Mackem PRO+
Mackem

The Photographer



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6 Comments | Report
Irishclover
 
Irishclover August 16, 2018
BAD ASS!!
zenakita-photographybill
 
zenakita-photographybill August 16, 2018
Love the tlr shot.
AdirahsEyes
 
AdirahsEyes August 17, 2018
Most excellent
Danimiff
 
Danimiff August 17, 2018
Wow outstanding shot
Mbartlettphotography
 
Mbartlettphotography January 03, 2019
Captivating shot! Well done 👏🏾
Dee-CrystalClear PRO
 
Dee-CrystalClear December 13, 2019
Two Thumbs Up!

Behind The Lens

Location
This photograph was taken at a Royal Photographic Society sponsored studio session in Cheltenham, England in April 2012.
Time
I don't remember precisely, I'd suggest it was around 9:30 am but seeing this was taken in a studio the capture time is irrelevant on this occasion.
Lighting
There was just one unmodified studio light in an umbrella placed behind me on the right at an angle of approx 45 degrees and above head height to provide a strong catch-light in the upper part of his eyes. We utilised a black background behind the model to eliminate possible distractions and to help in the making of a mono portrait.
Equipment
This was captured on a tripod with my Canon 7D and Canon EF-S 15-85 mm zoom lens at 70mm, ISO 100 at 1/125th sec at f4.
Inspiration
The studio location and model were already determined for me by the RPS and studio management. There was one male model at the event and two females and to be honest, I was quite taken aback when I was introduced to this gentleman. He was wearing a battered leather jacked and had long unkempt hair and I was nervous at being given the opportunity to photograph him for a few minutes. I was intrigued by his craggy features which reminded me of Ronnie Wood, the Rolling Stones guitarist and as I inspected each photograph on the back of the camera and saw how different they were to anything I had seen before, with each image I became more and more excited. I believe that a good portrait can often benefit from a suitable prop and in this case I spotted an old twin lens Rolleiflex camera sitting on a shelf which I gave to our model and asked him to hold as if he was the photographer. Click! I had just captured one of my favourite all time photographs, ‘The Photographer’
Editing
The original image was captured in RAW which I then processed in Adobe Lightroom. Due to the lack of colour in the picture I decided to convert the image from colour to a high contrast black and white portrait which suits the picture I intended. I was careful to make sure the blacks and whites were not clipping so I held the control key when adjusting the black and white points. The image was further processed in Photoshop where I used the Silver Effex Pro plugin to enhance the contrast then performed some dodging and burning on a 50% grey layer to lift some of the highlights on the jacket,hair, face and Rolleiflex TLR.
In my camera bag
My current camera is the Canon 5D Mk IV which is always in my bag, together with Canon 16-35 f4, 24-70 f2.8 and Canon 100-400. I also carry the Canon 1.4 extender which is sometimes coupled with the 100-400 lens to give extra reach when photographing wildlife or aircraft. Additionally, I sometimes carry my superb DJI Mavic 2 Pro to capture aerial stills or 4k video. I also have a Platypod Ultra 'tripod' which is great for capturing low level and long exposure images. When I'm doing landscape photography I use either the Manfrotto carbon fibre or "Three Legged Thing" carbon fibre tripod which is compact and lower weight and suitable for air travel.
Feedback
The model is the most important element in a portrait so I look out for people with interesting and sometimes beautiful faces to photograph. I enjoy spending time in London's Brick Lane which has an eclectic mix of people, many of whom are very willing to be approached to have their photograph taken and no matter where you live, there will be a town or city with interesting looking people to photograph. I find it's best to approach the stranger and start a conversation, I usually make a nice comment about the person's clothing, hairstyle etc. asking questions about them before requesting a photograph. Give the person a business card and ask them to email you so you can send them the best photo (take 3 or 4 shots if you can). Approaching strangers can be quite daunting so I gained my confidence and experience doing a "100 Strangers" project a few years ago, photographing perfect strangers in the street. Alternatively, most cities have studio's which have regular model night sessions which make it possible for photographers to capture interesting portraits such as this one. Good hunting!

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