Although we did some sessions several weeks ago, Tomislav decided to pose for me again, just so I could test my lightning setup. Nice guy for helping me out.
Lightning comes from a light panel as window light was way too soft. Normally for photography a light panel is not the best choice but for long exposure portraits it is great as a flash would totally ruin the effect I’m after. That said, reflecting is much tougher as the source is weaker, but this can be used to create nice shadows on the background. One could play hours with this :).
Despite an exposure of only two seconds, Tomislav was not able to sit still but I do like his portrait so I processed it.
I took a portrait before from Silvio in which he is rather serious. May be too serious for his liking though to me, the portrait is how I see him. Nevertheless, he asked me for a reshoot: another try, but this time smiling.
As the light outside was fading already, I decided to use a light panel instead of window light. I filled with a reflector though the impact was much lower than with sunlight, creating nice shadows in the back and a slightly uneven lit face.
It took me big effort to get Vjeko in front of the camera. I did his wedding, I photographed their newborn, but a portrait of him only was tougher. Last week he promised me though. Today he walked in, relatively freshly shaved and willing to do a portrait.
Window light, my reflector and 2.5 seconds (not 2, not 3, but 2.5: it is Vjeko, it must be special).
I’m not sure how long Mario already works with us, he came in Autumn, I’m just not sure which one. Time flies when you’re having fun. Obviously.
Today, he finally dropped by to get his portrait taken. Somehow people start to understand that sooner or later it will happen, so better be done with it :)
Edit: it was spring and it was last year. Mario told me. For sure time flies.
Imagine you are far away, in another country, doing your job, supporting a local team to do their job. While doing this, some stranger walks in and ask you for a portrait. What would you do? Would you play, or not?
Monika, Enelina and Elzbieta are from Poland and were visiting Croatia to support the firm. They were busy yet I asked them the question I simply had to ask: ”can I take a portrait of you?”. At the beginning they were reluctant, but I explained them it was an opportunity which comes only once. Take it, or leave it. Happily, they took it.
Friday afternoon. I had a long day at work behind me and I just shot the complete callcenter. However, the lights were standing and I had the opportunity to do so more portraits. Marijana asked me for it. Velibor agreed at once. Only Sandra took a bit more time to convince. Who am I not to shoot some more?
They commissioned me for a group photo and I used the opportunity to take a portrait for myself as well. It would be a shame not to do so.
Above is a 6 second exposure of Ivana, the team-lead. Below the girls from the callcenter: Davorka, Biba, Snjezana, Jasminka, Marina, Jelena, Nikolina, Diana and Tonka.
Exposure time between two and six seconds, lighting with a window light with either the reflector or a lightpanel to fill in the shadows.
“Can I smile?” she asked on which I replied: ”I don’t know. I know that I can’t, but try it.”
It is rather hard to smile and to keep a natural smile for several seconds. Most of my subjects don’t manage as their mouth starts to tremble, resulting in a blurred image. For that reason, most of long exposure portraits have a serious look. It is hard to smile.
Matea managed to smile for 5 seconds. We took three photos and she was smiling in all of them. Happy attitude.
Majestic, grandiose, noble even royal are words which come to my mind when I look at this portrait of Marijana.
We know each other for quite some time and therefore it was not hard to convince her to a portrait. I did not had much time and space was tight, almost too tight. Window light was harsh. We did three photos, and I selected the first one.
Window light, reflector and 4 seconds.
For the same reason as Josipa, Srdan needed a head-shot as well, in the same environment as Josipa. So, him being in front of my other camera already, it was a small effort to take another portrait for me as well.
The commissioned shot I did with a Fuji Xpro, handheld, and clicking away while talking to my subject though hiding behind my camera and an assistant holding my reflector.
The portrait above was done with medium format, based on tripod, manually focused, self-timer and me holding the reflector.
Both ways of working are fine, and with both ways I am able to communicate greatly with my subjects, but still, the later results in a more intimate portrait as I am able to connect somehow better to my subject. May be it is because the whole process is so much slower? who knows…
Window light, my reflector and three seconds of patience.