Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Favorite Models

I'm writing a series of articles for my personal website. The articles include lens reviews, places to shoot, tutorials for photographic techniques, and other subjects photographic. I finished a couple of articles yesterday; one on the Canon 85 f/1.2 L lens and another on the Canon 135 f/2 L lens.

I illustrate my reviews, of course, with photos taken with the lenses or at the places of which I'm writing. In the case of the two lenses I wrote about yesterday, the model here was used prominently to illustrate the lenses capabilities and to provide example shots to draw the readers' attention. As you can see, Christine would draw anyone's eye.

Christine is an aspiring model, and I worked with her for a couple of years assisting her with some shots she needed for her portfolio and for some modeling applications. She works hard, shows up on time, and really contributes to the creative endeavor. I really miss working with her. It has been over a year now, and I do hope she is doing well with her career.

The last time we worked together was in August of 2006. We were working on getting her a portfolio established on one of the major online modeling publications. We had gotten several shoots completed for her outdoor glamour portfolio and were about to start working on some more generalized fashion and activity shots when she abruptly told me she wouldn't be modeling anymore for very well thought-out personal reasons. It's really a shame, because she was truly my favorite model and I do miss working with her.

When I was writing yesterday, I found the photos of her best illustrated the particular concepts forwarded by the articles, and that got me to thinking about Christine and how she was doing and how much fun it was to shoot with her. I miss her energy and her willingness to try new poses and concepts, as well as her ability to look at the positive.

Christine, wherever you are, I hope you're doing well and that you've taken up modeling again.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pinup Photography

The other day a friend asked me aboutu 1940's and 50's style pin-up photography. She said they had never seen any on my site and wondered if I had ever done it. My answer to them was I had done it, but nothing recently and that it was a matter of costume, setting and lighting. After more thought, I realized that those three attributes determine the style or genre of any people photography.

In any event, I went looking through my archives to see if I could find any specific examples, and of my digital files, this is the closest I 've come to that genre of photography since moving to digital. I did find some slides done with other models that were closer to the style, but I've found that the older Ektachrome slides I used don't scan well to digital.

To be really more of a 50's pinup style, though, the model's pose in this photo needs to be more elongated, that is, her body should be stretched out with much more emphasis on the legs and torso. Additionally, the props need to be more closely aligned to the costume. In this case, a red toy sack and a Christmas tree background would be more appropriate.

So, I've been doing quite a bit of research on this style of glamour, and I think that will be one of my winter photos projects, i.e. to shoot a series of 1940's and 1950's style pinups. I'm working on getting access to the loft of a shop which may work out well for a winter photography studio. I have a number of models that will be willing to work with me for copies of the prints for the portfolios, or for a modest fee. It's really, then only a matter of buying the props and costumes and optimizing the lighting. I need to research the lighting styles a bit more, but I've ordered a couple of Bunny Yeager's books and those will provide good examples for what I'm trying to accomplish. With any luck, I'll be able to post a new entry here is a few weeks with some examples of these types of photos.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Favorite Lenses

I enjoy using different lenses on my cameras. The primary reason I bought my first Single Lens Reflex camera was the fact that I could change the lenses on the camera to choose the one most appropriate for the subject I was photographing. Although I've owned many Point and Shoot (P&S) cameras (and I still do), my tool of choice is still a Single Lens Reflex camera with interchangeable lenses.

I went digital with my photography in 1998 and at that time the only economically feasible digital cameras were Point and Shoots. Digital SLR's at that time cost many thousands of dollars. I still shot film, but what I really wanted was the convenience of digital combined with the versatility and image quality of a DSLR. That didn't occur until late 2000 with the release of Canon's D30 DSLR (Nikon had a DSLR earlier, but since all my lenses were Canon, it wasn't an economically viable option for me). With the release of that camera I had my wish and I've since expanded my lens collection significantly.

As I was shooting some photos this weekend for a lens comparison article I'm writing, I realized that there are few lenses that are just wonderful for photography and have to be listed as my favorites. One of these lenses is the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 with which the posted photo was taken. This lens is a great deal because for the money you got a wonderful low-light lens with fast auto-focus and great image quality. It's big brother, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II can produce better image quality and has lower light capability, but at a significantly increased price and with slower AF speed.

As you can see from the image here, this lens is quite capable and produces lovely images. I almost sold it last year, but pulled it from my "to sell" list at the last minute. I'm certainly glad I did.


Friday, November 2, 2007


I took a longer lunch today and did a photo shoot with a long-time friend of mine, Montanna. I've known Montana for about 5 years, I think. I met her through another friend of mine, and we've done a few photo shoots together. After modeling for a while, she took a break, but is now looking to get back into the business. She has a portfolio on One Model Place and I'll be helping her build and expand her portfolio over the next several months (I hope).

The photo shoot we did this afternoon was fairly quick. We shot under the St. Johns Bridge and it was quite cool down by the river. Montana is a slender young woman, and I could tell the chill was getting to her when we weren't in the direct sunlight. She was quite game and very enthusiastic about the photo shoot, though, so anyone that hires her as a model would be very pleased with the results, I'm sure.