For this studio based assignment, we have been working on the play of light and light quality for portraits; using strobes, soft-boxes, reflectors and other modifiers, along with black and white backdrops, and various props.
Photographs have been taken over several weeks, with class members taking it in turns to pose for photos; photographers providing direction; and adjusting the studio lights to get the most out of the setting.
For one class, a special guest modeled for us, and this proved to be invaluable in testing our interpersonal and technical skills, and realizing areas for improvement.
Selected portraits follow:
Guest model Anthony, from the male entertainment group The Chocolate Men, Britain’s first all-black touring strip dancing group; also appeared on the Channel 4 observational documentary The Black Full Monty.
Having the opportunity to photograph Anthony was a privilege. His natural and vivacious energy made shooting him fun and exciting.
Other than knowing he was modelling for photography students practicing portrait shots. Anthony arrived fresh, with a few different outfits and no preconceived ideas of what we might do or want from him.
Each student took it in turn to photograph Anthony. With each of us having different visions, objectives and communication styles.
Anthony proved to be superbly adaptable and patient with us as we each experimented with exposure and lights – working everything out as we went along.
My photographs aimed to achieve simple shots with an element of mystery and dark tones (light and shadows), with an elegant play on Anthony’s Black Magic persona. My approach for this session being less is more; with a focus on beauty, skin and grace. With a small depth of field Anthony’s muscular frame effortlessly popped out against the black backdrop. And even though my directions were more charades than seasoned photographer, I captured some really good, versatile shots. The main element that changed with the photographs being studio light rather than exposure, that stayed at 1/100 sec, f.5 and ISO 100.
Anthony is personable and handsome – he is a gentleman with a dazzling smile and cheeky humor, so it was an honor to photograph him. The following photographs are my top five shots: