Saturday, July 24, 2010

Swimsuit shot

Without question that to shoot swimsuit pictures is not boring, but it is not as fun as many would think it is. One of the reason is that there are too many swimsuit pictures already taken, in studio, indoor situation or simply beautiful location with striking sunset, and I shot all of these, times after times. So why it is not fun? Of course it is still fun, just that when you shoot so many of them, eventually to get a pose that is fresh and not all too cliche, each time as a photographer, I need to work with the model to develop some different yet visually pleasing poses, while at the same time for the benefit of displaying the swimsuit itself, but more importantly, exhibiting the beautiful frame of model's body - afterall, it is the purpose of a successful swimwear or for that matter, most of the fashion labels.
Overall the years I shot quite many swimsuit and fashion lookbooks for different designers, one of the biggest concern I have is that often times the designer spend too much time working on details of the dress that ingore the fact the dress was designed to be worn. It is not a sample made from a sketch and finished there.  The person who would eventually wear the dress should be part of the design, or it would seldom work as a successful fashion statement.
This image was made with a Canon 5DII + EF 85/1.2L.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dress and Skin Tone

A recent image for a fashion label, the Lithuanian model's fair slin with a little touch of honey tone exhibited in this image gives the dress an extra bit of tenderness, to where the brand is targeting to.
Shot with Canon 5D II + EF 85/1.2L, an otherwise rather straight forward fashion lookbook shoot.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sense of Beauty

Entering into digital world might mislead many to beleive everything can be measured. Number of pixels, size of each pixel and pitch between pixels; then the color depth, 8, 10, 12, 14 bits and continue to move up; the modular transfer fucntion of an optical object and etc, but hardly these releate directly to quality, at most, perhaps the number exhibits the character of an object or in general what it is capable to produce, still, far away an enough justification of quality.
Pictures made by a fine artist, with the cheapest camera and lens, may be far superior than those from a photographer who more or less works like a test shooter with best possible equipment on somehting of no particular significance. At the end, time is the judge, time tells peopel generations later who to be remmebered.
FIFA World Cup 2010 just ended, age, experience, fitness, speed, skill, when you put all these together, still, you can't get a championship. It needs many other things that can't be described.
Beauty is the same thing.  It is hard to describe, or to measure.  Common sense tells us a beauty shot is to be of high clarify, skin details and so on, not so, often human is capable of looking a lot deeper than he aware of, feeling the spirit or wellness of the image protraits, regardless it is color or monotone, sharp or soft, in focus or not, fair or dark skin, or even young or old, beauty is sense.
Image shot with Hasselblad H3D39 with HC 120/4 Macro.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


A recent shot on beautiful Lithuania model, Kotryna, using Hasselblad H3D39 with HC 100/2.2.  The beautifully tanned skin of the model portraits the healthy color of summer.  
I have the model pose aginst a white wall so her beautiful skin can stand out, at the same time to use the shadow to balance the picture.  Petite but well proportioned, Kotryna stretched her lovely frame so she looks a lot taller than she really is, somewhat a classic act for swimsuit shot, but never gets dated.

Monday, July 12, 2010

White Balance

White balance was not much an issue before the digital still come into play.  Or just that it was there, but because not much can be done so people live with it, or just leave it to those real professionals.  The people who works on motions picture or videos has to deal it by applying gel to their lighting equipments to balance it, and careful to use the right type of film, lots of crafts there.
And digital still capture changes it. Adobe, the company who introduced the Photoshop change the landscape of still photography and continue to shape it, introduce the so called DNG - digital negative, introduce the white balance idea into a household awareness, or at least with the advanced users. It is a shame that many years later, the DNG were still not adapted by most camera makers.  This is a question I always have.  Camera makers must think they hold onto their proprietary raw file format will continue to help them develop specific knowhow; possible, but they can do that with DNG as well.  However, I am not working for Adobe, I am not selling the idea for them, I only bring this up for my subject here - the white balance.
The white balance has a profound impact on how we see an image.  There is really nothing about whose right or wrong. It is all preference, and most times, how photographer wants how their images to be seen. This image, taken at my studio using Canon 1Ds III with EF Macro 180/3.5L.  It has a golden color on the final image that was enhanced in the raw processing.  Canon, among those stubborn makers who stay with their own CR2 format, I am a long time EOS users, I am OK with CR2, except I don't use Canon's software to develop the CR2.  Get the picture?  The camera maker does not even make their own raw developer good enough, why not just adapt an open standard?  Anyway, this is not my subject.
This shot was made on a setup I needed for both still and video, so the WB control is important.  The still can't show the effect, but on video, it will clearly show that the golden background was a canvas, golden color, with a 3,200K ARRI for the highlight, and a fan on the back, so the canvas is not still, it is constantly moving, makes the video image really nice. The model has a very fair, fine, Caucasian skin, her skin was added a touch of gold from the raw conversion for the overall atmosphere.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pattern of nature

This is an image of otherwise very common scene in many (or most?) building in the world, the paint on the wall cracks over time, creating a all too familiar pattern.  In fact, the sun and rain, or dry and moist did on the man made object such as the wall of a building, is very much the same pattern it does on the surface of earth, except in much greater scale, and much more impact.
The eco system surrounds us is in fact a scaled model of a much larger universe, it depends on how we see it, or how we want to see it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Color of tapestry

This is an image took on Kachama art tapestry whose collection of works I shot for years, as well as for her collector's book.  This one is recent work, shot with Phase One P65+ on Hasselblad H2 camera, with HC Macro 120/4.  The original artwork is often in the size of 1-1.2 meter wide, and from 2-3 all the way to more than 20 meters long, usually collected by gallery, airport, hotel and some private collectors.  Each tapestry can take weeks to months to complete, and Kachama herself works her life into her unique vision of weaving.  It is really a pity the limitation of computer screen capable resolve such beautiful work in blogspot.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Point of view

An image took by using Canon 1Ds III with EF Macro 100/2.8L IS, on this beautiful model, Katya.  Our eyes rean an image with all the information communicated to our mind, some consciously, some sub-consciously.  Our mind put us in the reality of the environment where an image was taken, we felt the angle, distance, brightness, softness.....

Saturday, July 3, 2010


A recent work shot for USTAR, on a beautiful Brazilian Japanese model, Priscilla, with Canon 1Ds III + EF Macro 100/2.8L IS.  The new Canon macro lens has recently became my most used lens, for still and motion, in the studio the IS is not really mattered, but as the last version, the 100mm focal lengn is my choice for shots such as this.
The shot is focus to portrait the beautiful skin of the model, which is indeed nice.  The skin is one of the most intimate element of the woman, one of the sexist visual attraction of a woman to man.  No wonder woman around the world spends so much on cosmetics.  And of couse I can't complain, it is part of my job and certainly I am enjoying it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Work with camera

Adobe's Photoshop is today almost the synonym of digital photography, in some way it is quite true, but at the same time, hugely misunderstood.  Our eyes can resolve a lot more detail and light than the camera capable of, this can be a heated debate but not the subject here.
The use of Photoshop in professional has a lot of reasons that non-professionals don't understand. One of it, is the confidence of a model in fornt of a camera.  Yet, confidence is not something Photoshop can fix. A professional model spends hours before camera and mirror everyday, she will know how she looked best, and otherwise. But a photographer may agree and disagree with her, request her for poses she may not have the best look.  But this is not a comprise of the two, it is cooperation between the two.
Shot with Canon 1Ds III with EF 85/1.2L.