Angel in Black and White

I’ve been wanting to change up my shooting style, if I really have one, to try something new. Wanting to do more black and white portraiture. I was working with a friend the other day and I asked “may I do your portrait?” and of course she said yes, well she chirped back “sure,” so that’s what we did.

The only light I had with me was a SB-600, yes I still have and use it and yes it still kicks out some good light, I have a small 6X9 Impact soft-box for the light modifier, it attaches with Velcro, works great in a pinch just like this one. The stand for the SB-600 I used a tripod, I attached the mount for the speed light to the head’s plate. Positioned the tripod on the table and used the swing-arm on the tripod to position the light right above me and the camera.

I wanted to go with a white back ground so I used a piece of white expanded PVC that we had behind a wall cutter cleaned it and placed it on a cart against the wall.

After getting everything setup and the flash’s power set, it was time to go to work sorta speak. I like to talk and have a conversation with the people that I photograph, it helps to relax and keep a calm setting, even joking around can get you a nice candid shot, a moment out of the norm, or other words the images that people don’t like to show. These are a few of them. I do want to go back and get some with a larger studio light but I still like the way they turned out.

Angel Adams is a creative in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. You can learn about her here on her site here or @angeladams

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Portraits of Nicolette

My friend Nicolette came over for some portraits, here are a couple.

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The first image is my usual tribute to Martin Schoeller, two light setup with one on either side of my camera. On the soft box I block out half of the light in order to create two vertical catchlights in the eye straddling the pupil.

The second image is a single main light just off to the left with a second light adding just a hint of fill on the right, while still allowing for the Rembrandt lighting style.

Editing, effects layers allowing for the pushing of levels, brightness & contrast, saturation along with a warming filter. Finally using clone & healing brushes for light retouching and removal of blemishes.

 

 

Portraits of Destiny.

My friend Destiny came over from some portraits, here are a few.

I had a pretty basic light setup. Created the Rembrandt lighting on two of them with a dual lighting on the either side of the camera for the third, to cut down on shadows and to also create the catch lights on both sides of the pupils. This image is of course my obligatory tribute to Martin Schoeller. 

The editing was pretty basic as well. I used editing layers to push the levels, contrast & brightness as well as saturation then finished with a warming filter. Used the clone and healing brushes to do a little touch up but not much. 

 

Portraits of a friend.

A friend and local paramedic here in Tulsa, OK Mitchell Sharp was kind enough to pose for a few portraits to help me work through some lighting setups, and this is what we came up with.

A few different arrangements, two light setup with softboxes then with reflectors and then of course my obligatory tribute to Martin Schoeller. Not quite exact but getting there. With that being said its not an attempt to just being exact to what Martin Scholler does and is famous for but to use it as more of a springboard to something of my own. To disect and then kind of reverse engineer then learn and create something of my own from there. Because we all learn from from what we see and experience in the world around us.

Tulsa Artist Thomas Tabor, in his studio.

I was able to go visit a friend and local Tulsa Artist Thomas Tabor in his studio. He has been using a process called hydro-dipping (Hydrographics). It is a method of applying designs to three-dimensional surfaces. Here are a few of the images that I captured during my visit while he worked. Yes, there studio is well ventilated and yes the fumes were still very strong.

Portraits of Steve.

My friend Steve came over for dinner, yay Hideaway Pizza – if you ever find yourself in Tulsa, OK and are in need of some good pizza go here, then we ended up working on a couple of portraits. Something quick and not too complicated. I already had the basic setups in mind that I wanted to try, so it wasn’t too difficult getting it together and making it happen.

Steve Taylor

Single light on Steve with a cone reflector, and one light bounced off the wall in the opposite direction, to provide a silhouette to define the back of his head. 1/250 f/5 44mm

 

Steve Taylor

I wanted to try a basic portrait while modifying the catch lights in his eyes. I blocked half of the soft-box on both lights, to isolate the light and keep the catch light narrow on either side of his pupils. 1/250 f/5 38mm

This wasn’t a big production, something small and easy to do, HELL I did it in my living room. Taking a few minutes to move a chair and a table, put the lights up, work the exposure, then away I went. Its something anyone can do, you just have to take the time and put in the effort and do it.

So no matter what you can always make a picture or two, not much to it. All it takes is the idea and the will to do it.