1 to 1 shoot training in Bristol ~ pictures

Jul 17, 2018 | Continuous Lighting, Flash, GFX, Location | 9 comments

01. Claire was standing in open shade on a beautifully sunny day and I lit her with a Godox AD 200 flash. I rigged it high on a stand with and fitted a gridded 5″ reflector on the bare bulb head. I set 1/2000th second and f/2 using ISO 100 on my GFX50s camera with the 110mm lens. It’s great not having to use ND filters to get a narrow aperture look to my flash pictures. HSS with the Godox system is easy. I just select any shutter speed I like and the flash does what it needs to do automagically.

A 1 to 1 urban portrait session is one of my most popular training days. The difference with this one was we spent half a day on the streets of Bristol at the waterfront and half a day at my clients hotel shooting boudoir. These 1 to1 sessions not only take place in Bristol, near where I live, but wherever I am in the world at the time. My client for this shoot chose to drive from Norway through Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and England. That must have been quite an adventure in itself. We used natural light and flash to create this set of unique images of model and actor Claire Rammelkamp.

 

02. The jury (in my head) are still out on Fujifilm’s ‘Classic Chrome’ film simulation for portraits. Both of these shots were taken with the GF 110mm lens at f/2. And all the shots in this post were taken with the Fujifilm GFX50s camera on a tripod.

I decided to edit the colour images using the Fujifilm, Classic Chrome film simulation in Lightroom. It’s a simulation that documentary and street photographers often like to use. I usually use the Pro Neg S simulation because I love natural skin tones and this change to CC is quite dramatic for me. First off I noticed the detail in the shadows is crushed and even with full adjustment of the shadows slider it’s hard to recover it. There is some cross colour going on too and the non linear colour palette gave me challenges when choosing skin tones using just the white balance and tint. Although the colour looks interesting it is far from reality and the denim jacket looks odd to my eyes even when everything else is as normal as I can get it. I’ll probably dabble with CC for a while then revert to my favoured Pro Negative S profile. Let me know your thoughts on CC below.

 

03. These pictures have more magenta tint in the mix and although Claire’s denim jacket looks better her skin tone looks a bit odd. Editing colour portraits with Classic Chrome is a challenge to say the least. I’ll probably revisit these RAW files in a few weeks time and try and tweak in the colours. If they don’t behave I’ll just revert the files to Pro Negative S and breathe a sigh of relief. I used the GFX50s with a GF 110mm lens, 1/4000th second, f/2 at ISO 100

 

04. This simple natural light portrait was shot at 1/500th second at f/2 using ISO 100.

 

05. The pattern of bokeh with the Fujifilm GF110mm lens is subtle and beautiful. It doesn’t shout for attention or distract from the subject. The depth of field for head shots is ridiculously small wide open so I tend to stop the lens down as I get tighter to avoid unnatural looking shots.

 

06. We popped upstairs at the bar we had lunch in to shoot a few interior shots.  I showed how to use a couple of windows to create classic two point lighting with minimal effort.

 

Claire Rammelkamp

07. We took a few more shots on our way back to the car. The shot of Claire on the left shows the dramatic look achievable with an AD200 fitted with a small dedicated softbox and a wide open aperture on the 110mm lens using HSS or ND filters. I used my tilting eyepiece on the GFX50s as a ‘chimney’ viewer to save my knees. The shots on the right were lit with natural light.

 

08. In the afternoon we went on to the boutique hotel where my client was staying for a boudoir shoot session using natural light and continuous light.

 

09. A Lupo 1000 spotlight used in a room with the curtains closed gives a punchy drama to the pictures.

 

Claire Rammelkamp

10. These shots were lit using a Lupo 1000 spotlight with a Scattergel to break up the light.

 

11. I lit Claire in the bath and behind the shower water with a Lupo 1000 LED spotlight.

 

If you want to spend a day or two with me taking your photography to the next level then visit this page for all the information you need, or you can give Blaise or Laura at the studio a call on 0044 1275 853204.

How have you got on with Classic Chrome for portraits? Feel free to comment on these pictures or ask questions below.

9 Comments

  1. Mark Devereux

    Ha! I’ll be contrarian – at least partially. I generally shoot in pro neg std and will usually choose that option in LR as a starting point for the vast majority of my edits. However, I have recently chosen CC on a few occasions for natural light portraits where the light is quite flat. I find the slight boost in contrast, combined with the slight desaturation & pinkish tones as a starting point quite appealing. Cheers, Mark

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Mark,

      I use CC for just a few of my USA set and I feel I can better spot where and when to use CC to it’s advantage. It will take me quite some time to integrate it into my work. It’s like using film back in the day. I always got to know one emulsion and stuck with that to get more control at the taking stage.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  2. Paul Lloyd-Roach

    Hi Damien

    Great set of pictures as always but I definitely prefer the Pro Neg S for skin tones. I know you will probably curse me for saying this but I find, along with many others that Capture One brings the Fuji files (especially the X Trans) alive in a way that Lightroom doesn’t. I know it’s less of an issue with the GFX and it’s a steep and sometimes painful learning curve but having made the transition I wouldn’t go back to LR. Your work is always inspirational so thanks for sharing it. I’ll have to book another 1:1 with you when I get some free time.

    Cheers, Paul

    Reply
  3. Paul harrison

    Another great set of images, not a fan of CC myself either, but each to their own. Claire is a great model, hoping one day I’ll get the chance to photograph her. Sets 5,9,10 and the shower shot stand out for me. Thanks for sharing these.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Paul,

      I’m going to ditch my CC experiment after this set and revert to normal service next :)

      Cheers, Damien

      Reply
  4. Seb Matthews

    I have to say first that the last frame, behind the water, is fabulous. Doing anything with moving water always drives me mad as it never seems to glint in quite the way I want, but that’s the kind of photo which makes me want to keep at it.

    As for CC, not a fan of it myself. The way it handles blues (going so green they almost circle around to brown) and strong reds (totally washing out) is too unrealistic for me. Case in point, the photos at the top are all great shots, but my eye is too distracted by how bizarrely-coloured her denim jacket is. Plus, in my experience, there’s something about the crushing contrast makes any shot feel underexposed, even when it’s exposed perfectly for any other profile. It doesn’t help that the CC profile in Lightroom and the one within Fuji cameras are a bit different, so I never feel like I can use the camera’s screens to evaluate the shot, knowing Lightroom’s version of Classic Chrome will render it differently.
    Between the overbearing stylisation and the extra hassle, I’ve pretty much given up on making CC work. I understand why some people like it, especially those who want the Instagram look without using IG’s own filters, but I go back to Pro Neg Std or a desaturated Astia/Soft every time. (Or a fully calibrated custom profile, as work demands.) Acros has been a wonderful addition, but CC could disappear from Fuji cameras forever and I, personally, would not miss it.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Seb,

      Great! It’s not just me then. I completely agree with your findings. I’ve never made it work for portraits yet but I do keep hearing expert photographers raving about it. I’ll join you in leaving CC well alone in future.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience.

      Cheers, Damien

      Reply
  5. Jay Mijares

    Hi Damien, interesting set of photos with the Classic Chrome simulation. Set #3, with the red tint, the skin tone does look just slightly off. I’ve not used Classic Chrome yet, and usually stick with ProNeg S for most photos. Set #9 of just Claire’s back is absolutely stunning! She almost looks like a sculpted statue in a museum! Set #1 is really nice too with the way the light traces the contours of her face!

    Jay

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Jay,

      You are right about the skin tones being off. I did struggle with these and I think a big part of the problem is me. I think I need to treat myself to a new screen too as my laptop screen is not ideal.

      Thank you for the compliments and your continued support.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien

      Reply

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