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Portrait of a Friend

  
 
DanielScott
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Portrait of a Friend


Congratulations to DanielScott for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 6 votes - View Previous Winners


My friend Brian, who was kind enough to let me live in his home for a month while I was looking for a place of my own. The least I could do was take a portrait of him. Without any flash available to me at the time I set up a backdrop in his front yard, using natural light and a reflector for lighting.

Shot using an original Canon 5D with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens.
1/125th sec, f/9, ISO 500.
A note on the styling: Brian was a zen monk in Japan for a very long time and wanted to be photographed in his robes.



Edited on Feb 28, 2022 at 05:37 PM · View previous versions



Feb 28, 2022 at 11:37 AM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Portrait of a Friend


Some of the very best portraits are made with avaialble light. You don't need a lot of stuff to make great portraits. You do need the ability to see light.

This is a wonderful portrait. Just wonderful!!

A great quote by one of the greatest photographers.
"Today's photographers think differently. Many can't see real light anymore. They think only in terms of strobe - sure, it all looks beautiful but it's not really seeing. If you have the eyes to see it, the nuances of light are already there on the subject's face. If your thinking is confined to strobe light sources, your palette becomes very mean - which is the reason I photograph only in available light."
Alfred Eisenstaedt



Feb 28, 2022 at 11:47 AM
Dneufarth
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Portrait of a Friend


It truly is all about the light—you have drawn an incredible portrait here. Just as is true of Allen’s work, I always seem to gain some benefit when I view your images.

Derek



Feb 28, 2022 at 02:50 PM
DanielScott
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Portrait of a Friend


airfrogusmc wrote:
Some of the very best portraits are made with avaialble light. You don't need a lot of stuff to make great portraits. You do need the ability to see light.

This is a wonderful portrait. Just wonderful!!

A great quote by one of the greatest photographers.
"Today's photographers think differently. Many can't see real light anymore. They think only in terms of strobe - sure, it all looks beautiful but it's not really seeing. If you have the eyes to see it, the nuances of light are already there on the subject's face. If your thinking is confined to strobe light
...Show more

Thank you, I really appreciate that. I love both natural light and flash photography and have put a lot of work towards trying to master both, but for several years natural light was the only thing available to me. I had a lot of lighting gear stolen from me early on in my start to photography ten years ago. At the time I felt that all portraits needed flash because this is what the majority of other online photographers were trying to drill into my head, and I was going down a rabbit hole that was really limiting my perspective and in my opinion sterilizing my work. When my equipment was stolen I was forced to use only my camera, a single prime lens, natural light and a reflector. I'm grateful every day that this happened to me because I never would have discovered my love for natural lighting and I never would have developed a skill for seeing natural light. Nowadays I use both very regularly, but my experience with natural light has greatly affected the way I apply flash in any given situation, even when it's the only light source being used. Perhaps I would have come to the same point I'm at today eventually, but I like to believe I never would have developed my lighting skills without having that experience.

Edited on Feb 28, 2022 at 03:22 PM · View previous versions



Feb 28, 2022 at 03:20 PM
DanielScott
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Portrait of a Friend


Dneufarth wrote:
It truly is all about the light—you have drawn an incredible portrait here. Just as is true of Allen’s work, I always seem to gain some benefit when I view your images.

Derek


Thank you so much Derek. I'm honored that anyone could view my photos in that way.



Feb 28, 2022 at 03:21 PM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Portrait of a Friend


DanielScott wrote:
Thank you, I really appreciate that. I love both natural light and flash photography and have put a lot of work towards trying to master both, but for several years natural light was the only thing available to me. I had a lot of lighting gear stolen from me early on in my start to photography ten years ago. At the time I felt that all portraits needed flash because this is what the majority of other online photographers were trying to drill into my head, and I was going down a rabbit hole that was really limiting my perspective
...Show more

For me work demands it (on location studio flash) because at times I can't be in a situation where the light is right to get what I am needing. But I do try and mimic north window light when I have to. When using portable small strobes for fill I gel to match the available light and use them as fil not the key lgiht. So usually at least one stop down from available light. I like to keep things simple. Dean Collins said every time you add a light you add a problem. But I tend to use available or natural light whenever I can.



Edited on Feb 28, 2022 at 07:22 PM · View previous versions



Feb 28, 2022 at 05:02 PM
DanielScott
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Portrait of a Friend


airfrogusmc wrote:
For me work demands it (on location studio flash) because at times I can't be in a situation where the light is right to get what I am needing. But I do try and mimic north window light when I have to. When using portable small strobes for fill I gel to match the available light and use them as fil not the key lgiht. So usually at least one stop down from available light. I like to keep things simple. Dean Collins said every time you add a light you add a problem. But I tend to use available
...Show more

I get worried at times before going into a job where I plan to use natural light only, but somehow I always seem to make it work and really enjoy the process once I'm in the moment, although sometimes I surprise myself when my expectations in my head were the worst scenario.



Feb 28, 2022 at 05:43 PM
Rajan Parrikar
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Portrait of a Friend


Loved them. What a great face.


Feb 28, 2022 at 06:12 PM
DanielScott
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Portrait of a Friend


Rajan Parrikar wrote:
Loved them. What a great face.


Thank you Rajan.



Feb 28, 2022 at 07:34 PM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Portrait of a Friend


DanielScott wrote:
I get worried at times before going into a job where I plan to use natural light only, but somehow I always seem to make it work and really enjoy the process once I'm in the moment, although sometimes I surprise myself when my expectations in my head were the worst scenario.


I hear ya brother. I am a recovering strobe-a-holic....To many years in the studio.



Feb 28, 2022 at 07:40 PM
 


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DanielScott
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Portrait of a Friend


airfrogusmc wrote:
I hear ya brother. I am a recovering strobe-a-holic....To many years in the studio.

Don't get me wrong though, I definitely love flash photography. Just not as passionately as natural light. Or maybe I just have an obsession with light in general lol.



Feb 28, 2022 at 09:03 PM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Portrait of a Friend


It's all about light but nothing we can manufacture has the same look as natural light.


Feb 28, 2022 at 11:05 PM
johnld
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Portrait of a Friend


It's also about the quality of light. Strobes for me are useful when I want to play with the ambient light and make the subjects stand out when shooting on location. However, 5200k continuous lights with barn doors, grids and gels can make for some beautiful Vermeer-like portraits. For me, the intrinsic nature of art in photography comes from a masterful use of light whether natural or not. For street photography, I think black and white is essential in creating mood and character and viewing the ambient light in terms of luminance levels.


Mar 01, 2022 at 11:38 AM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Portrait of a Friend


Yes quality of light is huge. How many know how to properly use modifiers to get the quality they desire? How many know the difference in the quality of light between soft boxes, umbrellas, parabolics etc. How many know how to feather light? But all of those things like ratios, what different modifiers can give you concerning quality of light, how to feather light, how to use reflectors and gobos can all be learned and they are not really that hard to learn. When to use a butterfly, broad or short light all not that difficult. It can take years but still not that hard really. Pretty formulated.

But learning to see light is something not so easily learned. In the northern hemisphere north window light is about as good as it gets. I agree with and there is a lot of truth in what Eisenstaedt said.

Back to the Daniels image, it is a fine example of an exceptional portrait. And I really like #2....



Mar 01, 2022 at 12:39 PM
James Markus
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Portrait of a Friend


Daniel, I love both of these portraits. For me #1 is the best technically, and #2 is the best composition. At f9 that 50mm f1.4 is very very sharp, yet it suits your friend Brian's Zen attire - IMO.
Jim



Mar 03, 2022 at 11:03 AM
DanielScott
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Portrait of a Friend


James Markus wrote:
Daniel, I love both of these portraits. For me #1 is the best technically, and #2 is the best composition. At f9 that 50mm f1.4 is very very sharp, yet it suits your friend Brian's Zen attire - IMO.
Jim


Thanks James. It's an excellent lens. I've seen others use it to great success at f/1.4, but I have had no such luck, but honestly prefer sharp focus when using the narrower f/stop settings such as f/5 through f/9 over the shallow depth of field myself.



Mar 03, 2022 at 06:28 PM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Portrait of a Friend


I am late to the dance Daniel!
I can't say much more than Allen, Jim and others. Yes it is all about the light!!!
Just wonderful photography and very well deserved FT win!!
Dan

Edited on Mar 12, 2022 at 01:36 PM · View previous versions



Mar 12, 2022 at 01:32 PM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Portrait of a Friend


CONGRATS!!!!


Mar 12, 2022 at 01:34 PM
DanielScott
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Portrait of a Friend


Danpbphoto wrote:
I am late to the dance Daniel!
I can't say much more than Allen, Jim and others. Yes it is all about the light!!!
Just wonderful photography and very well deserved FT win!!
Dan


Thank you so much Dan.



Mar 15, 2022 at 01:13 AM
DanielScott
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Portrait of a Friend


airfrogusmc wrote:
CONGRATS!!!!


Thanks friend.



Mar 15, 2022 at 01:14 AM
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