And it all just came together – Bruno Poco
And it all just came together…
Awhile back I was very fortunate, not only to meet, but also photograph an elderly man named Alan. It’s always challenging to photograph people with character and what can be tricky is capturing the person’s personality. This was one of these elusive and magical photographs, in my opinion of course, where it just worked. I hate talking about my own work and I know that I am opening myself to some abuse… but just listen out and go gently on me.
I was introduced to Alan by a friend of mine Sean, who happens to be nuts about photography and has started to set up a very nice studio at his home. After a few minutes we both decided that contrasty directional light would best emphasize the wrinkles and textures on Alan’s face; character that makes Alan so great to photograph. After some time, we were getting some fairly decent shots, but nothing that I was crazy about. Eventually I started using Karsh lighting set up, and this started to produce the results that I originally envisaged.
The Karsh lighting set up that we used involved two studio lights facing towards the back of the model at about a 45 degree angle, and a reflector to bounce some light back towards the model from a similar direction from where the camera is photographing from. The trick is to expose for the bounce light on the model while allowing the studio light to be brighter. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to create a more dramatic look and therefore allowed the lights from behind to be substantially brighter and consequently creating more contrast bringing out the texture on Alan’s skin. Just out of interest, do some research on Karsh because he took amazing photographs during his time.
After getting the lighting to what I wanted, I started to photograph Alan at different camera angles to try capture something a little more exciting. I wasn’t interested in extreme camera angles but was rather using a more subtle approach. And then it all came together. I photographed Alan from a high camera angle while asking him to face and look at the camera. I liked the eye contact in the photograph and I believe that its one of the elements present that make this photograph striking.
Later on while looking at this image on Photoshop, I realised that it had the possibility of becoming a nice black and white. If you would like to learn more then please join us on our People Photography course.