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Wait before you throw something out

Don’t just throw stuff out. It can be awesome material to make clothing or accessories

Over the years I’ve shot some bizarre clothes and accessories all made out of material that you would never expect in a photoshoot. Ofcourse it helps to have a crazy creative stylist and model like Nadine 🙂 the images in this blogpost are a mix of styling by myself and Nadine.

For example think about some packing paper and old curtains

Or for example some Christmas paper

But also postal bags work

But one of my favorite must be this heavily inspired by the 50s pulp SF movies shot which is almost completely build up from paper bags

Staying in SF what about a robot all made out of cardboard

But it can also work with a newspaper of course.

Or what about handkerchiefs

And when we are on that route… Some toilet paper ?

And sometimes a lot of fun after the shoot with bubble wrap

And staying in plastic, what about some thrashbags? Not possible? Oh yeah it is

And finally (although I have loads more) what about using some plastic material and don’t use it as clothing but as background

What did you use as a creative solution?

That magic angle

Often when shooting models, landscapes etc. we are shooting from the so called “eyes perspective”, meaning you hold the camera in front of your face and you shoot. This will indeed render the world/your subject the way that YOU see it… but is this the most interesting way… often not.

During workshops, seminars, demos etc. I always stress the attendees/viewers/visitors to really try out different ways of shooting a scene, not only do you trigger your own creativity but you also give your client, being your model or customer, more choices. And in all honesty, we are photographers not just “snappers” right? (hope that is a right expression by the way).

But experimenting with angles you are actually learning about the behavior of lenses, light but also about the poses of the model. This is incredibly important when you start out with photography and when you start with experimenting with poses etc. you will build a much stronger base for your future, at least that’s my opinion.

The shots in this blogpost were shot during a workshop with Anouk with the exact same light setup, as you can see by changing the angle I did not only change the look of the pose but also radically changed the behavior of the light. It may or might not be your taste, but at least try it 🙂

For much more tips visit www.frankdoorhof.com/videos and download our instructional videos
Or subscribe to www.youtube.com/frankdoorhof for free instructional material
And of course get my book “Mastering the modelshoot” via your favorite bookstore or amazon 

 

The perfect lens……

Let’s talk a bit about lenses and looks.
The image we open with was shot during a workshop with a 70mm setting on a 24-70 lens. Is this the perfect/best way to shoot this scene?….. well let’s see.

 

“Frank what is the perfect lens for…..”
I don’t know how often I get this question, but let me put it this way…. it’s a lot

Now let’s start by saying that the perfect lens/camera is the one that you have with you… but… well that’s a bit of a cliche, so let’s give you a real tip in todays blog.

EVERY lens has it’s own character.
What I mean with this is that even between let’s say 2 50mm lenses you can see a difference. For example I sometimes love to shoot with older M42 lenses which via an adapter are connected to my Sony camera. Thanks to the peaking (focus assist) focusing is easy and fast with manual lenses. The cool thing about these lenses is that they give your images a distinct look which I personally really like. I also have some Leica lenses from the R series and those lenses are almost pure magic.. but that’s for another post (if you guys are interested in that just let me know in the comments below).

Back to todays tip.
Often it’s regarded that wide angles are “less” good for portraits or model photography than longer lenses. However I would like to point out that this is not entirely true. The main difference between a longer and wider lens is “distortion” now don’t take this too literally, but there is a totally different look to a wide angle which would indeed make it less “flattering” to shoot a portrait with from close by. On the other hand….. if you use that distortion to your advantage you can do some cool stuff like for example this.

If I shoot this with a longer lens the effect is much less prominent.

In essence you always have to remember that a camera doesn’t see depth.
The only thing it does is render objects that are close larger and objects that are further away smaller. When you shoot with a wide angle you are actually (in this case) closer to the apple and the model is much further away compared to the distance to the apple. Meaning you get this “distortion”.

Now if you make use of it, like in this example you can actually make it work for you.
Remember the image we opened with?
That’s how you would normally shoot it in the studio, but if you shoot it more wide, in my opinion the shots comes way more alive.

Now I do have to add a side note.
I really don’t like images that are shot with wideangles without being “shot” with a wide angle. In other words if you shoot a portrait like you would normally shoot a portrait with a sub 30mm lens (Full Frame) I often find the distorting taking me away from the shot. However when you use that “distortion” to work with the shot like in the sample with Anouk on the stool I really feel that the wider angle shot gives me a much more flowing image (if that makes sense). It has less compression so to say. (a term often used for longer lenses by the way).

 

Feel free to show your images with wide angles.

For much more tips visit www.frankdoorhof.com/videos and download our instructional videos
Or subscribe to www.youtube.com/frankdoorhof for free instructional material
And of course get my book “Mastering the modelshoot” via your favorite bookstore or amazon 

Tip: Get that sun

One of the things I always love to do is shoot the sun in the frame.

Sometimes just somewhere in the frame. But often I get more satisfaction by placing it for example just behind the model and letting it just shine through creating some cool effects.

Of course you can do the same with strobes.

Feel free to share your favorite sun in the frame images.