Posts Tagged ‘Fine Art Photography’

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

Aaron Conway Dances with The D1

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fine Art Photography

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 Aaron Conway Dances with The D1

©Aaron Conway

Cincinnati-based fine art and commercial photographer Aaron Conway was challenged to introduce the city’s ballet to a new and younger audience. His solution? Shoot the ensemble dancing in a location where the kids actually hang out.

Different photographers have different needs and different preferences. There are quite a few who value being able to shoot fast and on the fly. But there are also photographers such as Aaron Conway who prefers taking it slow and getting deep into the details.

“Patience is essential,” says Aaron. “Taking the time to build the right set and working on the lighting is critical. I’m always my worst critic and have realized that if you rush a shot you’ll always see it in the image.”

It is a surprising stance, considering some of the stuff that Aaron shoots. For instance, getting deep into the details seems to be a difficult thing to do when shooting the bustling activity of the Cincinnati Ballet.

“I like working with images that have more focused lighting,” replies Aaron when asked about the thinking behind his lighting setup. “There may be fill lights or accent lights, but I try to always have a strong main light in my images. I’ve always been drawn to images in which you can see the direction of the light. I think it creates an identity in the image, as if you were looking through the photographer’s eyes, seeing what they see.” Read More

Klara G Plays with Light, Toys and Trinkets

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fine Art Photography

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Profoto Klara G yamarill 3337k 600x818 Klara G Plays with Light, Toys and Trinkets

©Klara G/ARTER

Klara G loved the theater when she was a child. She still does. In fact, if there is one thing that defines her work as a photographer, it is her ability to create her own little worlds in which she sets the rules and tells the story.

“I’ve always loved the theater and I think I brought that with me when I got into photography,” says Klara. “I’ve always had, and I still have, a huge box of toys, trinkets, Lego and masquerade costumes in my studio. In a sense, being a photographer is much like being a theater director. You create a scene, you direct and you tell a story.”

With this in mind it come should come as no surprise that Klara went straight from photo school to working as an in-house photographer at the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm. As such, she photographed the plays, took portraits of the directors and actors, and did the promotional artwork for the theatre. But after a few years she felt the need to move on and today she is a freelancer, shooting all kinds of things – portraits, fashion, still life, fine art, interior, you name it.

Apart from the theatric feel that recurs in your images, what else would you say that they have in common? What is the element they all share?

“The light. I have certain preferences when it comes to light, and I tend to light all my pictures in a certain way, regardless of whether I’m shooting portraits, fashion or fine art.”

And in what way is that?

“First of all, I always use as few light sources as possible. I learned this from my old teacher Johan Westin. It’s so easy to add more and more lights, but having just one or two light sources is often a lot more powerful. Secondly, I’m a bit of a traditionalist. I tend to look to the classical painters for inspiration. For instance, you’ll notice that I use a lot of Rembrandt lighting. Soft but dramatic – I like that. Last but not least, I want the light to feel effortless and authentic. It doesn’t necessarily have to be or even look real. But it has to feel real.” Read More

Eric Chang and the Beautifully Bizarre

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Fine Art Photography

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A Culture Restored 05 600x800 Eric Chang and the Beautifully Bizarre

©Eric Chang

Not many photographers can brag about having their prints hanging on a wall in sir Elton John’s home. But Eric Chang can. And just like the knighted singer, Eric likes his art exceptionally extravagant and beautifully bizarre.

Eric Chang is a Los Angeles-based photographer and film director born in East Java, Indonesia. The son of a sculptor and a ceramic designer, Eric spent his early years in his parent’s workshop, playing and writing music and poetry, sketching with charcoals and sculpting gypsum.

“My family taught me a lot of things,” says Eric. “From drawing, painting, sculpting and creative writing to playing and writing music. These experiences have grown inside me ever since. They brought me an enormous amount of freedom and joy, but I still felt restrained and could not articulate my point of view. It wasn’t until I discovered photography that I also discovered a way to express myself and communicate my ideas to people.”

When you meet someone at a party who don’t know the first things about photography and they ask you what it is that you shoot, what do you reply?

“I never give the same reply twice,” says Eric. “Part of it depends on who’s asking, of course, but generally I always say something beautifully bizarre.”

What does that mean?

“What I want to suggest is that I don’t just shoot beautiful fashion portraits. For me, that’s boring. It has to be more to it than just assembling a team, getting models and designer clothes, and ‘wam-bam’ shooting it straight away. I like to spend time thinking of different ideas and combining to make something unique. And most of the time, the result of that process is something that is … beautifully bizarre. Read More