Sunday, 8 January 2012

Simple Portraits

Portraits, Ebenezer dam, Magoebaskloof

One of my first cameras was a medium format Mamiya C330 wth a square film format. Later on I had a Hasselblad, also a square film format. I still remember the ads Hasselblad ran in those days touting the superiority of the square format over the other formats like 6x7, 6x4.5 etc. Today of course Hasselblad still makes a square format camera but its flagship digital camera is 6x4.5....but today to get a square image you would have to crop it...


I love the square format and I love it even more when it is used for portraits, specially the simple kind....By simple I mean just plain backgrounds, natural or simple lighting and unaffected poses. Portraits where people are themselves rather than a projection of an ' image'. I suppose that if all the technical stuff is simple and the subject didn't have to dress up for the occasion, a simple portrait can happen...

In these photographs taken of a mother, father and their three daughters, I tried to keep things simple. The natural light came from a large door on left and a big skylight from above. The wall was painted a matte grey and the subjects were relaxed and very casually dressed...some were still in their swimming costumes and I just grabbed then and lined them up against the wall for a few exposures each. It was all finished before anyone could protest too much....

I used a camera with a 35mm equivalent lens and exposure and focus was all fact I used face recognition auto focus to make things even easier...iso was probably somewhere between 400 and 800 to keep the shutter speed fast enough to stop motion blur. As always in post processing I de-saturated the colours and increased the  micro contrast. And of course to get the images square I just crop them in post processing.....

 click on the images to enlarge.



Johan & Margie
Regards, Ivan

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