Posts Tagged ‘lastolite’

Baby Benny & Dad

June 30th, 2011

Friends of mine, a couple, were not long ago blessed with the birth of the most adorable little boy. Now, the father is an accomplished photographer himself and so it was proving a little difficult to find him in front of a lens.

So eventually they asked me to make some portraits of their little family. And it was one of the most fun shoots I’d had in a long time.

Here are a few pictures:

All shots taken with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 prime lens, and lit (not always directly) with two studio lights, one of which was firing through my trusty Lastolite Hi Lite background and the other through a Lastolite Ezybox softbox.

More coming soon!

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The Friendly Neighbourhood Hydromancer

January 31st, 2011

As promised, this is another photograph from The Saint’s photoshoot (his garb has, of course, *magically* changed from white to black).

Here he is seen scrying in a bowl of water.

I lit him with one studio strobe shooting through a softbox high to camera left, and another strobe firing through my Lastolite HiLite Background.

More coming soon!

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The Saint

December 1st, 2010

Oh my. We’re already in December. Where is the time GOING?!

Well, I may not be around for the next few days. And so until I return I leave you with a few portraits of Abu Dhabi’s resident saint. Now ask yourself – seeing as the X-mas season is upon us – this year, have you been naughty or nice? (Regardless, check out Wired’s list of top 100 mad gift ideas for geeks (and other humanoids) who have everything here.)

And without further ado, meet the saint:

The saint is in fact a (mostly saintly – he knows what he did – tsk tsk) friend of mine who has braved appearing in front of my lens before. I wanted to test out gear and we both aimed to make it fun. Some more shoots from that session will no doubt find their way onto this blog again soon. Below, another candid shot.

I lit the saint from behind on with a studio light firing through my Lastolite Hilite background, and from top left with another studio light firing through a Lastolite softbox.

On another note, today I share with you a number of videos (yep, not exactly photography related, for once) of totally random things made extraordinary through slow motion:

Happy National Day UAE!

More coming soon!

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The Nobility of Time

November 2nd, 2010

Dali. The mad genius.

Regardless whether you love or hate his works, it cannot leave you unmoved. For my part, the effortless grace and simplicity in his madness speaks to me. And I enjoy how the meaning of his works to me has changed as I have grown older and the way I view the world has evolved.

I recently had the chance to shoot a sculpture by Dali  titled “The Nobility of Time” (yep, the real thing). Here are two pictures from that shoot.

For the above shot I added a quarter CTB (color temperature blue) gel to the background flash. It gave a slightly blue tint to the back of the sculpture, as well as to the white surface upon which it rested.

The second shot was made without the CTB gel.

I lit both shots with a studio flash firing through a softbox high to camera left, and another firing through my HiLite Background (I love that thing).

The Nobility of Time was described follows (I don’t remember where I got the text from, sorry):

Dali’s melted and crowned watch is both draped against and supported by the remains of a tree – the trunk sprouts new life and its roots entwine a stone. The terminology, “the crown of a watch” is assumed to mean a mechanical device that allows us to set the hands and wind the timepiece. Time, however, according to a Dalinian watch, has no internal power or motion. Given this watch’s lack of movement, the crown is interpreted as a royal crown adorning the watch, clearly identifying time’s mastery over human beings, rather than being an object of utility. His majesty is attended by two reoccurring, mystic Dalinian symbols: a pensive angel and a nude female figure elegantly draping herself in a long piece of cloth.

As the watch melts over the tree, it transforms into a human profile, underlining the interminable relationship between human beings and time. The unexpected softness of the watch also represents the psychological aspect whereby time, whilst considered to be a precise and fixed concept, can in fact vary significantly in human perception. The flow of time and its unusually irrational nature developed into an obsession for Dali; the image and symbolism of the melted watch thus reoccurred in many of his works.

On another note:

More coming soon!

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Mr. & Mrs. Smith

October 24th, 2010

Not long ago a friend of mine needed his portrait taken for use in a newspaper article that was to feature him.

So he called me up and we set up a photoshoot in my living room. Once the formal shots were taken, we decided to just have some fun and we even managed to rope his lovely fiancee into the game as well.

I lit them with 2 studio lights, one firing through my (oh-so-awesome) Lastolite HiLite Background which I set up behind them and the other high to camera left firing down and through a softbox.

Here are some of the shots from that day.

Effortlessly cool.

Some of the best advice I had ever been given on how to make people more comfortable in front of a lens consists of three words: give them props!

The super cool super spies.

On another note:

More coming soon!

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Mother of Pearl

October 18th, 2010

This picture was part of a test of some new gear I got: a Lastolite HiLite Illuminated Background. And I have to say, I love the background. It’s easy to set up and dismantle and works beautifully. One of the best (read most fun) investments in gear I’ve made yet.

Pictured is one of a set of two chairs which come with a folding games (cards, chess and backgammon) table. They’re wood inlaid with mother-of-pearl and handmade in Syria, a country with a long tradition in, and famous for, the handcrafting of quality mosaic furniture.

More coming soon!

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Making Faces

September 2nd, 2009

The Mischievous OnePeople are so interesting.

Perhaps that’s why I enjoy taking portraits so much; To try and catch something about them – something we don’t often see.

There’s something about faces that gets me most.

Eyes in particular: They can reveal so much about a person. Contemplation

Expression

Control of light is key. Anything that can help soften the light can help there – especially where the light is very bright (which I wanted it to be). Anything – such as my trusty Ezybox Lastolite softbox.

Unfortunately, it takes up space. Not much space. But any space counts when travelling on a short trip. So…

The Handsome Devil

When I travelled to Beirut, I debated taking only the barest gear. But in a sudden rush of madness I decided to leave my tripod behind and instead take the Ezybox.Cheeky-Haughty

Thankfully, I managed to put the Ezybox to good use. Which is very fortunate, as I really missed the use of my tripod.

For example, I took the Ezybox along to a dinner. I set up the soft box in a few minutes under the puzzled look of my fellow dinner guests. Then I made myself a makeshift modifier with one of the diffusing cloths that came in the kit with the softbox, a clothes hanger and some tape (thank you Strobist!)Gentle

Once that was done, I got people to, one by one, variously stand or sit for portraits.

I placed my SB800 in the softbox behind their heads to light them from behind.

To light them from the front/side, as I was wont, I occasionally managed to get my favourite Voice Activated Lightstand (aka my mum) to hand-hold my SB900 strobe unit behind the makeshift light modifier.Quirky

With everything in place, I just chatted with my subjects, asked them to try on different expressions, and waited until the moment it clicked.

Or at least, until the moment I thought it did. :)

So here are some of the results for your viewing pleasure.The Little AngelTwisty

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Prince of Arabia

August 17th, 2009

The PrinceA short while ago, I bribed a very good friend of mine into using him as a guinea pig in a lighting experiment.

I enticed him into the project by dangling a few swords from my collection in front of him, and letting him take swings with them.

The Prince's New ToyThe Prince at PlayThe Prince Prepares to Attack

With all my fiddling with knobs, buttons and settings, he proved a very patient subject – that is when he wasn’t taking swings at me with five feet of sharp 200-year-old steel. ;)

I learnt quite a lot from that session and I’m very grateful to him for it.The Prince Approaches

The lighting setup? One SB900 in an Ezybox Lastolite softbox and an SB800 with its diffuser attached and stood on my cats’ scratch post.

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