I thought I would share with you today some recent portrait shots of mine, I’m still learning the hard way and enjoying the learning process. All of my shoots have solely consisted of natural light up to now, but I have recently acquired a flash (Nikon SB700) though so I am looking forward to taking control of my lighting!
Let me know what you think, all comments are welcome…
Anna Theodora was one of the first photographers I featured on the blog, she is still a photographer who continues to impress and inspire me in equal measures, she seems to be showing more and more variety in her work. Check out and enjoy some of her latest photos.
To see more of Anna’s work visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/annatheodora/.
Fadzly Mubin is a Malaysian based photographer, his work mainly focuses on the beaches of Malaysia.
Whilst browsing Flickr as I often do, I came across these stunning captures of his today. The first (top) shot is so good… it can not be described in words. Fadzly likens photography to fishing, so I feel these images perfectly sum up his work. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did..
It appears Canon are finally preparing themselves to release the big guns on Nikon, over the last few years Canon have been lagging behind Nikon in terms of low light performance and AF performance in the pro segment of the market. The Nikon D3S was a revelation when it was released offering staggering low light performance and a lightning fast Autofocus system making it a camera for sports photography, journalism and any other form of action packed low light photography. Canon have been slow to respond to the plaudits that were given to Nikon during that time period, the Canon 1DX appears to be Canons endeavor to match Nikon and judging by the specifications it seems to be a ‘hard hitting’ announcement which will certainly give Nikon something to think about.
To name just a few of the Canon 1DX specs, it boasts a Full frame 18 megapixel sensor, 12 Frames per second continuous shooting, 61 point Autofocus system, ISO range from 50-51,200 and HD video. This is to name just some of the specs! This really sounds an interesting concept from Canon and it will be interesting to see how Nikon will respond with their D4 (whatever it will be called?) announcement.
To see the full specs… visit here http://www.canonrumors.com/2011/10/eos-1d-x-canon-usa-press-release/
Sadly for Nikon though in other news, they have been forced to suspend their Thailand factory due to the horrific flooding that has occurred there. This news comes after sustaining damage earlier this year to there Japanese factories, this is a tremendous blow to the company as 90% of Nikon’s DSLR DX cameras are produced there. I’m imagining we will be seeing many more price rises to Nikon products over the coming months as stock levels drop. Sony have been similarly effected having to suspend production of some of their camera models, not to mention the numerous other manufacturers based in Thailand who are having to contend with the flooding in some form or another.
It appears right now that Thailand are battling with a natural disaster fairly similar to the way Japan did earlier this year, my best wishes and thoughts go out to all the people effected.
I have recently seen a lot of work on Flickr by a highly talented photographer who goes by the name of Dr Cullen, his work is highly inspiring as he appears to make incredible images from ‘simple’ subjects.
As we all know, it is quite a talent to spot beauty in everyday life but it takes something slightly more to create beauty from very little. As you may agree, Cullen manages to create striking photography from simple everyday subjects. I really am fascinated with the simplicity of his work and am now considering the various objects around my house as potential artistic masterpieces! Well I wouldn’t go that far…
To see more of Dr Cullen’s work simply click on any of the below images.
Philipp Klinger is one of the most viewed photographers on Flickr, I thought the time had come to add one of his most viewed photographs to the blog. This photo ‘New York- Brooklyn bridge sunset’ has gained a quite incredible 260,000 views and has amassed over 1000 comments, it is clear to see why as it is a staggering capture. This photo really highlights the brilliance of good ole’ New York city!
I am highly excited as I have just ordered a new lens, shockingly though it isn’t a Nikon lens!
As a Nikon DSLR user, I have always been wary of third party lenses. I have always preferred to buy the real thing. The ‘real thing’ in my mind is Nikon lenses, Nikon has a rich history in optical design and have been making marvelous lenses for many decades. I always have aspired to buy Nikon lenses over all the other brands.. but was I right to do so?
It would seem not… it would seem I have been slightly blinkered in my view. I listened to many stories about how third party camera lenses are inferior to their Canon and Nikon equivalents. Maybe this was once the case, Sigma, Tokina and Tamron afterall are budget brands producing lenses at cut cost prices. So in theory they are not meant to be as good…
Anyway I digress, I was all set to upgrade my 50mm 1.8 AF D for the new Nikon 50mm 1.4 AF-S G lens. That was until the Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX DG was recommended to me on one of the forums I regularly visit, I thought ‘Sigma! Why would I choose Sigma if I can afford the Nikon lens, as obviously the Nikon is the better lens!’. I carried on thinking this until I began researching the Sigma, from the reviews I have seen this lens clearly makes the Nikon 50’s look ‘old hat’.
Sigma have performed a savvy business move on Nikon and Canon here, providing a lens at a decent price point that outperforms the old fashioned lens designs the big two are still using!
Anyway, as you have probably guessed by now. I haven’t ordered a Nikon 50mm AF-S G, but I have ordered a Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX DG. Will I regret it?
Check out these great independent reviews- http://www.ryanbrenizer.com/blog/2008/09/review-sigma-50mm-f1-4/ and here http://www.lenstip.com/177.1-Lens_review-Sigma_50_mm_f_1.4_EX_DG_HSM_Introduction.html
Samples from the Sigma 50mm 1.4 by Marcus Schwarze (Beautiful images)-
Check out these amazing examples of Bokeh (Out of focus blur) in portrait photographs.
Bokeh is a Japanese word used for the aesthetic quality of blur in photography. Most people when looking at photographs do not neccesarily notice the blur in the photograph, but the blur has a huge effect on the way the photo is perceived by the viewer. For a start, there is no longer any distraction from the intended subject of the photograph, which brings the viewers focus solely on to the subject of the image.
In portrait photography, this is sometimes a crucial element as the focus of the image is obviously the model portrayed, removing the background in effect removes any distraction as well as creating a beautiful visual effect as a bonus.
As you can see in the following images, the Bokeh makes the image slightly more magical.
Ilko Allexandroff is a highly talented portrait photographer you may remember me featuring a while back, he really does create portraits than define beauty! I love the lighting, location and natural elements of his work. Enjoy this interview with the man himself where he shares some of the secrets of his success.
How did you get into photography?
I got into photography after I came to study in Japan in 2008. When i came to Japan I got a small portable camera so I can send photos to my friends back in Bulgaria, and it was very interesting to just snap around. I loved the feeling that by taking a photo I show something I’ve seen to people in a way, that they may have never seen it before.
What inspires you to create the work you do?
There are 3 different things that inspire me to do my photography, first its other photographers amazing work, I can spend hours just watching beautiful photography. Secondly, it’s the feedback I get, if people are happy seeing what I’m doing, that’s a really good feeling for me, and I’m motivated to keep on taking photos. If they criticize me, I’m still motivated to improve. And thirdly, we all see so many beautiful things in our everyday lives, and sometimes I think it’s such a waste not to capture those moments so we can make other people happy by seeing them.
What is the most satisfying part of the photographic process for you?
The most satisfying thing for me in photography is when I see other people enjoying my photos, no matter if it’s the models I’m shooting with, my friends who are viewing my photos or even the client I am shooting for. Often when I am some shooting for work and my client is clearly happy with my work, then I’m really motivated to do more and more, but in order to achieve the best I can I have to work really hard!
What do you aim to capture in your images, are their specific messages in your photography?
The things I aim to capture in my photography are to reveal the personality of the people I’m shooting. So when I photograph somebody especially if it’s the the first time, I try to ask them about their interests, hobbies and possibly try to use the interests/hobbies as part of the photograph. For example if they play some music instrument I might use it in the photo. Every person has own their character and charm.
Do you use any specific techniques in your work? (i.e. HDR, Long exposures)
My photography is mainly based around using off-camera flash lighting. I am trying to experiment a lot and try different lighting techniques. Usually when I upload photos online I try to write a whole description of how I took that particular photograph, plus I recently have enjoyed including some OFF shots and describing the process of shooting. I believe it’s interesting to the viewer to feel the atmosphere of the photo shoot itself.
What are your future ambitions for your photography? Where do you want to go with your work?
Having high ambition is what helps us all to improve more. I also have high ambitions, but the most important thing for me to do…is to be able to please one of the most difficult people in the world to please… myself! The more I’m taking photos the more it’s difficult for me to be satisfied with my own work and sometimes I’m even afraid of my own high standards!
How do you create such stunning portraits? What in your opinion is the key to a successful portrait?
Actually I don’t really feel that I’m creating stunning portraits, but I want to be able to do that one day in the future. Anyway, the most important thing for me when I’m shooting portraiture is the communication with the model. If the model trust’s me and we have good rapport then it’s easy to get a good expression from them. While I’m taking photos you might see me doing so many stupid things to lighten the mood and I would really do ANYTHING to make the people around me have a fun time, that’s why I like photography.
Thank you for taking time out for the interview Ilko, to see more of Ilko’s work simply click on any of the above photographs.
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My second EVER portrait photography shoot was amazing fun! Tori was a really natural model, I was working in a beautiful location (Town of Farnham) and the lighting was great for portrait photography.
I’m still not sure whether it was successful shoot or not (I know I’m definitely not Mario Testino yet!).. but it was nice to come away with, what I felt were some half decent results.. your thoughts/comments are highly welcome!