Nighttime Portrait Photography: I’ve been missing in action lately with my photography. So much I want to start doing and don’t know where to start.
Photographing a gown for a friend of mine in San Jose.
I was asked to come to San Jose to photograph a gown and I was pretty excited. I haven't really been to San Jose in a very long time and I still knew some places to photograph.
We met at San Jose City Hall and it looked amazing. The architect was just something I have never seen before.
Getting started wasn't too hard with lots of hard light and lots of shaded area. I did only use my 40mm macro lens and a Twisted 60 LensBaby. On the side I had a reflector and and umbrella which was not needed. It turned out that I mainly used my 40mm lens over the LensBaby.
We later went to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which was really sunny and bright.
I've taken a self assignment project the last couple of weeks on adding foreground. But when do you add foreground? It's when ever you want to.
There's is no wrong time to add foreground, for it is very subjective. Does it work at the moment? How much are you putting in and is it balanced with the image itself? Colors can also be part of the balance.
I've been photographing for years now, that I can look into the viewer and balance through what I see. I also see my freedom with digital media cards from being limited from my film days. Knowing I only had so many shots to do my assignment. It''s up to you what you want in focus and how much of it.
I get asked a lot "What is my favorite camera?"
This has always been hard to answer, because I have quite a few cameras. From my iPhone to my Nikon's. To me they seem to do all the same thing, take pictures. Even when comparing with other brands such as Canon's, Sony, Pentax, etc....
My senior year in collage. I used a Mamyia 645pro. (medium format). Film was twice as big than 35mm film and you pick up more details when printing in the darkroom. And the freedom to change film backs without ruining the film. (I'll have that in a future blog).
My all time favorite camera that I have used was a Sinar F1 4x5 camera. Though the first time I used it, it controlled me with all the swings, tilts and rises. These are great for architectural photography for distortion correction on the buildings or landscapes. The 2 semesters experience of nothing but using the F1, was just amazing.
It almost felt like a stepped back in time with this. Setting it up on a tripod, using a loop on the ground glass to make sure it's in focus, cocking the lens and then releasing the shutter with the cable. Clamping the film holder down and pulling out the film shade out just felt old fashion and fun. This is what they had to work with when photography was growing, but longer exposures and harder processing techniques.
I mainly used it for studio work in collage and I was actually aiming as a product photographer. With this, you have the freedom to shoot polaroids to get an idea of where your lighting falls or you need to adjust something. After that you load in your single shot film holder and press your release cable. When developing chrome film was very pricey at times. But picking it up and looking at the developed film sheet was just and eye opener. "WOW" was my first reaction.
These are not ideal for action shots such as a wedding or a sporting event. And I have never taken one outdoor.
Here are some samples of some of my work with 4x5 camera.
I have photographed my niece's Quiceañera in 2015. The hard part of photography is doing it for family and treating it like a paying client. Taking photos there was no problem. Time for editing and designing a book was the hard part. Though they have been very patient with me, I have sent them photos to look at and print for themselves.
For me, the wait was worth it. I have learned some design techniques and how to use more Photoshop tools with the photos and layouts.
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© Claude Peña