My favorite portrait of photographer, Nick Kelsh.

©2013 Kirk Tuck. NYC.

I met Nick when we worked together at the Photo Expo in New York a few years back. Whenever I look at the photograph I am reminded that, even though I presume to know a lot about portrait lighting, one is never too old or too brilliant to learn something new from a master of the craft. 

I despaired when I arrived at the Samsung booth to find the one softbox Samsung had acquired for us to use in our demos was not the 54 x 72 inch one I had requested but a much smaller, 20 x 30 inch model. Not what I had in mind. Not what I had planned for. But then I watched Nick use that modifier closer, and at angles I'd never thought of. He played that little box like Van Cliburn played a Steinway (or a Bosendorfer). 

The portraits he made were wonderful. 

I played at it after I watched him work and I got it. I loved the fall off. I loved the proximity effects. I had my eyes opened. I got less attached to my preconception of what kind of raw materials I needed to make nice work. 

I'm just posting Nick's image to say, "Thank you for the impromptu and unintended workshop!"  I'm glad I decided to pay attention. 

On another note: The busier Austin gets the less busy it gets. When the city is filled to capacity with SXSW attendees, and in the middle of Spring Break, the city feels full but the actual level of work done by the natives drops to some sub-baseline level. Just like the week between Christmas and New Years. Large swaths of the creative community bag work to go see music, hear about new technology and listen to panels about making movies. People wha aren't interested in the Festival know it's a good time to rent out the house for two weeks and get the hell out of town. 

One more weekend of music and then everything goes back to normal. Just letting you know why there are a few more posts than usual here. 

Curious if ANY of my VSL blog readers are here at SXSW? Anybody? Let me know if the comments...
We'll arrange something social next week. 


One of the original Craftsy Photo Classes and 
still one of the best! 

I met Lance a couple of weeks ago in Denver
and found him to be really fun and knowledgeable 
this class reflects what he teaches in hands-on
workshops in Ireland and Iceland, as well as 
cool places around the U.S.

How to make what we shoot into a cohesive
train of visual thought.

1 comment:

Wally said...

I'm local in north east Austin, Avoid downtown like the plague, and look forward tomyour blog, and the empthy roads for the rest of us who dont fight the crowds downtown. The only thing I missed was being to find corn beef and cabbage as we didnt want to go downtown to the pubs serving and filled with SWSX crowds.