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Need some portrait help/resources

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jloden, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    As part of my efforts to continue improving my photography, I've been trying to research and study the work of other great photographers. I noticed that although I've always loved photographing inanimate objects & wildlife, portraits and shots involving people consistently seem to grab me the most.

    I am particularly enamored of the portrait style of Yousuf Karsh for example, with his beautiful B&W tones, lighting, & connection to his subjects. I also noticed that consistently I seem drawn to B&W portraits done with large and medium format cameras (both film & digital). I'm not sure why the medium & large format work is so appealing to me, possibly it's something about the detail captured or large dynamic range has an effect. All I know is I consistently single out images I like and later find out they were done with larger formats. Probably not the ideal look for a m4/3 user to be aiming for, I know :biggrin:

    Anyway, what I'm looking for is any recommendations on resources (books, websites, videos, workshops) on portrait photography. I've no in-depth experience with supplemental lighting, post-processing, posing models etc. so I've got plenty to study up on at this point. Just looking for some general pointers at this stage. And of course, resources geared more towards the Karsh style of portrait versus glamour or fashion work would be ideal.

    EDIT: should clarify, I'm not looking to "ape" Karsh or anything, just interested in B&W portraits and lighting styles :smile:

    Thanks in advance! :2thumbs:
  2. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill (really)
    For some basic information about some practical advice, you might try a video on youtube by the wedding photographer, Bambi Cantrell. I found it very helpful.

    It's an 88 min video (one of a series) that covers a lot of ground:

    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcP9MrXbgxA]Posing and Lighting with Bambi Cantrell: 10:00 AM - Posing and Lighting Overview - YouTube[/ame]

    After that, I'm a fan of reading up so that you know what's good; but then letting your own style emerge. You can copy for practice (it's often done in the art world), but you'll never feel it's your own.

    • Like Like x 1
  3. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    Joe McNally's "The Language of Light" DVD is full of info on off-camera lighting and other techniques for manipulating/creating light for portraits.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    Buy a LF camera... while you can. It's a rabbit hole of a hobby, well worth it though.
    • Like Like x 1
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