Portraits from shoot yesterday

I know it’s been a terribly long time since I’ve written anything new here. My apologies. I’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff in my personal life (new day job, burst pipe in my kitchen that flooded my basement, etc), so my productivity has been off the last couple months. I’m part of a group that shares studio time here, and we occasionally organize group shoots and hire a model. The group shoot thing has its frustrations (having to get consensus on lighting, for one thing, means you often get lighting setups that aren’t what you want) but when you’ve been out of your groove for a while, it’s nice to have a little spur to your creativity. I had been feeling a bit frustrated and in need of a spur, so I joined the shoot yesterday we had.

Kevin, Rolleiflex 2.8E, Rolleinar 1

Another challenge that is uniquely mine in the group is the fact that I’m the only one shooting film, specifically medium format film. I work slower than the rest, and because I don’t have some huge-ass zoom lens, I have to get in close to take my shots, so people sometimes get a little cranky about me blocking them. When you get results like these, though, I think it’s worth it.


I’m sure you’ve seen a shot like this if you pay attention to fashion photography, but I wanted to give it a try. We were doing some more fashion-y shots with Kevin, and he was wearing this black leather jacket. He has these very striking eyes and I wanted to emphasize them. I think the jacket texture and the big zipper give a nice edgy feel to the image but the fact that they’re mostly out-of-focus drives your attention back to Kevin.

Because we were shooting with constant lights (fluorescents in softboxes, which I didn’t know we were going to do until I was already on-site), I was limited to shooting wide-open or nearly so in order to keep my shutter speeds hand-holdable. Had I known I would have brought Tri-X instead of FP4+. But I think all in all it worked out well – its fun and challenging to play with shallow depth-of-field on portraits. Using the Rolleinar makes it even more challenging because it brings you in closer, narrowing your DoF even further.

I have more from this to come, but in color – I’ll be developing the color film today and hopefully will have those posted tonight or tomorrow.

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