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Sometimes the Old Tech is Best

by Blake Robinson

January 22nd, 2016    0 Comments     Add Comment
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Click on any image in this blog post to see the picture LARGER and CLEARER.

In photographing the artwork recently of my new friend, Bill Jacklin, I used my fancy Nikon camera, bristling with all the latest technology. The camera was set up to fire two lights with a remote wireless trigger. In the middle of the shoot, we had some glitches – well, in truth, I couldn’t get the camera to take a picture. As I’m struggling with this, Bill picks up an old beat-up paint brush and says, very kindly, “Sometimes the old technology is best.”

How true!

Fortunately, we got everything working again.

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Bill is an Englishman and a very accomplished and successful artist. He is a member of the historic Royal Academy of Arts in London, a true honor in his profession, with membership limited to just 80 practicing artists.  He has an exhibit at the Royal Academy scheduled for the Spring, as well as two books of his work coming out shortly.

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Photographing artwork is perhaps at the other end of the spectrum from photographing portraits. In my portrait work, I’m trying to draw out something of my client’s personality and spirit. And, my artistic expression hopefully comes through in each portrait I take. When I photograph artwork, I’m in essence only a technician. The goal is to show the art just as the artist made it, with lighting, tone, texture and colors represented as closely as possible to the original art itself.

Thanks, Bill, for the opportunity and privilege of shooting your amazing work – and the chance to get to know you and spend time with you in your studio. You can see more of Bill’s work at his website.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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Christina in High Contrast

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Over the holidays, I had the pleasure of shooting with one of my favorite subjects, my friend Christina. Be sure to click on any image in this post to see it LARGER and clearer. This works on phones and tablets as well.

Our shoot was about creating high contrast, dramatic black and white portraits. I often scour Pinterest for reference photos – ideas to shoot at some point along the way.

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The photo at left is one such image. (I always want to give a photo credit, but sadly this image appears on Pinterest without the name of the photographer.)

You can see some of the images I’ve saved as shoot ideas – and some of my pictures as well – on my Pinterest page – here’s the link. Follow me and I’ll follow you!

Back to the shoot with Christina. I always shoot in color and then use a Photoshop plug-in called Silver Efex Pro to convert to black and white.

 

 

 

 

The black and white version of the first image above is our next photograph.

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In this image, I used just one light, a beauty dish, up pretty high and slightly to the right of the camera/subject line. You can usually see the position of the light in the catchlights in the eyes – notice they are slightly to the right, or Christina’s left. So, there’s a little more shadow on the left side of her face than the right. It’s subtle and you may not have noticed. Sometimes these small changes add a bit of interest, if only on a subconscious level. Notice in the reference photo above that the light is off-center as well.

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In this picture, one light was placed at a 90 degree angle to the line of sight and with the power turned way down. There’s no pure white in the image, by design. The only parts of the face that are in sharp focus are the left eye and the lips. One of the features I like about this photograph is the little hint of light on her right eyelid.

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In this last picture, I made the dark side of her face a little lighter than pure black, so a bit of detail is visible.

Thanks, Christina, for a great shoot. These photographs clearly have a somber, quiet and serious feel. This is not Christina’s personality, which is optimistic, full of life and fun-loving! See some pictures of Christina that show more of who really she is in this video we made last summer. (And please hit the four-arrows symbol in the bottom right next to “Vimeo” to see the video fullscreen.) Christina sings the song in the sound track – beautifully.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

Merry Christmas!

by Blake Robinson

December 26th, 2015    0 Comments     Add Comment
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This is a Christmas card one of my clients sent this year, from a photograph I took of their beautiful daughters.

Here’s wishing all of you a happy and healthy New Year!

M and M

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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