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 …

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 …

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 …

My iBook Portfolio

Here’s the iBook version of my portfolio on iTunes, with a kind review from One9Design. “Irene’s work is magical, whimsical, and surreal. The fact that this caliber of work is available for no cost is unbelievable. Get it now while you can. In a few years you will see this type of work on magazine covers and advertising some of the top brands. Irene is both an incredibly imaginative artist and someone who has the technical skills (behind the camera AND at the computer) to make her vision a reality. Exceptional work.”

“Between Two Rocks” Photoshop Tutorial

A 4-minute tutorial showing Photoshop compositing and masking techniques using the brush and pen tools, as well as how to composite flying hair using the Blend – Multiply settings. The “Hair” portion starts around 1:58. Model: Abigail Connolly Music by: KGB – “Call It a Night” Used with permission through Triple Scoop Music. Between 2 Rocks and a Hot Place -Photoshop Tutorial by Irene Liebler from Irene Liebler on Vimeo. Here’s the original image and the original blog post:    

Photography Headshot Posing Tip: “Do the Turtle?”

Directing a model is a skill that every photographer needs to have, and a recent shoot with Olivia gave me an opportunity to practice! One of the most important features of someone’s face is the jawline. Unfortunately, if a person sits or stands naturally, without direction, they usually don’t look their best on film. They have a tendency to lean back and smile. They may have a double chin or look like they’re slouching. As photographers, we need to direct people and help position them for the most flattering results. Doing “The Turtle” (made famous by top model, Tyra Banks) …

A Bird In The Hand

A photo illustration called “A Bird in the Hand”. This proverb refers back to medieval falconry where a bird in the hand (the falcon) was a valuable asset and certainly worth more than two in the bush (the prey). Other languages and cultures have their own version of this proverb, notably the Czech ‘Lepsi vrabec v hrsti nez holub na strese’ (A sparrow in the fist is better than a pigeon on the roof.). This was a really fun assignment that forced me to drive around my hometown and photograph fields, trees, goats, sheep and flowers. The pheasant head and …

Sister Butterfly

“The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity.” ~ George Carlin This is Rachel’s portrait, a companion piece to Abigail’s butterfly portrait. Now if I could just get their brother to agree to model as a dragonfly… The stages of a butterfly portrait.