Posts Tagged ‘portrait’

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 Cowherds

June 10th, 2011

Hyderabad is a fantastic and interesting place.

We were lucky enough to have a great driver who doubled as a tour guide on my trip there. As we were driving on a highway, I spotted the ruin of a mosque rising up from the small buildings to the right of us.

I asked the driver to stop, and we entered the narrow streets and headed towards it. And there it was, around the bend. Absolutely beautiful. Overgrown with green. Small plants and flowers growing out of cracks. Hundreds of years old, by the looks of it. Neglected. Crumbling. Seeming forgotten despite the bustle of life around it.

The mosque turned out to be inaccessible. Walled off from all sides. The driver, a man in his sixties, told us that he used to come often to that neighbourhood as a child. But as sectarian troubles began to increase between Hindus and Muslims, gradually the Muslims left the neighbourhood.

Round the back of the mosque, we came across a herd of cows and goats, tied up and docile.

Turned out the Hindu family nearby were raising them. Also turned out that the family elder was our driver’s wrestling instructor when he was a child. They hadn’t seen each other in some fifty years. It was an extraordinary moment.

We got to spend a little time with the family, and eventually I was allowed to take pictures.

The elder:

The son:

Father & son:

I feel privileged to have gotten a glimpse at a different side of life in India. One not many people get to see.

More coming soon!

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Posted in Animals, People, Portraits, Travel/Urban | Comments (1)

The Coconut Vendor

April 9th, 2011

This portrait was made in Hyderabad, India, as I took a stroll in the early evening. Makeshift stalls were everywhere on the crowded streets, with vendors selling their wares as people celebrated the Makar Sankranti harvest festival.

To me this picture represents the innate kindness and generosity of people. The small kindness of strangers, and how the smallest of things – a smile – can allow people to open up to others. This lady initially tried to sell me some coconuts, and after a smile and a laugh were exchanged, she handed me a flower as a token of the festival season.

More coming soon!

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Posted in People, Portraits, Travel/Urban | Comments (0)

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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Self Portrait on a Train

November 6th, 2010

I was lucky enough to take the train a number of times this year. I can never really get enough of train rides. Especially since it’s a mode of travel which is pretty much non-existent in the Middle East. To me, train rides will always have a certain, perhaps romantic and certainly peaceful, connotation. I enjoy all aspects of travel by train, starting from the bustling chaos in the giant hangar-like boxes that are train stations.

Earlier this year, I’d been trying to slow my life down to the point where I could assimilate it all and start enjoying it again. And I think those train rides in March and April were an excellent place to start. What a perfect way to experience and enjoy the beauty of Spring! But I’ve already waxed lyrical on train rides before, so I’ll stop here.

I was looking over my archives and found these two shots. Self-portraits I took as I was heading back in to Paris. They were silly test shots, but I think they came out alright. I am pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve changed since then.

On another note, here are a few quirky things to enjoy:

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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The Tea Cup

September 1st, 2010

This is a shot from my archives, taken on the plane on the way to Bangalore, India for a wedding in October of last year.

I was setting up to make the portrait of an elderly gentleman and realised that I had packed my speedlights in my suitcase, which was *cough* conveniently in the plane’s hold.

So, I had to work with available light. Must say, not much light on a plane. I ended up switching on every reading light I could find and directing it, so far as possible, in the direction of my subject (which is why there are so many spots of light reflecting in the kind old man’s eyes).

I made a number of test shots, with the kind assistance of my frs. This was one of them. I loved how it turned out.

More coming soon!

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A Portrait of Defeat

August 20th, 2010

In case you were wondering what defeat looked like.

My 10-year-old cousin, dejected and exhausted, after being beaten at ping-pong by another cousin (who happens to be a champion of the sport, with medals and cups and stuff).

More coming soon!

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The Various States of Marriage

August 7th, 2010

Earlier this year, one of my dearest and best friends asked me to hop over to London to make some pictures of him and his lovely fiancée. He was hoping to use them for the purpose of putting together some shots for the wedding website they were creating.

So that’s how I happened to find myself spending a grand total of some 6 hours in London, 5 of which I spent shadowing the bride and groom.

Before we started I was a little worried as I was unable to obtain any of the lighting equipment I was hoping to use. All I had were two small flash guns which had trouble cycling at the speeds I wanted and as a result had inconsistent output levels.

But I worked with the limitations of my gear. I needn’t have worried. I was quite lucky as shooting them was made so much easier by the fact that they were quite relaxed with me behind the lens – even with my madly running around them with a flash fitted with a mini softbox.

It was indescribably rewarding to spend time with them both. For the most part they behaved as though I wasn’t even there, which gave me the chance to see how truly mad about each other they are.

We explored the hotel ballroom where they held their wedding (on the 23rd of July), we tore apart (what is now) their house together, and wandered around Regent’s Park. We talked, laughed, made fools of ourselves and generally had a riot of a time.

I eventually came away with some 106 shots I was happy with, and some truly amazing memories.

During the short time I was with them, the couple randomly moved through pretty much every state of marriage. Below are a selection of pictures illustrating what I mean (in no particular order).

The Romance.

The Rage and Violence.

The Power Struggle.

The Sharing.

The Fun.

And below, what is possibly my favourite picture of the day:

The Occasional Smothering.

More coming soon!

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Girl by the Window

July 28th, 2010

I came across this picture in my archives. It was taken late last year in Lebanon when I was exploring abandoned houses in Batroun, Lebanon.

I lit my friend with an SB900 set up on the floor to camera right, and a distance away, with a hint of backlighting from the light bouncing off the cieling and wall beyond the window.

The picture would have perhaps benefited from a little softer lighting, but I still very much enjoyed the play of light.

More coming soon!

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