The Secret Jill Greenberg Filter That Took Her to Where She Is Today

Written by Rebecca Ahremark on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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© Jill Greenberg

© Jill Greenberg

“People always ask what filter I use, but the filter is me,” says Jill Greenberg. That filter has resulted in some of the most instantly recognisable images of the last two decades. 

Jill Greenberg was born in Montreal, but raised in Detroit and has taken photographs for as long as she can remember.

“I started making photographs as a “shortcut” to drawings and paintings,” replies Jill when asked why she decided to become a photographer. “My work has always been concerned with the image itself, the surface. Of course the meaning and concept too, but never really in a documentary way. All of my drawings are from my head — funny, mannered characters with lots of color. Not from life, so my photographs are from my head too… if that makes any sense.”

When attending high school, Jill always thought she wanted to become a fashion illustrator, and later even a fashion photographer.

“I went to school with the intention of majoring in illustration and I even spent the previous summer at RISD in their Illustration summer session. Then the summer before RISD I attended Parson in Paris for Photography on a scholarship. I somehow did not feel like I could break into fashion but it has always been my interest. But I do bring that interest to surface, if you will, with my portraiture and advertising assignments.”

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Striving for Something out of the Ordinary

Written by Drew Gurian on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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©Drew Gurian

Drew Gurian is a young, up-and-coming portrait photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Every now and then, he’ll be bringing you a behind-the-scene perspective, navigating the freelance marketplace of one of the busiest photo markets in the world – New York City. This month we get to join him behind the scenes of a recent shoot with renowned director Stephen Daldry.

Back in February, I was assigned to photograph Stephen Daldry, the Tony Award winning and Academy Award nominated British producer and director of Billy Elliot and The Hours, amongst others.

Whenever I have a shoot like this, I’m well aware that it will most likely be five minutes or less with whoever i’m shooting, and that I very well may have a publicist or three breathing down my neck while shooting.

Aside from time constraints, dealing with potentially big personalities, and multiple publicists, I generally have no idea what the location will look like until I get there. We should all know by now that it’s our job as photographers to do as much research as possible before the shoot, so we’re very well-informed walking into any situation.  On these shoots- which are often assigned to me the night before, I’m told to meet at a theatre, or in a hotel room, but that’s about all I have to go on. Of course I make calls to the location to try and get some idea of the size, overall feel and light at the location, but there’s quite a bit of unknown.  In other words, it’s a crapshoot until I get there. Good times, right?? Read More

Louis Pang Shoots with Profoto HSS at The Great Wall of China

Written by Louis Pang on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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© Louis Pang

© Louis Pang

Louis Pang is an international, award-winning photographer based in Malaysia. He has previously taking us behind the scenes for some of his shoots. For this photo shoot, Louis went to the Great Wall of China to put Profoto HSS to the test. Here’s his conclusion. 

High speed sync (HSS) is not just cool technology but a great creative option. HSS allows our flash to sync with our camera beyond the 1/250 shutter speed limitation and all the way up to 1/8000. So how does this help our photography? Where do we start? When should we use high speed sync? I would like to share two recent shoots where HSS was used.

Before we start, you will need to activate HSS in your camera menu. For Canon users it is activated in the Flash Settings, and for Nikon users the Camera Setting.

Once HSS is activated you can set your shutter speed up to 1/8000 and be in control of the ambient light. Particularly helpful when we shoot in bright outdoors where the sun overpowers everything else. HSS can turn day into night without using ND filters.

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Brad Trent Captures the Grace of Soloist Dancer Misty Copeland

Written by Rebecca Ahremark on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Misty Copeland

Remember Brad Trent, the photographer who did funny portraits of John Cleese? Well, he’s back from a new shoot. This time with Misty Copeland, the only African American soloist dancing with the American Ballet Theatre

In Brad Trent’s blog post we join him behind the stages of this shoot with the prestigious dancer. As with many shoots, Brad had limited amount of time and they were doing both cover, opening shots, portraits and a bunch of other cool stuff.

To do so, Brad used a couple of fast and powerful Profoto Pro 8-a along with some light shaping tools to get the look he wanted.

He performed pretty well, we must say. Great work, Brad!

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Bo Lelewel Shoots Cinematic Portraits with Profoto B1 and HSS

Written by Rebecca Ahremark on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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© Bo Lelewel

© Bo Lelewel

How do you capture the many faces of men with a cinematic touch? German photography and design student Bo Lelewel traveled all the way to Cuba to do just that. With the use of Profoto B1 and HSS he was able to get exactly the look he was going for. 

“I’ve always been drawn to photographing people and using studio lights to get the look I am after. I have been shooting a lot in the studio, but lately I like shooting on location even better”, says Bo.

Everything started when Bo and his friend, a filmmaker named Jan Stollberg, had an idea of a project. At first they were leaning towards doing the project in Iceland or Morocco, but ended up travelling all the way from Germany to Cuba. “I knew that I wanted to take portraits of the locals. But I have seen a lot of portraits of those people using only natural light”, says Bo.

Bo on the other hand did not want to be limited only to the use of ambient light. Instead, he wanted to mix ambient light and artificial light to achieve the cinematic look he was going for. In order to do that, he knew that he needed a portable yet powerful solution that was easy to bring along to Cuba, yet powerful enough for his needs.

“I used the B1, because I needed enough power to overpower the ambient light but without all the weight you usually get when using a studio light and a generator. The TTL function was also really helpful to get my first exposure, and then I was able to tweak it just a bit. I love the consistency of the flash output and the durability of Profoto gear”, says Bo.

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