Gordon Andersson
gordon@gordonandersson.com
+46 737 600 458
Stockholm, Sweden

Portraits with a theme

The tech blog I write for also has a film category that is run by the good folks over at Moviezine. One day they mailed me and wanted me to shoot some new byline photos for them. After some wheeling and dealing I got complete artistic freedom and decided to shoot some rather different byline pictures with something special in all the shots instead of only shooting a classic headshot.

We have “the burned out writer”, “the popcorn love” and a homage to this wonderful portrait of Martin Scorsese by Art Streiber.

I wanted all the portraits to have the same look and feel so even though they are quite different the lighting is almost the same in all of them but one. All of the has my beloved Profoto 5′ Octa as main light and most of them uses it as the only light (except a light on the background). The only photo that is completely different is the first one.

The first photo is lit with the large octabox in front and two smaller softboxes from the back on each side. The on on camera left is also way up high to get a nice light on the hair.

The burned out writer is lit by only the octabox which hangs from above like a ordinary lamp.

All the other portraits have the large octabox to camera right a little bit higher then their heads and that’s it. even the group shot is lit this way.

Categories: Studio Portraits

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2 Different Portraits – 1 Lighting Setup

Two weeks ago I held a seminar and work shop about studio lighting in collaboration with the camera store Scandinavian Photo. For four hours I taught the small class about the theory of light, different light shapers, lighting setups and all you need to take your flash photography to the next step. Then we started the work shop and everyone got to put their newfound knowledge to the test for another four hours.

When it all was over I asked one of the attendees if I could take a quick portrait because I really liked the character of his face. Said and done, I took one Profoto D1 250 flash that stod there with a 3×4′ softbox on it, did a quick readjustment and left the backgroud light as it was. Then I started shooting and ten minutes later I had this black and white portrait.

Afterwards I also asked the model for the day if she would mind to stay for another fifteen minutes, she said yes and I just shot with the same lighting setup.

You can see the results from both of these really quick portraits above and I don’t know what you think, but I think they are great examples of how different portraits you can get with the same lighting setup.

The are both shot with a Nikon D800 and a Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Edge 80 lens, a wonderful lens!

Categories: Backstage, Studio Portraits

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Portraits in natural light

As you may have noticed I am all for artificial lighting and there are few portrait that are completely naturally lit. Here is one exeption.
It was an ordinary day at my day job as a writer on a tech blog and then suddenly I got an irresistible urge to photograph (it happens from time to time). I turned to Twitter (you can follow me here) and asked if someone could “model” for me after work. As usual Twitter did the job and an hour later it was shooting time.

I think the whole shoot took 30 – 45 minutes and I shot images at lets say 6 or 7 locations all with in an area of a couple of hundred meters. I fixed four of them in different ways and here they are.

The whole shoot was some what of an exercise for myself to se if I still had it in me to just meet a stranger and take a couple of good portraits where ever we happened to be. That is exactly what happens when you get a editorial gig for a magazine so it is always good to keep your skills sharp.

Categories: Environmental Portrait

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Dancing in the dark

The technology
When Profoto launched the ProDaylight 200 and 400 I did a photo shoot to see how they worked for still photography. I was really impressed with the performance of the lights and the worked good for booth stills and film. The thing is that they are quite expensive so I decided to see how the cheeper ProTungsten performed for still photography.

The problem with Tungsten lights is that the color temperature isn’t ideal for the best possible image quality and that they don’t deliver the same punch. At east that’s the theory but it is noticeable when you shoot and in the end result. But the truth is that I had expected more problems with not getting enough light and that the picture quality would suffer more. The red light makes the camera loose a stop or two of dynamic range and you get a little more noise but depending on what you want to do that isn’t that big of a problem.

The Profoto Tungsten lights are real easy to work with I probably will use them again. For film though I would probably rent the ProDaylight 800 because these don’t deliver enough light.

The pictures
My idea was to shoot a image of a dancer and shadows of her movements. I could have done so with multiple exposures or with multiple flashes but I wanted to try to something else to really get the trails of the dance. And after one failed attempt I got the idea for the “double exposure” portraits which are my favorites from the shoot.

I got the image by letting the dancer stand still for a couple of seconds and then dance around with shorts stops on the way where I wanted the “shadow” of her to be more visible. I think the whole exposure was twelve seconds.

The lighting
The main light is a Profoto lantern, a really interesting light modifier which spread the light in a way so the top of her was lit throughout her movement but the light didn’t spill to the background. She began slightly behind it for maximal light in her face for the portrait part of the image. I also had a softbox to the left and maybe one from the right (i tried it but don’t know if was used in the final image) to light her up a little more when she danced to the sides. Those lights were pointed in a way so they wouldn’t hit the background and the right one even had had a grid for the same reason.

The post production
I haven’t done anything else then some dodge and burn, everything you see is captured in one exposure.

Categories: Backstage, Studio Portraits

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Tattoos in focus

Right now the Studio is being renovated so I can’t shoot but the day before the renovation began I did a quick photo shoot. The modell is named Sulan and has a bunch of tattoos so I just felt I had to do the obligatory tattoo shoot but with a little twist (at least I think I did one).

Instead of just taking one portrait showing of all the tattoos I did a whole serie with pictures in which you can’t see his face and the one straight forward portrait Gordon style. I also took some “safety shots” in form of the two last portraits. I like those two as well but they aren’t part of the serie, they are stand alone portraits which I might use another time. All pictures are shot with a Nikon D800 and a 45mm f/2.8 PC-E Tilt/shift lens.

The lighting is simple and consists of one Profoto Giant 210 Silver a little to the left and quite high. I also have another light with a softbox on the background but that’s it.

At first I did some beauty retouch but then I decided just to do some simple dodging and burning. This decision was made to let the pictures become natural and naked, just showing of him and his tattoos and nothing more. The last two portraits though have had some retouch done to them.

Categories: Studio Portraits

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