“Swan Night” 2016 Picture of the Year

This image of my friend Marcelle won Picture of the Year in the Fine Art category at the North Haven Camera Club. Congrats to EVERYONE! It was a fun year of learning and sharing. Here’s a gif showing the different layers. All original photos. Natural window light. I live on a lake with lots of wildlife and was able to get these swans in flight as they started migrating south for the winter.  

Photographer, Mary Ellen Mark

And now for something completely different! Mary Ellen Mark is a documentary photographer. Kind of voyeuristic. She comes from a time (not too long ago) when magazines would send her across the globe on assignment for 6 months or 3 years to document prostitution, homelessness, addiction, mental illness or the bizarre subculture of the circus. She photographed people… and the human condition. Reality is always extraordinary. Her pictures tell stories, and don’t need captions to convey ideas. I found this assignment a bit challenging, because it wasn’t as simple as going out onto the street and snapping pictures of people. …

The Many Faces of Mr. Biggles

Portrait Study: DAVID BAILEY This week’s featured photographer is David Bailey, a “problem” kid with dyslexia in 1960’s East London. After a series of dead end jobs, he served with the Royal Air Force in 1957 where he bought his first Rolleiflex camera. The 1966 film “Blowup”, depicts his life as a London fashion photographer and how he captured the culture of the “Swinging London” scene of the 60s. Some of his more famous photos are of celebrities including Terence Stamp, The Beatles, Mick Jagger, Jean Shrimpton, PJ Proby, Cecil Beaton, Rudolf Nureyev, Andy Warhol and notorious East End gangsters, …

“Winterized” Portrait Photography

Portrait Photography Study: DAN WINTERS. Dan Winters is a famous American portrait photographer, illustrator, filmmaker who most recently shot Benedict Cumberbatch for TIME magazine. He knows how to control his light, and does brilliant things with color using film (not Photoshop!) I did my best to recreate his lighting on this first try, but have to admit that I used Photoshop (just a little). Here’s a link to Dan Winter’s website: http://www.danwintersphoto.com/ (Thanks to John and Jack Liebler, and Justin Paglino for modeling!) Here’s my lighting setup showing how Dan Winters used black “flags” to block light and create shadows.

Addicted to Coupon’s Portraits

This week I finished up my 8-week portrait class featuring, photographer, William Coupon. He started out in the Big Apple, shooting the punk scene, and ended up creating portraits of presidents and celebrities like Bush, Clinton, Miles, and Mick. Here’s a summary about Coupon from Wikipedia: William Coupon was born in New York City, but moved to Washington, D.C. and later to San Francisco. He attended Syracuse University and ultimately moved to New York City to begin his photographic career. He began in 1979 to photograph backdrop portraits of New York’s youth culture, to document its “New Wave/Punk” scene at …

Portrait Photographer Study: Jeanloup Sieff

Jeanloup Sieff had a thing for buns and wide angle lenses. Born in Paris to Polish parents, Jeanloup (1933-2000) made a living shooting commercial photography in NY in the 60s for Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Elle. He loved nudes and often focused on the derriere as the subject. His photographs could also be described as high contrast and very graphic, using bold shapes and strong compositions. These characteristics, coupled with his sensual nudes, and wide angle distortion defined his style, and made him a favorite in the advertising world. He worked in the studio, using one light source (sometimes …

Herb Ritts: A Legendary Photographer

PORTRAIT STUDY: HERB RITTS From selling rattan furniture to movie producers in West Hollywood in the late 70s, to shooting glamorous photos of his actor friends in the 80s, Herb Ritts carved out a beautiful life for himself… sadly it was cut short at age 50. We’ve all seen his work, especially if you grew up in with Madonna, Prince, Janet Jackson and Brittany Spears. He’s known for his clean, minimalist, stark, black and white, graphic style. Often using the beaches of LA, and the desert sands as backdrops – creating sharp shadows with full sun. Here’s the result of …

Portrait Study: Peter Lindbergh (A “Ladies” Man)

This week’s portrait photographer is Peter Lindbergh. He’s known for his black and white, evocative, natural poses of women, with soft lighting, and aloof, uninterested expressions. His models often look like they’re just waiting around, sometimes looking vulnerable, or like they’re up to something. He usually shoots outdoors on cloudy, overcast days, or under a 3-sided black tent, which gives that soft light, and dark background. To me, it seems he’s more about expression than a unique lighting style. Unlike Skrebneski, who uses one light from above, Lindbergh doesn’t have a consistent lighting setup. It’s kind of all over the …

Over the Moon for Sarah Moon

Sarah Moon is a French photographer born in 1941 into a Jewish family forced to leave occupied France. She went to England and there studied drawing. She modeled from 1960 to 1966, and turned to photography in 1970. In 1972, she shot the Pirelli calendar, the first woman to do so. After working for a long time with Cacharel, her reputation grew and she also received commissions from Chanel, Dior, Comme des Garçons and Vogue. In 1985, she moved into gallery and film work, even making a pop video, Aicha by Khaled. At age 74, she is still living and …

Karsh Portrait Study

This week we’re studying Yousuf Karsh, who was a master of lighting, and best known for his iconic portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway, to name a few. Here’s a link to his work on Google. And here’s a link to Karsh on Artsy, a resource for art collecting and art education. He used lots of studio lights, creating images that were mostly black and white, and very contrasty. Crisp light on the bridge of the nose, and hair, or “rim” lights from the sides are his trademarks. He was also known to be …