Question about protraits with the gh3

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by cuervo.taylor, May 30, 2013.

  1. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    Hi guys,

    I love photographers JAmes Mollison photography, principally his aproach to portrait.

    I want to know is there any possibility to do a serious project of shooting protraits with the gh3 similar to these ones:




    I have his book where these photos appear it is called Where children sleep, very impacting and interesting.

    So If you wanted to attempt something similar with the gh3 or any other micro 4/3 camera what lens you need? do you also need lightining or available light would be enough? a tripod is a must?

    I know it is not possible to copy the exact style of the photographer but I'm very interested in shooting portraits similar to these ones.

    any advice, guidance, info greatly appreaciate
  2. BillW

    BillW Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Scranton, PA
    Sure you can.

    The GH3 is a very capable camera. I put my Canon 5D on the shelf for a G5 in the studio and have not looked back.

    I won't go on a long rant, but you need a decent lens to start with. A tripod is a big help, but be sure to turn off any lens or camera stabilization when you're on a tripod.

    As far as lighting goes, you can do available light, but it's often unpredictable if you're planning to shoot with any consistency. From what I can tell (by the catchlights in the eyes), they were shot with a main light and a fill (in an umbrella and a softbox).
    I'm not seeing any hairlight, but I'm guessing a background light was used as well. Nothing special going on's pretty flat, even lighting all around.
  3. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    It's trivial for a GH3. The lighting is a whole other matter.

    If you look at the subjects eyes, you will see reflections of umbrellas and light boxes. The white seamless background is lit by at least one other light.

    The vast majority of studio photographers use a tripod.

    Portrait photography requires two skills: being able to interact and connect to the subject, and being able to light a subject. Everything else are just technical details.

    I would also strongly suggest reading Kirk Tuck's blog. He knows how to do both things.
  4. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    Many thanks guys. I would have never noticed the lights in the eyes of the subjects. But now I can totally see the box and the umbrella (which I think is the round light).

    Not sure how this guy carry around all that equipment around the world.

    Glad to hear the gh3 can achieve that.

    I have the voigtlander 25mm and the panny 7-14mm

    I think I need another lens for this type of work maybe the Oly 45mm? or what other one you would recommend me?
  5. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 20, 2011
    IMO, don't worry about your lenses, the portraits are much more about the lighting and setup, not having a particular lens.
  6. To be honest I would have preferred to have seen portraits like these done without the white sheet background and instead been "environmental" portraits in the field without the studio look. The use of the white background makes the type of lens used less important, but the lighting setup needs to such that the subject's shadow is not cast behind them.
  7. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    You don't need a tripod, what you do need is learn about lighting and hopefully more than the original photographer of these. The first photo looks from the catchlight as he used an umbrella camera left(slightly) and on camera flash. The lighting is flat and uninteresting. In the other images the backgrounds weren't lit properly and underexposed.

    First thing I would do in your shoes is read this book to learn about lighting.
    Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting: Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua: 9780240812250: Books

    In terms of equipment you could shoot these with an iPhone if you really wanted to (The iPhone Fashion Shoot By Lee Morris | Fstoppers)
  8. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I'm not a studio photographer, but I know enough to say studio portraits are all about lighting, not the lens. You could probably do this with the kit zoom if you had proper lighting.
  9. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    actually I didn't now the guy was a studio photographer (except for the flat white background).

    Do you think he also used artificial lightining in the rooms of the children? or only available light?
  10. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    They are all flash. Hard to tell on any ambient lighting or modeling lights. Get the book trust me
  11. Manu-4Vendetta

    Manu-4Vendetta Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Dominican Republic
    Im not a studio photographer, I dont use flash, but I think you can get a great result with the GH3 with the Zuiiko 45mm f1.8 and a light kit.

    So, I wold prefer the photos on original place or without the neutral background.
  12. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    I completely agree. The lighting for these could have been much better. It looks to me like he set his fill to high and that flattened the light. Less fill would add dimension to the face and make the photos much more interesting.
  13. cuervo.taylor

    cuervo.taylor Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    I also like this konstantin suslov portraits:




    What to you guys think of these portraits?

    In accordance to where I read about him, he only uses available lights.

    Can you recommend me more photographers who only use available lights for portraits?
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