portrait

I took my Rolleiflex Old Standard, a twin lens reflex medium format film camera from 1930s Germany (and the oldest camera I have in my collection) out to a rallycross at Bundy Hill and shot my very first roll of film through it. I don’t know why the film didn’t advance to the last frame — at least, I think I advanced it to frame 12 — but the resulting double exposure, the first exposure being that of a friend, and the second exposure being that of a trio of competitors enjoying post-rallycross beers, looks kinda cool. I’ve never really played around with double exposures before; maybe I should? Photo shot with a Rolleiflex Old Standard on Fujifilm Acros 100 film.

I went to a Cars and Coffee event at M1 Concourse and brought along my Morgan, a friend visiting from out of town, and my beloved Mamiya C220 TLR camera. I shot this picture late in the morning, stepping in front of the Unimog as the driver got in and started the machine, preparing to leave the show. Fortunately, he had the patience to wait for me to take the shot, rather than driving over me as would be extremely easy to do so in something with such massive ground clearance. I kind of like the unintentional lens flare in the shot. Picture shot with a Mamiya C220 and an 80mm f/2.8 lens with Kodak Portra 400.

I was asked to shoot the Ann Arbor Valentines Dance. I split my time between the white seamless photo studio downstairs and the dance floor upstairs. I’m not really all that great a portrait photographer; what I usually do is ask my subjects to do increasingly sillier things until everyone’s concentration breaks and we all laugh at ourselves. That’s one nice thing about shooting dancers — we’re all inherently silly and not serious anyway. After these two did a bunch of silly poses, they had a laugh and an embrace before leaving the set — all I did was keep shooting away. Funnily enough, I liked this picture more than any of the “posed” pictures they did earlier in this sequence. Photo shot with a Nikon D7200 and a 60mm f/2.8 lens, triggering a pair of Flashpoint R2 speedlights and a single Flashpoint Streaklight 360.

My friend Mike hosts some really fancy parties where people dress fancy and drink fancy drinks. I’m simply not fancy enough for these parties, but I enjoy going to them anyway. Indicative of my lack of fanciness, I brought along one of my least fancy cameras, but what it lacks in fanciness it gains in image quality and usability with flash. Here, the host is flanked by two gentlemen, and all three of them are looking classy as hell. Photo shot with a Bronica 645 ETR equipped with a 50mm f/2.8 lens and a Lumopro LP160 flash on Kodak Portra 400.

I bought a Chinese TLR, a Huazhong that has the same basic body and build of the dime-a-dozen Seagull TLRs, but has a shutter that can fire up to 1/500 of a second. I shot a test roll in the camera at bitterly cold rallycross at Crystal Motor Speedway. I liked the hats that this couple were wearing, and so I asked to take a picture of them. Picture shot on a Huazhong TLR camera with a 75mm/f3.5 lens on Kodak Portra 400.

For a few years, I shot white seamless portraits at Ann Arbor’s Pirate Swing. I dragged a bunch of white reflective boards to the Saturday night venue, laid them all out on the floor, set up a white background and three studio strobes, and invited the costumed dancers to cheese it up for me in front of the camera. This is one of my favorite images, if nothing more for the sheer contrast. Photo shot with a Nikon D700 and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6, with Pocket Wizards triggering three Alien Bees B800 strobes.

I shot this picture back when Detroit Region SCCA still ran autocross events at the Pontiac Silverdome. I went around the grid and tried my hand at taking people portraits. This was one of my favorites: two young novices getting ready to make a run. Smiles were captured using my favorite technique — aim the camera, start firing away, move my head away from the camera while still firing the shutter, and giving the subjects a glare or an evil grin, thereby usually getting rid of the deer-in-the-headlights stare and getting a laugh, which then becomes the photograph I keep. Photo shot with a Nikon D700 and a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

I’m… not quite sure what is going on here. This was the band for Pirate Swing, the members whom decided that they wanted a white seamless portrait of themselves. I’m sure there’s some sort of meaning here that is too deep for me to understand, so don’t ask me why one person is holding a roll of gaffer tape and another is hoisting a jar of spaghetti sauce in the air like it’s the Stanley Cup. Photo shot with a Nikon D700 and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

Here’s another portrait from Rantoul, a picture of a friend who has since moved out of the Midwest to the western United States, making me jealous of all the cool off road stuff he constantly posts on Facebook. I had rented a Canon DSLR and a couple of lenses for shooting autocrosses and dances. I nabbed this shot from in front of grid. This was the last picture in a series of pictures; I just kept shooting until the normal serious face gave way to something a bit more whimsical. Photo shot with a Canon 5D MkIII and a 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens.

I brought along a set of Alien Bees B800 strobes, a roll of white paper, and several white glossy boards in the back of my Ford Focus hatchback and traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana for Rose-Hulman’s Winter Gala dance. I set up a studio outside the dance hall in the lobby and tried to shoot white seamless for the very first time, relying on the stuff that I had read from Zack Arias. After a bit of a rocky start, I finally was able to get a series of decent shots going. Thankfully, the swing dancers that I shot were more than accommodating to my stumbles. Towards the end of the night, I decided to ask someone to stand behind the camera and take a shot of me. Photo shot on a Nikon D7000 with a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, with a trio of Alien Bees B800 studio strobes triggered by Pocket Wizards.