Sunday, June 23, 2013


Artyom Tri-xI am not very good at taking portraits. I would love to learn how and maybe someday I will take a workshop on existing light portraiture. I don't dislike studio portraits, but as a photographer, I think that it is just a whole bunch of work setting up lights while the benefit of shooting for as long as you want without worrying about the light changing is, for me personally not worth it. I like changing light. I did an engagement shoot at the beach once. We showed up about 90min before sunset and the light started out good and just got better and better and there was plenty of time to get all the shots I wanted.

This one was just set in my living room. There is a window about a foot to the right of the subject. There is another window maybe 18 feet to the left and 15 feet up. The sun is shining onto a building outside the window to the right and there is a set of sheers covering it. That gives a directional, but diffuse main light and the high window gives a bit of highlight and fill. I shot this with my Speed Graphic press camera loaded with Kodak Tri-x 320. I used EI 320 and shot f/7.7 for 1sec. A cable release is essential in these situations. The tripod was sitting on a carpeted floor, so really any touch would have moved it enough to blur the shot.

The negative is better than my scanning skills reveal. The highlights aren't as blown as they look here. I might send this off for printing in which case I would just send the negative and have the lab do a drum scan and inkjet print. Then I would have a high res scan and a print. I could then do any editing I wanted on the computer and send it back for another print electronically.

Any pointers on shooting portraits with existing light are very welcome.