Black & White

I love black & white. It might sound like a stupid thing to say, but it’s very true. I’d probably shoot everything in B&W if I could. It’s timeless. It’s sensual. It’s captivating. It’s forgiving. It’s classy & classic.

I’ve recently started to collaborate with talented stylist Coralie. She models as well and she’s a real crack at it. I moved into my studio a few weeks back and had the first shoots there about a weer or so ago. Loving it. Having a space for yourself where you can be creative, leave your gear, drop in at any time is amazing.

For the first shoot we wanted to do something indian-themed. Having all that detail in feathers and accessories is amazing and we figured it would make for something nice. We weren’t dissapointed. The main light on the shot above is a gridded beautydish (gotta love the contrast it creates) and a softbox for fill light.

I was amazed by the versatilty of shoot-through umbrella’s. People often wave them off too easily. Never understood why. Compared to other light modifiers they’re dirt cheap, light, they travel well and if it starts raining your covered. Lighting here was a simple shoot-through high above the model and another flash behind her as a contour light. Loving it.

 

Once again, versatility of the umbrella. Popped one open high above her, pointing down. We were outside so upped the shutter speed to kill the ambient and this is what came out. Corrected in LR3 and just a single oldschool Nikon SB-24. Proof you don’t always need profoto to make a killer shot!

 

A couple of weeks later we had a second shoot which was completely improvised. The only thing that was set was that we wanted super-duper harsh contrasts. That was going to be the name of the series. All the togs reading this instantly make the link to two words. Selective lighting. Photography really is all about lighting, and controlling it is the hardest thing. definitely. It also makes photography expensive because you need gear to control your light, and for some godforsaken reason that gear is expensive gear. Those grids must be made of unicorn teeth or something.

 

So I popped a beatydish left of her. Gridded and pointing towards her face. All were profoto. Loving their stuff for studio, and wished I could’ve worked with them in the past. There are two reverse ambrella’s lighting the background to make the silhouette stand out. There’s another softbox right of her for fill light on her side.

 

Same setup here, although I removed the two umbrella’s shooting in the back, and replaced them with a softbox on it’s side to create the gradient lighting you see in the background. Color stability is amazing with Profoto. Recycle times are off the hook.

 

 

We had to get some portrait shots in here. Strong face, lovely model. Rocking the B&W. There’s just something about it, it’s ethereal. It’s timeless. These shots could’ve been taken in 1980, 1990 or 2012.

 

Once more, same setup as before.

 

 

Selective lighting at it’s best. It’s all about creating shadows where you want ’em. That’s the hardest part about photography. Controlling light is your strength, and if you can’t, your weakness.

 

These were the first shoots in the studio, and we’re allready boiling up some others.

All of these were shot on Nikon cameras, 85mm f/1.8, ISO 100-200 and on Sandisk Digital Film. Planning some PhaseONE IQ180 tests for April.

I’ve also been shooting a lot of analog. I’ll post some on the blog later.

More to come soon…

Cheers, MM

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