Les étoiles dans les yeux

Voici déjà un certain temps que je souhaitais refaire quelques portraits mais il me manquait un concept porteur dans le sens où photographier une jolie fille en soi est joli, sympathique, etc… mais que cela manque un peu de contenant si je peux m’exprimer ainsi. Ce qui finalement donne du plaisir est autant la conception que le résultat. Et sans commencer ici un débat philosophique, je crois que cette affirmation est vraie pour beaucoup de choses dans la vie.

Alors j’ai cherché un concept. C’est ainsi que, après un certain temps, mettre les étoiles dans le regard a surgi dans mon esprit. J’ai un peu recherché comment faire et très vite tout est clair dans mon esprit pour faire le shooting. Il neme restait plus qu’à demander à une de mes collègues de participer. L’idée lui plu et une semaine plus tard nous étions dans le studio pour ce TFP.

Le matériel : des lampes LED, un grillage pour les fixer et… c’est tout.

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Pour le fond, j’ai posé une plaque de plastique transparente que l’on utilise normalement comme un toit pour les cabanes ou les maisons de jardin. J’ai utilisé un flash rouge dans ce set up.

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Sur la photo ci-dessus, pas de flash. Les nuances bleues proviennent de la lumière ambiante du studio dont la chaleur est celle de la lumière du jour. Mes LED ayant une lumière de 32ooK (donc plus chaude), mon réglage calé sur celle-ci fait que la lumière du jour devient froide.

Voilà voilà…

(Wien, TFP, Juni 2016)

 

Who’s Got The Credit ?

Hi Gang!

This question might sound silly at first, but in some cases the answer is not so easy.

Let’s take this portrait of me as an example.

Me

I did not press the shutter so, I did not take this picture. But still, I think I have the credit for this picture. The reason being is that I set up the light. Here an Elinchrom Portalite camera right. I decided to use  a reflector to get some rim light  on my right side (for it’s the left side of the face). I also selected the lens and the camera. And I edited the picture in Light Room. So basically, I made the picture, I did not take it.

But, shooting is also about catching the moment… So 90% of this shot is from me, 10% from my wife.

Now, if I was to sell this picture (I know guys, stop smiling : I know nobody is going to by my portrait), who should get the money and have the rights ? How do you make sure who gets the % of the credit? Not easy.

But let’s go even more deeper… and lets take an other example :

 

ICE AGE

This picture was shot back in 2012 or so. Sophie, a very nice looking colleague accepted to be a model for this shooting. Alizee is a Make Up Artist who needed pictures for a championship in NYC. So we built a portfolio together : she was happy to have a photog for free, I was happy to have a model and Sophie was happy to have a nice picture for free.

The idea of the Ice Queen was mine (1-0). But all the look was hers (1-1). The background had to look as if the model was in an Iceberg and I came up with a working solution (2-1). A friend of mine helped me a lot to postprocess the picture. Not easy to tell who’s got the credit: she? me? Both ?… My friend? And shouldn’t the make up count for 3 points? What do you think?

 

 

Take a break ! And here are the 5 reasons why !

Well I could not sleep well last night and I could not find out the reason why.
Then, I started to think about the reason why I am not shooting so much those last weeks. Yes, I have a lot of business trips, yes I spend more time with my daughter. But, I know there is something deeper in this matter.

In the air. Again.

(Shot while boarding as I was on the way to Paris CDG. I love the uniforms they wear at Austrian Airline, I love red. It was shot with a cellphone, a samsung galaxy S4 and I used snapseed for the processing (color temperature) ).

To be honest, I feel I have learnt a lot those past years. Life has its ups and downs and this rule also applies for photography. In fact, I am bit lost.

Who am I as a photographer? Where do I really want to go? Why all this learning process in a hobby that is not the cheapest one?

I hold my Ipad and browsed my pictures, the pictures I have made those last 10 years. Clearly, the technical skills are better, there is no doubt about this. But I realized that the picture I love, are not necessarily the most complicated ones.

I like…

a) Pictures of people I know: friends, neighbors, colleagues…

Louise & Ulli

(Our dear friend Louise (left) who jumped into a plane from NYC to visit us and see our daughter Louise!)

b) I love to create a story, meaning by that the viewers want to know what is happening in the picture. It might be a look. It might be a setup, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that the viewer just stops and looks twice.

Oh my God!!!!

(This picture is shot with a cellphone, the same one I already mentioned above. Technically a poor shot. It’s basically a great picture of my nose. This pic is interesting for only 2 reasons : number 1- You don’t see pictures like this very often. Number 2 – You ask yourself what I am pretending to see.) I guess the fellows around me had to laugh at me as I had to practice my expression several times ! )

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(Scary! This shot is supposed to provoque a reaction. The story is that Evil may come from where you would never think! Btw, the knife was added in PS)

c) Shooting emotion when I shoot people. People are not so interesting but the emotions they carry are interesting. And now I understand why I think that most of the pictures – excellently shot – of babes with wonderful bodies and great light, etc… don’t really attract my attention. “Hum… Well, looks like a product picture.” This also explains why I don’t like models from the internet (well sometimes I do, but my ratio deception vs. good surprise confirms my statement). Here a good surprise :

Susane Arlt

(She was a great model and it was cool to work with her. We managed great shots! She is willing to be an actrice and I really do hope she makes it!)

d) movies and the place light plays in the classic movies with Humphrey Bogard, Alfred Hitchcock… And there is surprisingly a come back. Have you watched “Better Call Saul”? It ‘s a great show and scenes are lit as if they were for pictures. It’s a good story and a pleasure for the eye. I love this. And I love shooting stuff like this.

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In the Morning

(2 different ways to get this feeling: above it was a studio shooting with a Make-Up-Artist and lights, and, and, and… ; The one below is my wife having breakfast and some sunbeams thru the curtain + Lightroom. As you see it doesn’t have to be complicated to have this movie touch.)

c) Drama. In faces, in landscape…

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(On a rainy day, shot from my car as I was arriving at my next meeting)

So. Where am I ? I know what I like, but what should be my path? Time is precious and we cannot walk two tracks at the same time. We need to make choices.

I need to show my work to someone who will be able to tell me : ” Boy, this is shit, this hum… but this is interesting, this is the way you should follow.”

Now I need to find this person.

At this point, I thought it would be a good piece of advice to share my experience of last night:

TAKE A BREAK to check:

a) What do want to learn ?
b) What do you want to shoot ?
c) What is that lets take the camera in your hand
d) What subjects are your favorites ?
e) What are the one you shoot best ?

More to come

It’s about flowers and what it takes to make a great shot.

Flowers are not my thing!//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsShort post today. This is the story of guy who loves taking pictures who suddenly experiences the emptiness of its creativity. When no idea crosses my mind, I just take pictures of nice looking subjects in the hope to deliver their beauty to the viewers. Like this one. This leads me to my next question : what does make a great shot? We are literally bombed with perfect pictures. But which are the ones which are great ? My opinion is that sharpness, colors, gear, contrasts, etc… are, at the end of the day not important. What matters it emotion. But who am I ? A nothing in the photog’s world and there are so many gifted guys out there like… Frank Doorhof, Regina Pagels, Raphael Hainaut, Carmen Kronspiess, and Joe McNally. Joe is a worldwide photog, so I thought I ask him. And, he mailed back : check yourself guys and have a nice weekend: Bildschirmfoto 2015-08-21 um 17.39.20

More to come…

 

 

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It’s Yes It’s Me When I Shoot!

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Sometimes funny things happen during a shooting and this time, Mister Sun had decided to pay us a visit.

What you see is me shooting at a mirror. I stand in a sunbeam. Sunset has started. Behind me, my wife, under a Beauty Dish. I just think it’s cool.

more to come…

Slice of Life

Louise & Ulli

You can talk hours about what photography is, trying to catch its soul and to reduce it into a definition that would satisfy anybody. But I am quiet afraid this is not going to happen. But there is one definition I think that could unify photogs. What we do when we press the shutter speed is to cut a slice of time, a slice of life.

We will pass away, but this tiny little fragment of time will still be there, for the pleasure of our kids and younger relatives.

This picture is a slice of friendship !

more to come