portraiture Tag

There is no doubt that two camera makers in the current market have been most successful in embracing the concept of retro style - I should have said three, but if I used the term Lomo in the same breath as Leica and Fujifilm, I would be chased from the place. And I haven't been chaste for years...

I am a fan of the softboxes that I own, but I only own two - and they are strip lights with grids. They do rim lighting a treat but I do not ask more of them. I've owned other softboxes before - a big octagon and an absolutely enormous rectangular one. They functioned well, but ultimately were supplanted for my studio purposes by umbrellas and beauty dishes. Personal preference and prejudice, if you will. The use of a softbox with a portable flash is a little more unusual - people who opt for this have a need to take the soft lighting out into the field. They'll have to deal with how to fire the flash and how to support the rig, but these are simple basics - a folding stand and a radio trigger. The benefit will be a far softer and more workable light than available with a bare speedlight. Worth having for portraiture and fashion shooting - nearly essential for wedding work. Is it going to make a difference whether you get a 40 cm or a 50 cm...

Come to think of it, that catchy title would make an equally catchy product name. Thanks, Lastolite - send me one when you make it. But today's Lastolite product is the answer for both the run-and-gun people shooter who has to keep their speedlight on their camera and the more ambitious portraitist who can get the gun off  and onto a light stand. It's an adaptation of a classic idea but with a couple of new convenient twists. To start with, and this is common in all the Lastolite range of goods, it is well packaged. They build for people who are going to haul their gear thither and yon repeatedly - the working pro and enthusiastic amateur who do not baby the goods. Hence they tend to bag everything in sturdy nylon cases with big zippers. This case contains a folding softbox - one that sticks to the front of your speedlight. The construction is such that the sides fold flat and the thing collapses on itself, with no complex rigging of struts required. The interior is silvered and has arrangements for...

No, We're not talking about another footballer's romance or a North Korean threat - it's the Lastolite Ezybox Micro - possibly the lightest of the large diffusers for speed lights. Certainly one of the easiest to put on and off. Speed light diffusers have a long history - all the way from those rigid plastic panels that you clipped above the Metz 45-series hammerhead flashes in the 1970's through to the strobist craze five years ago. There were innumerable things that attached to your speed light with rubber bands and velcro straps. Nearly all of them worked and nearly all of them were a pain. The ones that went on easily, came off easily - usually when you moved your camera from horizontal to vertical. The ones that stuck tight needed a welder's degree to attach and an oxy torch to take off. And the matter of needing a diffuser in the middle of an event shoot meant that both of these possibilities could occur at the same time. The heavy ones strained the joints of the speedlights - you would have...

Thank you for coming along to the Little Studio and being such a good photographic model. And thank you to all the people at Fujifilm Australia for letting me have time to try out the new GFX50s camera and lenses in the studio environment. It is my preferred milieu because it has controlled lighting and a coffee pot. And once I let the new medium format camera have its head - doing the thing that it does best - it proved to me how good it can be. The tabletop trial was not the thing - this camera needs more space between itself and the subject. It needs to be photographing fabulous detail in faces. And you need to be careful when you let it go - the detail it captures can be marvellous and terrifying at the same time. Dare I say too detailed for some occasions? If your purpose is to flatter your portrait sitters, and you are addicted to f:16 and smaller apertures, be prepared to be surprised. Also be prepared to have the sitters mad at you. You see,...

As a review of the new Fujifilm 50mm f:2 R WR lens I thought I would take it out of the model car studio for a change. Oh, I am sure it would do a fine job there, but the very nature of the focal length means that it would have less depth of field than the lenses already in use - and would not be the first choice. Instead, I took it to the local bird sanctuary and shot pictures from the observation platform. The first images were of the Variegated RFDS's taking off. These were snap shots - as soon as I arrived I could hear the noise begin and I had no time at all to turn the camera on, swivel, and capture the birds just taking flight. Interesting to note the speed with which the lens snapped into focus, and that with the AF point set to the lowest size. At this distance it is easy to know where to place the green AF rectangle on the Fujifilm X-Pro1 as there is little parallax to contend with.   The...

If you are going to be a professional press photographer covering the political and business scene you are going to have to have the ability to think on your feet, and think fast. You'll also have to have an eye for a situation as it develops - the rich and powerful rarely pause in their tracks to suit you - or if they do it is for extremely brief periods of time. The quick shot gets the page. This much was evident in the talk given at Shoot Photography last night by Attila Csaszar - a staff photographer for Business News in Western Australia. That's him posing with a copy of the magazine bannered with a portrait he took of the WA Premier. Not a surprise, that, for a business paper, but big news for the Leica enthusiasts at Shoot - because it was taken with a wide-angle lens on a Leica Q camera. The Leica Q is all wide angle and all Leica. You can't remove the lens but you can dial in three focal length outputs from it - with...

Get busy. The window of opportunity is about to shoot up and let you climb into a good thing. The Fremantle International Portrait Prize. Every two years the FIPP organises an on-line competition for portraiture. They receive entries, accompanied by a small fee, from all over the world and consider them in the light of several categories of work. Professional and careful judging, I might add - Judges who are prominent in the profession and knew what they are seeing. There is a long list of possible winners published to keep interest up...