Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Brother Thomas Artist Grant Recipients

*BEHIND THE SCENES: The assignment came in as a series of portraits of local artist whom have received Brother Thomas awards of $15,000. I love this kind of assignments because I get to talk to the subjects and between them and I we figure out what would be a suitable location and it gives me an idea of the kind of image I want to create. Every single portrait was lit differently depending on the situation. TECHNICAL STUFF: I HAVE PLACED THE SPECS OF EACH PHOTOGRAPH AFTER THE SUBJECT FOR EASIER UNDERSTANDING.

*Barbara Helfgott_ Hyett (cq), a poet, of Brookline was photographed at Jamaica Pond. This was a true success. I seem to have good luck with trees and subjects. Here I used one bare bulb Norman 400 battery Pack. The light is positioned about 45 degrees to the left of the subject and slightly higher than face level. The ISO is 50 aperture 22, speed 1/100th, white balance: Cloudy. Lens 16- 35mm 2.8 at 16mm.

*Brian Knep (cq) was photographed at his Boston studio. His works includes projecting slides of nematodes.He was photographed without any outside source of light other than the light coming out of the projector)aperture 3.2, 1/125th, ISO 800, WB auto. Reason being is because is really hard not to overpower the light coming out of a slide projector without loosing the detail of the projected image.

*Cinematographer Alla Kovgan (Cq) was photographed at her Somerville apartment. I noticed the natural light coming through the curtains and the patterns it created on the wall. Then I noticed the plants she had in her apartment and decided to layer the composition for a more interesting image: Aperture 4.0, ISO 250, speed 1/125th, WB sun.
Second Alla portrait: Two lights, one hitting her from behind from the left just catching her profile and a second light behind her to the right with a snoot to hit the video camera in her hand to accentuate metal highlights. Aperture 13, ISO 125, speed 1/125th of a second__ aperture so high to compensate for using two bare-bulbs near the subject.

*Film Makers Strain by Brick wall: I wanted to balance the inside light with the outside light. I placed one strip softbox slightly to the left and in front of her higher than her head level making sure you couldn't see the reflection of the softbox on the window. Aperture 6.3, ISO 50, speed 250th of a second. WB daylight__ speed shot is as close as the maximum speed this camera and flash can synch together (1/320th) in order to saturate the image by under exposing outside ambient light by about stop and half.

*Kati Agocs (cq) musician, composer, and vocalist was photographed at the New England Conservatory of Music where she is a faculty member.\ I was standing on top of the piano on this one and I had two lights on her. One softbox high and to her left about 45 degrees up and about 4 feet away just out of frame, a second light flat on the ground to her right aiming at her face to highligth her profile. ISO 100, exposure 1/13th of a second to capture warmth tone in the ambient light, aperture 8.0, WB Auto.

*Richard Hoffman (cq) was photographed at one of his favorite cafes near his home, Good Food, in Cambridge. * With this one I played a lot. I thought he had an interesting profile and all the white facial hair worked. So I decided to go for a more ethereal look. I had two lights going. One softbox high to the right to establish a baseline an one bare bulb with a grid high to the left and slightly from behind to accentuate his profile. Aperture 8.0, speed 1/15th, ISO 160, WB daylight. I dragged the shutter (slow it down) in order to create a slight ghosting in his profile by allowing the natural light to show up in the exposure.)

*John O. ADEkoje's (Cq) who made the film "Street Soldiers" was photographed in front of the Strand Theather off Columbia Rd in Columbia Road.*Adekoje, film maker outside: I wanted to capture the grittiness found in his films which her done primarily on the streets of DOT. I went with a Norman Battery Pack 400 and kept changing the angle of incidence starting from the front and to the right. I had my assitant keep moving more and more to hit his profile until it became somewhat back-light which added to the drama of the scene. It was important to find a good balance between the natural light, the marquee light and the Norman's output... trial and error my friends, trial and error: ISO 100, aperture 1/15th of a second, aperture 13.

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