INTENSE by olaf

150 portraits

My project ‘seconds’ started around three years ago and this week I published my 150th long exposure portrait. Though I created some more, not all were for public eyes, some people didn’t wanted their photo to be published.

I must say I still enjoy the process of creating a long exposure portrait but it is getting a bit monotonous and therefore reason for me to add a normal portrait as well during the session. 

It is that hard, just switch camera’s (I use a special camera for most of the long exposure portraits), though in the some portraits I did this week, for the sitter it is a bit harder: they need to change their mindset and some were not able and they remained still for several seconds while I did the normal portrait.

But more important, I am working on a new project, a new portrait series, and I must admit I am eager to start. It is still boiling in my head though next week I have the first session already. I am so looking forward to this, as it will be so different from ‘seconds’, with a different lightning setup, all about emotions and about the sitter.

That said, every session can be used for a long exposure portrait as well, so this story, this project continues …



portrait of matea

Matea is relatively new in the firm. She’s always smiling, always positive and always greeting people with their names. This is something I admire as I most of the times forget about names. Silly me, should not even say this out loud, but what can I do. No matter what I try, I simply forget. Not Matea, she remembers. Good thing.

That said, being still isn’t her strength :), we managed only a two second exposure; window light + reflector.


portrait of mirela

Imagine you’re a student and you just got a student job in a big firm; some administrative job, in a office within sales so rather hectic and noisy. Imagine yourself in your first week, trying to remember all what is said and all what you need to do. Your head is probably overflowing with new information.

Imagine a strange guy comes in your office, fluffy long hair, strange accent, asking you for a portrait… “wtf?” Can you refuse? Of course you can’t…

Meet Mirela, her first week in our office :), three seconds exposure, window light and my reflector. Below a normal portrait.


doors ‘n windows V

The light was low. Winter light. Long shadows reflected by the snow. Melting, heated by the sun. Spring is slowly coming. In a village on the hills of Zagreb I captured the image below.

In order to give it a place on my blog, I should at least show some image of the door and window. Love the horseshoe…


portrait of ivan

Also Ivan I’ve photographed before. It is hard to get him in front of the camera. We see each other every working day, yet he’s never fully prepared to get shot. Finally, this week he gave in, and as I’m in a colorful mood, his portrait is in color as well.

Recently people are having problems being still for six seconds, at the moment, most is done at two seconds. May be due to spring? Never mind, window light, my reflector and that’s it.

As for the image below, it’s done with the xf23 (35mm equivalent) as I wanted to have lots of white space around. The lens performs great, but I am not sure if it is too wide…



portrait of kreso

Kreso is new in the firm. I believe it was even his second day when he came to our office. HR department needed a photo for his announcement so I used the opportunity to take some images for myself as well.

Image above took me two seconds, lightning by a window and my reflector. The photo below from the waist with a normal exposure, same lightning conditions.

Good luck with your new job, Kreso :)


portrait of tihana

Tihana comes in our office every two weeks to drop off some contracts. She’s working in sales and always caring about her customers though balancing the interest of our firm. A good habit I’d say.

Another one is that she’s in a good mood every time she visit us. I like that. It is nice to get positive visitors :)

Our first portrait took two seconds, a serious portrait; lightning was provided from a big window and my reflector. The second portrait was done in a click with same lightning conditions, but different equipment and much less formal expression.

Two portraits, taken within five minutes time showing a totally different personality…


portrait of filip

Filip works as a student in our firm, doing all kind of jobs where he is needed. Sometimes he supports the reception, and sometimes he is in my department helping out. Studying business economics he’s focused on business analysis and controlling. Anyway, it was Friday and he was in the mood for a portrait. As usual windowlight, my reflector and several seconds (above).

The second image is done on a normal camera with a normal exposure. I shot from my waist, resulting in a look I loved when shooting with film on medium format, those were the days ;)


portrait of ivan

Ivan was following one of the courses I gave within the firm. As usual, I invite all for a portrait. Ivan was eager, he asked me every day if we could do it. At last, we managed. Two seconds, window light and a reflector.

I received quite some questions, why I shoot several seconds and what’s the difference. As it is hard to describe, I decided to shoot ‘normally’ as well during the sessions. Below Ivan, normally, same light, same set-up, yet different camera.

Don’t let the sharpness fool you. Ivan was not able to be still, hence the movement in the first image…

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