kristiansen

Cassidy Kristiansen is relentless in her pursuit of perfection in her work, whether it be the lighting, retouching, or the pursuit of that unique element that gives the image its spark. Here, she shares the thinking behind 3 simple-yet-elegant black and white portraits.

She says, “I like to create images that are clean, yet dramatic, using lighting to show the subject is the main focus… I also enjoy using different elements, such as the model’s wild hair or a bold hat to really bring another aspect to the picture…”

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Aryan Aqajani’s Fade to Black

© Aryan Aqajani
© Aryan Aqajani

Instead of getting embroiled in the film vs. digital debate, Australian shooter Aryan Aqajani lives in harmony with both mediums. No matter what gear he uses to shoot, he says he strives to convey “a sense of isolation, loneliness, darkness and deep feelings” with his images. This series, Fade to Black, does just that. Continue reading

Gage Thompson’s Sinister Smoking Shot

Gage Thompson
© 2012 Gage Thompson

Gage Thompson is a Utah-based photographer specializing in skateboarding and lifestyle photography. Like so many photographers, we’re a sucker for smokey photos and Gage’s eerie portrait caught our eye.

Gage shot using the Aptus 22 back attached to a Mamiya 645-AFD II with an 80mm Mamiya lens. Of the back, he writes: “As for the Aptus 22 back, I love that thing. It’s still the sharpest sensor I’ve ever used. The files are just amazing to look at.”

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Mamiya Leaf Aptus 75 Takes Long Cold Showers

Architectural photographer Nicolas Dumont took a break from the heat of Dubai with this fun series shot in his shower.

Nicolas invited some friends over and took their picture, fully clothed, under a super cold shower. He had them stand there for up to 20 minutes while he shot away with his Mamiya Leaf Aptus 75. Talk about loyal friends.

Although now that summer’s in full swing a nice cold shower might not seem so bad. See the project and check out Dumont’s portfolio.

Lindsay McCrum’s Cultural Document

One of the most difficult things to do when creating art is to get the hell out of the way. The art of photography has a leg up on, say, writing, when it comes to minimizing editorialization. Many—myself included—would argue art is all about the artist injecting the self into the art. No argument against that here. It’s a question of how much and how well-crafted the editorialization is, and how well it strikes a compelling balance with the subject matter. The success of these two individually and in harmony enable us to love the art or quickly forget the art.

It’s not an unreasonable statement to claim the art of documenting something with a camera lands slightly closer to an idealized bullseye of pure objectivity than interpreting the same thing with dance or music or painting. Photographers have almost countless tools at their command to force a narrative on every image they produce. Whether you are Tim Wolcott on your hands and knees in a field with a series of framing cards or Mary Ellen Mark directing subjects while street shooting or anyone applying Curves to an image in Photoshop, photographers make viewers see what they want us to see. The very presence of imposing a frame on any scene edits the rest of the world out of the subject matter. This is editorializing the art of taking a photograph, and with that act, the artist has injected their subjectivity into the shot.

Chicks with Guns, Greta, Napa Valley CA
Chicks with Guns, Greta, Napa Valley CA. ©Lindsay McCrum

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Strobist’s Two-Part Portrait Breakdown

StrobistFlashmaster David Hobby over at Strobist has published Part 1 and Part 2 on his wildly-popular blog detailing a portrait session he did for mezzo soprano Alexandra Rodrick.

The shot was lit with Profoto. Hobby used an Acute2 1200 60 feet away as a fill light and an Acute2 2400 120 feet away as a rim. It was keyed with speedlights in a Japanese silk lantern.

His camera was a Mamiya 645DF with Phase One P25+ digital back. His lens was a Mamiya Sekor AF 80mm f/2.8 DPocketWizard Plus III units were used to trigger the lights furthest from the subject.

Hobby explains he wanted to “push against the boundaries a little more, both creatively and technically.” He educates readers about the relationship between lighting distance and depth of field, and how he wanted the light to disperse evenly throughout the scene. The text of these posts are as enlightening as the photo is beautiful. Don’t miss both full texts on Strobist.

Frank Stefanko on Shooting the Boss

John Barna of The Gloucester County Times has written a story on the work of photographer Frank Stefanko. In particular, he focuses on Stefanko’s portraits of Bruce Springsteen taken over decades.

As a college student, Stefanko attended Glassboro State College in New Jersey. He was friendly with vocalist Patti Smith. A connection with Springsteen was made, Barna writes, and Stefanko went on to photograph for the Darkness on the Edge of Town album, and would continue to photograph Springsteen for the next 40 years.

Stefanko used a Mamiya RB67 and shot Springsteen in his natural environs. If you’re into rock and roll trivia and the story of how an unknown took some of the most memorable photos people around the world recognize, don’t miss the full article.

Brian Shumway and the RZ67

©Brian Shumway

Photographer Brian Shumway has posted on a recent fashion shoot he did in New York with a Mamiya RZ67 for Callalilai Clothing. His summary of using the camera? “Couldn’t have been sweeter.”

Be sure to check out the post completely for some beautiful images. His site has gorgeous portraits you shouldn’t miss.

Catherine Day and How it Just Happens

Six years ago, after finishing college at 18, Catherine Day decided to leave her picturesque hometown of Saltburn-by-the-Sea in the U.K. for a university far from home. She went from the northeast of England to the southwest, a seven-hour train ride, to study at the University of Gloucestershire’s arts campus in Cheltenham.

Given her first camera at age six by her father, by 17, she knew she wanted to be a photographer. “That was around seven years ago, now, but it feels like a lifetime,” she says. In that time, she studied Photography for two years at Redcar and Cleveland College as part of an advanced foundation course. She then completed three years at the University of Gloucestershire.

©Catherine Day

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Alex Waterhouse-Hayward’s Old Work Rediscovered

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward has pulled some great Polaroids and prints out of his archive, scanned them, and posted them with commentary. This blog entry is filled with shots from a 1992 photo shoot he did with Lisa Montonen holding various flora.

©Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

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