Zhang Jingna Walks Us Through a Personal Project, from Idea to Realization

Written by Zhang Jingna on . Posted in Fine Art Photography

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Zhang Jingna Walks Us Through a Personal Project from Idea to Realization Motherland Chronicles 50 Eurydice censor Zhang Jingna Walks Us Through a Personal Project, from Idea to Realization

© Zhang Jingna

Do you have an idea for a personal photo project but not quite sure how to turn it into reality? Then stop doing whatever it is you’re doing and join photographer Zhang Jingna as she tells the story of how her own personal project Motherland Chronicles evolved from idea to realization. Here is the story, in Jingna’s own words:

Having covered the process for a commercial assignment in my last article, this time round I’ll be talking about my approach to producing a personal shoot in a similar fashion, but starting earlier in the workflow, from conceptualization instead of simply receiving a brief, as one would a commercial job.

Before I begin, I’d just like to say that I see commercial and editorial work as a resume of a photographer’s skills and personal work as the mark of his or her identity. With this in mind, I think a photographer’s approach towards commercial and personal work should be separated as much as possible. Of course, things like style and aesthetics will naturally bleed into one another, which is fine, but concept wise, a commercial work should always be done with a client’s products or services in mind, whereas personal work should be something a person wants to express or share with the world, thus making it personal.

In this post I’ll be covering the approach and considerations I put towards a typical production for one of my personal shoots. Unlike commercial projects, there are no set rules and requirements for how you do it. We may all work differently and this is my take. I hope you enjoy the read. Read More

Derek Galon Recreates a Classical Painting with a Clever Use of Flashes and Softboxes

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fine Art Photography

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Profoto Derek Galon Painting With Light 1 600x433 Derek Galon Recreates a Classical Painting with a Clever Use of Flashes and Softboxes

©Derek Galon

Canadian photographer Derek Galon has always been fascinated with classical painting. But it wasn’t until a friend of his had a crazy idea that he realized how to use flashes and softboxes to combine his fascination with painting with his love for photography. Here is the story of how he did it, in his own words.

I love old paintings and have been fascinated with them for many years. But only recently, after decades of photographing, did I feel confident enough to try and recreate the type of light and mood such paintings have. It started with a suggestion by a friend, professional model Michael Ward, who wanted to shoot a Bacchus scene similar to those painted by Titian. At first i thought it may be an overwhelming project, but I decided it will be a fine challenge worth a try. All next shoots followed thanks to this first one being a success.

I’ve been lucky to have access to a large studio necessary for such multi-model setups. The studio is owned by my friend, a brilliant photographer and a lighting wizard: Jon Hoadley. Thanks to his kindness I also have access to high-end lighting system: the Profoto D1 Air and plenty of Light Shaping Tools. Without his generosity, none of these images would exist today. Casting models for this series has been easy for me. I mostly use my friends as models, experienced art photographers along with some younger aspiring models and friends from art industry, a stage makeup artist, costume designer, a fine painter, and so on.

The whole Painterly series is rather diversified, but several images are shot in style of old Flemish paintings. The one we use here as example for my lighting, is my homage to Adrjaen Brouwer – a fine painter who specialized in rough tavern scenes. He was well respected and one of Rembrandt’s favourites. To create image with distinctive feel similar to these paintings, one needs to study them and analyze separate elements. I would use a somewhat simplified list of these elements: styling, the whole scene composition and micro-scenes, plot and interactions, and lighting. Read More

On Location with Karolina Henke & the B1 Location Kit

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fine Art Photography

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Karolina Henke prepares her shoots in detail. But she considers it a failure if she sticks to the plan. She believes her most powerful images capture something unforeseen and honest. Knowing this, we asked her to try out the fast and easy Profoto B1 Location Kit. Here is how she put it to good use.

“A lot of people say that every photographer has to find his or hers own niche,” says Karolina Henke. “But my niche is that I don’t have a niche. I shoot fine art, fashion, interior, portraits, album covers, etc. I shoot everything. I just shoot it in my own way.”

It is hard to describe what makes Karolina’s images so special. But you do recognize them when you see them. They somehow seem to radiate with energy – energy that accordingly to Karolina is captured in the spur of the moment.

“I prepare my shoots meticulously, but I consider it a failure if I stick to those plans. In the end, it’s the image’s emotional impact that counts, and that’s something you can’t plan ahead. That has to be caught in the moment. In other words, use the plan as a springboard, be receptive and react when the moment occurs.” Read More

Heartwarming Interview with Ian Ruhter, the Master of Wet Plate Photography

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fine Art Photography

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ian ruhter wet plate colodion 14 1024x862 Heartwarming Interview with Ian Ruhter, the Master of Wet Plate Photography

©Ian Ruhter

Long-term readers of our blog are well-aware that we are huge fans of Ian Ruhter’s work. Evidently, so is the good people at Steez Magazine who just posted an interview with Ian. It’s good. You should read it. 

Being a snow and skate culture magazine, there is admittedly not a lot about lighting in the article. But there is, on the other hand, quite a lot about the photographer’s creative process and the craft of wet plate photography. Click here to to read the full article.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to once again highlight a few of our favorite Ian Ruhter videos: MadisonAmerican DreamWhen Death Do Us Part and When Dream Collide. Every single one of them is worth watching more than once.

Alexia Sinclair Traveled to a Frozen Castle, Left Untouched for Hundreds of Years, to Shoot Portraits That Will Blow Your Mind

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fine Art Photography

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Fine art photographer Alexia Sinclair was given the keys to a frozen castle left untouched since the 17th century. “When you’re given such an incredible opportunity, you have to create something equally incredible yourself,” she says. “Otherwise it’s just a failure.” Keep reading and learn how she pulled it off.

It all started with an email from the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The Royal Armory was preparing an exhibition on Queen Christina and wanted to feature the portrait Alexia had done of the flamboyant queen as part of the portrait series The Regal Twelve. Alexia was also invited to the opening ceremony in Stockholm.

Never one to let an opportunity pass, and with a well-documented fascination for kings and queens, Alexia asked the Royal Palace if she could photograph a real-life princess while in Sweden. The reply she got was: “No. But we do have a castle you may use.”

A couple of months later, Alexia arrived at Skokloster Castle – a 17th century Baroque masterpiece situated just outside Stockholm. She had done weeks and weeks of research and planning. She had rallied people from all over Scandinavia willing to travel to Skokloster to style, model and assist. She was now ready to start her brand new portrait series, which was eventually named A Frozen Tale. Read More