Kurtis Hughes in Dublin

Kurtis is a model and singer from Dublin. He is signed with the Bscene Agency Compton now in Dublin. Thanks to the power of FaceBook, he seen my work and asked to set up a portfolio shoot. The rest as they say is history. If you want to get some fresh portfolio shots taken, drop get in touch via the links on the left there.

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After some email exchanges, we narrowed the style of the images that he wanted to something with a fashion feel to it and out on location. Location portraits are my speciality so I was confident that we would make it work. We shoot around Dublin’s fair city is some cool locations that I did not even know existed until I found them scouting the few days before.

The shot above of one of my favourites from the day. It is so simple it works. The umbrella is not just for looks, it actually was raining on us so it turned out to be a functioning prop. The lighting makes this kind of shot. My mate Adam was once again there to help me out on this shoot.  I will be putting up the usual Setup Post in a few days to give the details on how each shot was generally done.

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The beauty about location portraits is that to get a different shot, all you need do is turn the camera a different direction. This garage door was right next to the area where the above shots were taken. There were also a few more taken that were used, but these are the strongest images I think.

By the way, all the shots above were taken just off Grafton St.

The last three shots were taken in a small shopping centre just off Grafton Street. The Orbis Ring Light was used for these also to get that fashion look. I liked the white walls with the black doors when I saw it on my scouting and pictured it working like this in my head with a black suite and white shirt.

Any comments or questions stick them below.

Orla O’Brien in Dublin

I had the pleasure of shooting with Orla O’Brien around Dublin recently. Orla as been recently signed with a new agency Platinum. We set this shoot up during the the Street Pic Shoot that we had last month. We decided upon an urban theme and went with it. Orla had a friend (name??) who styled the shoot and I think they did a good job, although we didnt get to use all the looks due to time constraints.

I had the assistance of a college mate Adam on the shoot. I put the call out for help as I knew that in working out doors that an extra pair of hands to hold a light would have been needed. I was using my new ishoot softbox for the first time on this shoot. It is a soft box that is comes with brackets that are designed to take speedlights. Handy 🙂 The softbox was on a bog standard light stand with a Nikon SB600 with 1/2 CTO gel being used for most of the shots. I was having problems with my radio triggers so I used the 2m TTL cord to trigger the flash and to do so in TTl mode. Nice. Nikon i-TTL mode is great.

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The first shot above is a nice shot I think. Here, the softbox is just out of the frame camera left and above Orla’s head. It was shot with an 18-55mm Nikon Kit lens. A lot of the shoots from the day were taken with that lens as I needed the width to try and capture some of the urban setting also. For a kit lens its gear. It does suffer some barrel distortion at the wider angles though, but nothing that cant be fixed in photoshop.

The above and below shots are again taken with the softbox above, near the model.

I like the Jumper. It is a nice fun shot and the black and white conversion came out nice. I chose a low angle to give the impression of extra height and to also show the height of the building also. Adam was holding the light up high on this one to make sure that Orla was lit when she jumped.

The shot below is creepy at first. It was a happy accident that turned out to be a not to the a ring/ grudge type films.

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Jessica McMurry

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Back on the streets of Dublin, yet again for another action packed, fun filled, rain soaked Street Pic session. This time, I caught up with Jessica McMurray and her friend and model/photographer Anouska. It was a great little session that involved literally 15mins of shooting and a load of great shots that could be used. Here are the final ones  I picked.

We had to retire some shelter as the rain started to lash down as we started. I spotted a ‘plan B’ location on the way to the main location, so we resorted to that.

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Anouska came along also. I have been following her work both as a model and Photographer and its great. ( Anouska’s Blog ). She helped out by holding Jessica’s white jacket to use as a reflector.

Again, as usual with the Street Pics, there was no more than 15min spent on photoshop. The 15mins starts after the final image to be edited have been picked that is. So in total for the few pics here you are talking about 60mins behind the computer.

Thats all for now. If you want to take part in a Street Pic session, hit me up here by leaving a comment, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

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Orla O’Brien

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I have decided that I need a project and I have called that project Street Pic…. not a very catchy name but to the point. The aim being to try and take some great, natural photos of people right on the street. When I say natural, I mean just bring along my camera (Nikon D40) and 35mm 1.8 lens and see what happens. No lights, no stylist, no nothing. I am also going to apply a 15 minute photoshop rule also. This means that a street pic can not spend more than 15mins in photoshop. Just enough time to make colour and exposure corrections and minor touch ups. No full on skin smoothing here.

The first example above is from a meeting with Orla. We me up to have a chat about a future shoot. I told here that I would take some test shots during the meeting. I initially started out going straight in to strobist mode, cracking out the flash and ttl cord for some off camera action. I have Orla’s boyfriend trained in after 5 minutes to be a fully qualified speed light holder ( Good job Rob). Took loads of frames with flash, and they were good but lacked something. I was shooting about F3.5 or there abouts.

Then we had finished up and put the flash away and I decided to try a few in natural light for the craic…. great decision it turned out to be. Lately I have been in strobist over load…. taking the lights out at ever opportunity. I have now seen sense. Flash photography is a tool, not just a style. You need to know when to use the natural light and go with it and when you need to nuke a scene out of it. Besides, at F1.8, there is more than enough light getting in there for a shutter speed in the high 1,000’s as ISO 200. Thankfully, I have this epiphany before the shoot with Lisa Nolan and most of the shoots from her shoot with all natural light.

Anyway, back to Street Pic. If you fany getting a street pic taken, then keep an eye on my twitter or facebook to see when I am about Dublin next and we will make it happen. The more the merrier

Hannah Healy on the Beach

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Here are the final images from a shoot with Hannah Healy out at Portmarnock beach recently. Hannah was also in DIT and we meet through the Fashion show. Hannah is a surf chick so it was a great theme for a shoot. She came all the way over from Galway with her board to shoot with me for a few hours.

I was using my Nikon D40 as usual with the 35mm 1.8 AF-S Lens. In front of the lense was a Hoya circular polarizing filter. It’s pretty much my standard setup these days when shooting out doors. Other bits of kit used on the shoot were basic reflectors, gold side used and my trusty strobes. The strobes has 1/2 cto gels on them to balance for ambient light and they were triggered by either the radio trigger or optical slave.


The above two images were from the later end of the shoot. They veered from the surf theme a bit and we tried a bit of a more of a fashion look. We only spent 10-15mins on this look as the light was fading very fast behind her. The lighting set up is fairly basic, just two strobes at either end of her, ask described in the diagram below:
The power of the left one would have been in the 1/2 range. The wide angle adaptor was used, so that and the gel took a bit of light power. The right strobe was any where from 1/2  in the top frame I think and 1/8 in the second. Although the right light in the top frame is a little hot, I kinda like the effect and the resultant lens flare.

I like this shot. I adjusted the various colour channels in light room to get the right black and white conversion. The lighting on this shot is coming from camera right, the sun and camera left, gold reflector.  It was just the two of us on the shoot so no assistances to help out. I some how managed to eye up a shot in the camera with the right hand and then lean over and use a small reflector in my left and to put some light on her face, took a few attempts but we got it eventually 🙂

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We were playing around with various angles for this one. Hannah moved the board to the middle of her face and it caught my eye, so I thought there was a shot in it. The sun is coming in from the rear left, so the face is underexposed. I set up the flash just behind my left shoulder on a stand to provide some fill on her face. You can make it out in the catch light on her eye on the bigger version.

I like the shot above, the light turned out great. Just one strobe camera left and the sunlight camera / rear left. This shot is very neat straight out of camera. Could nearly be confused with something from a magazine 🙂

Brendan O’Loughlin

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Here are some of the shots from shoot two of three I had on that busy day a while ago. This time with Brendan was was up for a bit of craic and helping my get some shots for my portfolio. The other two shoots being the skateboarders and Gill. The shoot was a quick 30 minutes all in during lunch. It was a great day for it, the sun was shining and every one was in good form.

There was not much of a brief for the shots so we went with the flow. I decided utilise the weather and timed of year and the trees in full green foliage in a Dublin city park. There were a few various shots that ranged from the serious…ish headshots , some casual ones and fun shots etc.

We only had about 30 minutes from start to finish, including set up. So we didnt hang about. I had to head to Portmarnock beach later to shoot Gill.

For the Strobist out there, the set up was basic enough and pretty much my standard:

1x Nikon SB600 speedlight, shoot through umbrella on a light stand. The light had a 1/4 CTO gel to balance it for the sunlight.WB was set to sunlight also.  Shutter was 1/125 @ F3.5 and ISO 200.

I shoot in manual most of the time, so I set the aperture first to my desired value. This being determined by the required depth of field  and the sharpness of the  lens. The sharpness of my lens varies a bit across the various aperture values at various focus distances. Anyways… so what ever the camera was telling me to set the shutter to get a correct exposure on the background, I under exposed it by a stop or 1 1/3 stops. I then used the flash to bring up the light on the subject to a suitable level. Once I had the power on the flash right then I adjusted the position of the light a bit to get it just right.

Bearing in mind that this was all going on within a few minutes so it was a bit rushed. The sunlight on the screen also makes it a bit harder to see what you are really getting.  A bit more time and some more lights would mean more power to over come the sunlight and underexpose the background even more… That is for next time. This was a nice quick exercise in strobist work though.

 

Max Fedorov

Max is a friend from college. He is into long boarding which is similar to skateboarding. I thought that it could make some some interesting photos so I asked if I could come along some time the next time he was meeting up with his boys to practice in Dublin. Max was also a model in the DIT Fashion show that I was at. I took some portrait snaps of him for his portfolio and also some pictures of lads doing their thing.

This post is about Max’s shots. The next post will be about the action shots, some of which came out great. For Max’s shots, I was using two Nikon SB600 flashes for the hour or two I was out shooting. I gelled one flash with a 1/4 cto gel to balance the flash for the ambient sun light which I was using as a back light / rim light for some shots. I was using another SB600 usually for a accent / kicker / side light etc etc. Both flashes were set off remotely via radio triggers.

The White Balance setting was set to sunny as far as I can remember. WB on the camera is not as important now for two reasons.

1. I am shooting in RAW which means it can be adjusted in post processing
2. I am experimenting with different processing techniques anyway. WB shift and tinting and split toning.

I was also using a shoot through umbrella to soften up the light. The umbrella was the key light (cto gelled) and generally less than a meter away from Max. All this combined with underexposing the background by about a stop gave the effect that you see. There was no skin retouching with these photos. There was 10 minutes spent in Lightroom setting up the first image and then the settings were copied over to the others with some adjustments for each.

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