I took this portrait of Michelle with a medium format camera and a long lens. I used a Norman Beauty Dish and a large softbox for fill. The background is lit by two small softboxes. I love the long, soft tonalities. And I love the quiet look of the whole thing.
This portrait was shot many years ago on the outdoor patio of the old Sweetish Hill Restaurant. Light filtered through the translucent skylight panels and bounced in from reflected sunlight in surrounding shop windows. I used an Olympus Pen half frame camera with a 40mm 1.4 lens. A relic of the early 1970's. Just like the photo above, I used Tri-X 400 film developed in D76. This is NOT lit with a beauty dish. Just natural light.
And, I guess my point is that the "feel" of the photograph, the quiet stare out to the camera :::: out to me, is similar in both. The body position in both images has similar energy. I think they are both contemplative images. And what I am coming to find is that no matter what camera I use to do portraits with and however I light them, there are common threads. There are little things that tie the emotion of the photographs together. Beyond the tones and the postures and the look there is also the inclusion of a background that is both soft and present.
I never thought I had a style until I started looking back twenty years and then laying old prints next to new ones. I have found one thing. There is a difference between images shot to be printed and images shot to be looked at digitally. The digital ones seem more sterile. Quieter. Less depth. They seem flatter to me. Just an observation.
Digital image. EOS-1D mk2. 50 2.5 macro.
And yet, there are similarities. The backgrounds feel similar to me. And the portrait of the coffee is quiet. Funny to have a quiet style for such a boisterous and chatty blog writer.
How do you create a style? You don't. It evolves over time. When you AREN'T thinking about it.
I guess that makes the acquisition of style some sort of Zen thing.