I did 4 shoots over 5 days last week and 3 of them were with Alicia Endemann in Paris. This was the coldest of our shoots and in some ways the most eventful. Because of the cold grey weather we limited our time on the streets appropriately. Here are 21 of my X-Pro2 shots processed in Lightroom from RAW with Acros.
01. Alicia Endemann has a classic look that is easily captured with the 50-140mm lens. It’s the little moments like this that tell the big story sometimes. Processed in Lightroom with Acros. We had lipstick a shade darker than I usually choose for mono portraits so I could use the straight Acros film simulation without needing my usual favourite Acros with G filter.
While the makeup was underway by Tatiana, Paul Keur, my co shooter and I chose a starting location using Google Earth. We decided to start at the Louvre and taxi’d right to the spot where our first shoot session took place.
02. The Louvre is surrounded by colonnades void of people and these make a perfect location for a portrait session in natural light whatever the weather.
03. I set up a couple more shots in the colonnade. It’s rare for me to shoot a portrait with black holes for eyes but it does give an edge to the shot on the left. I added contrast in Lightroom to emulate the look of a grade 4 print.
We warmed up in a local coffee shop before heading to the cute Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in the Louvre gardens for a splash of flash. There were many trinket sellers jangling their gilded Eiffel Towers but we were more interested in setting up our Cactus RF60 Speedlights. We triggered the pair of Cacti with the V6 tranceiver. It’s worth noting an updated V6 is on it’s way with high speed sync and will be compatible with the existing V6 and RF60 units once they have updated firmware.
4. We set up our Cactus RF60s on Lovegrove Flash Brackets with regular lighting stands. I used a 50-140mm zoom lens at 50mm setting on my X-Pro2. 1/250th second, f/8 at ISO 200.
05. We went down to the river to create this striking fashion shot. 16mm at f/11, 1/250th second using ISO 200. Just one barefaced Speedlight was all we needed.
06. We took shelter in an underpass before braving the riverside walk to the Grande Palais.
07. “You want me to take off my coat, climb up the wall and hang off the iron hoop?” Said Alicia. “Yes please” I replied.
08. “One hand please” 35mm lens at f/16 for 1/250th second. An ND8 filter would have brought the iris back into the sweet point of f/5.6. Even at f/16 this 35mm f/1.4 lens is a stellar performer.
09. I’m loving the Acros look. There is a fine grain, reminiscent of film grain when my usual setting of no noise reduction is set in Lightroom.
10. We moved under a bridge and I shot some more dramatic portraits combining beauty and character.
11. Down by the river there are quite a few opportunities for interesting natural light.
12. Alicia looks the part of a spy from a feature film.
13. I love low key opportunities that process easily from the RAF files. Brighter files edit well too.
As usual I chose not to use Photoshop, I didn’t use any plugins either, just the basic tools in Lightroom. This set is punchier and perhaps less subtle than my usual editing style but I think a change is good every now and then. For my next edit I’m going to give Nic Silver FX another go to see how the grain engine and ‘Structure’ compare to what can be achieved with Lightroom CC alone. I last used the Nix software with Canon 5D2 files opened in Photoshop and now it’s time to check it out again with Fuji files. Thank you Google for the freebie.