23 Jul 2014
Every time I shoot this gem of an 85mm lens it embeds itself more firmly as my favourite portrait lens regardless of whether I am shooting head and shoulders or full length portraits. (For full length I just stand further back...) This portrait was shot at f2.8 on my crop sensor Nikon D300s and the backgrounds are just wonderful!
It is also not at a ridiculous price point and would generally be within affordable reach of most people who spent much more than the price of this lens on a new Nikon dslr body anyway. The small(ish) expense is certainly worth the jump in IQ that it provides.
20 Jul 2014
The best way to improve your portrait photography is to invest in a Speedlight... or two, and a wireless trigger system to be able to fire those flashes off camera. I use a cheap but reliable Phottix Strato system combined with two Nikon Speedlights and it has never let me down. Just make sure to have the batteries fully charged before you start and keep some spares handy too.
In this shot I have a Nikon SB700 to camera right shooting through a 105cm white umbrella set to 1/16 power and behind the model I have a Nikon SB600 on 1/64 power with no light modifier at all. My camera is at 1/200s, f2.8, and iso 200, handheld. I hate trying to shoot portraits on a tripod preferring to be able to adjust to my subjects movements freely.
When you have a lot of lights and like to work in a studio set-up utilising at least three of those lights for portraits (sometimes more...) then it can be very liberating to get out into the open air and do some portraits on the streets of LA (affectionate term the locals give to our small town of Landskrona) and be restricted to using a simple single Speedlight set-up. I have a Nikon sb700 on a light stand shooting through an umbrella to camera right and a little higher than the subject. Everything is on fully manual for consistent control. The sb700 was set to 1/64th power and triggered wirelessly with a Phottix trigger system. Camera was set at 1/200s, f2.8, iso 400 and I used my favourite portrait lens, the Nikon 85mm f1.8. For good measure, here is a pull back shot of the scene showing the light firing:
29 Jun 2014
First off, my apologies for not posting a whole lot over the last few months, I have been busy with several new directions in my professional life and there just never seems to be time!
Today I had the pleasure of photographing my good friend Murtaza who needs a few portrait photographs for a series of interviews, websites and a news channel to display on-line and via television. He specialises in ground breaking techniques in treating drug addiction and it seems a lot of people are interested in what he has to say on the subject!
For the session I travelled light and did the "strobist" thing with two Nikon Speedlights balanced with ample beautiful soft window light streaming in through a large window. The window is to the left of camera, an SB-700 at 1/64th power is shooting through a large white umbrella to camera right and elevated somewhat higher than the subject, and finally an SB-600 at 1/16th power is shooting against the wall behind subject from it´s position on the floor. Of course I used my favourite go to lens for portraits, the Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G which is a class piece of glass! The pic above was taken wide open at f1.8.
21 May 2014
12 May 2014
Several months ago I started a blog called - Vinyl Philosophy - as a way to give outlet to my enjoyment of music, and the blog has a slight bias towards music on vinyl records. For those who don't know, vinyl records have had somewhat of a renaissance over the last few years and currently is the only physical music storage medium that is showing any sales growth, while cd's are in serious decline and even mp3 downloads are decreasing fast.
It has been especially fun for me to incorporate my photography into the new blog and have some broader based fun. The photo above was used there a while ago. It required one speedlight, a tripod and a bit of editing to get it the way I envisioned it.
If you would like to check out the blog for yourself, click HERE to go directly to the home page. Browse through the "Vintage Ads" section, read something in "Viewpoints", check out the entries in "DIY" or simply watch a video. I am having fun and I hope you will get some enjoyment out of it too!
15 Apr 2014
I took this photograph from the crest of a hill overlooking the Öresund between Sweden and Denmark with the island of Ven between the two on the left side of the photograph. Below is a picture taken with my cell phone camera of the camera on a tripod and my bicycle waiting patiently for me to get finished and take it back home.
14 Mar 2014
Long exposure photograph during the day made possible through a combination of an overcast sky, a small aperture, an ND8 neutral density filter and a good tripod. Still only managed to squeeze out 13 seconds, but it was enough to totally smooth out the water.