portrait

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.

I went to a New Years Dance party in Chicago back in 2012. Literally just weeks prior, I had taken delivery of a trio of Alien Bees studio strobes and spent an evening putting together a “portable” white seamless setup. I brought the setup to the dance party and set it up out in the hall, if I recall correctly. After some serious stumbling around for an hour, I finally got into the grove enough to shoot pictures that weren’t completely terrible. Being that today is the New Year, I thought it appropriate to share this image, taken moments after we rang in the new year, 2012. Photo shot with a Nikon D7000, a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens, and a trio of Alien Bees B800 strobes triggered by Pocket Wizards.

I went to the Zoo Brew with a bunch of coworkers and brought along my TLR for the event. This is my favorite image from the evening, and fitting for the occasion. Photo shot with a Mamiya C220 TLR and an 80mm f/2.8 on Kodak Portra 400.