As I've mentioned recently, I'm trying to get more skillful with formal portraiture, and to that end yesterday I had another practice session with fellow Kyoto resident Stéphane Barbery.
We had a ton of new lighting equipment but very little experience on how to use it, so our main goal was to just try all kinds of lighting setups to see what worked and what didn't work. I'll write more on that later.
We also tried to see what worked on the human level... there's so much more behind a good result than technical skill... you have to have/create a certain connection between the one shooting and the one being shot. We've known each other for years, but it's a very different thing to put a camera in between, so in one sense we were starting from scratch.
But there's clear progress from the first time we did this, back in June. To revisit that shoot, here's the lead photo from “Trying a Little Formal Portraiture, Round 1: Stéphane Barbery Shoots Me”:
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/1.4, ISO 400 — image data
photo and processing by Stéphane Barbery
Maybe it helps that this time I have a shave and a shirt with a collar (a ¥790 collared version of the Uniqlo Dry T), but I think it also represents progress in lighting, in Stéphane's skill behind the camera, and in my comfort in front of it. Maybe my max cliché photo shoot helped in that regard.
I'm happy to be able to show one of the shots I took:
As of this morning, the computer that I do all my photo stuff on is currently in the shop for repairs so I don't have access to the photos, which is one reason I'm posting Stéphane's copies. Another reason is to continue progress in learning to let go of my self-image hangups by showing someone else's photographic post-processing, especially someone else who artistic sense sometimes differs from mine.
Along those lines, here's a shot he took of me that we have different feelings on:
Something about it is downright creepy to me, as if the caption should be “Your children were absolutely delicious!”, but it's one of a small group he picked as the best of the whole day, so I dunno. What do you think?
I think these shots from yesterday were taken with the unparalleled Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5; I'll add data under the photos once I get my laptop back and can check the details.
To be continued...