1.16.2020

A Few Images from the Recent Collaborative Portrait/Kimono Shoot with ATMTX. And some other stuff.

A.O. In the studio. 

I started the year out with a portrait session. It seems so appropriate given my announcement that I wanted to concentrate more and more on portraiture... I was asked to photograph a young woman in her kimono for her parents. We had a professional kimono fitter at the session, a second photographer, and the portrait subject's mom. It was a fun, and light-hearted session and I thought it would be good to (with permission from both mother and daughter) share some of the images from the session.

I photographed A. using one of the Lumix S1R cameras and I chose to use the 24-105mm because I knew we would need to cover a range of focal lengths in order to show the kimono fully and then also do some tighter shots. I generally work from a tripod and am less comfortable shooting more formal portraits handheld. My photographer friend, the blogger: ATMTX photographed a lot of behind the scenes images and stepped in from time to time to shoot available light images in breaks between my photography.

I kept my lighting simple because it seemed to make sense not to overthink weird accent lights and such. We were looking for portraits that were about the subject and about A., not about showing off the latest lighting techniques. 

Everyone seems happy with the results and I now have to go in and do my post production to the ten images that mother and daughter have selected. It should be fun because I'm also playing around with a new software program called, Luminar (4.1). Lots of tools for making skin nice and doing modest amounts of retouching. We'll finish the images off in PhotoShop.




Mother and Daughter in kimonos. 

In other news. I hate to go down the pathway of talking about nutrition and personal stuff too much. I love Michael Johnston but I disagree with a lot of what he believes is correct about diet but.... I stopped having my glass of red wine with dinner most evenings; in fact, I cut out alcohol altogether just after the new year in an experiment to see just how abstinence might affect my swimming and my ability to sleep through the night. 

The result?  Seven to eight hours of continuous, non-interrupted sleep followed by some of the better workouts in the pool that I've experienced in the last six months to a year. In the pool, at any rate, I feel as though I've turned the clock back about a year already. 

I'll keep the experiment going right up to the USMS Long Course National Swimming Championships this Summer and see if I can make some qualifying times for some of my favorite events. The worst case scenario is that my physical and mental health will stay the same but my spend on superfluous wine purchases will go to zero, potentially saving me thousands of dollars a year. Best case scenario? I'll fall asleep at the drop of a hat, be happily unconscious for eight solid hours a night, wake up totally rested and ready to dominate my swim lane. Oh, yeah, and I might have more energy for photography. 

Today's agenda. I made it to the 8:15 workout and we swam for an hour and fifteen minutes in an on-again, off-again rainstorm (no thunder, no lightning). The coach was worried that we might need to clear the pool because of lightning so he front loaded the workout with a lot of fast, long yardage. He wanted us to get our money's worth in a compressed time frame. He needn't have worried because the god of Thunder was compassionate and didn't disturb our workout. At the end of an hour and fifteen minutes we'd gotten in somewhere north of 3500 yards with many reps of negative split 200s and an occasional, fast 400. After it became clear that we were not going to surrender the pool for meteorological reasons we finished up with some all out, as fast as you can go sprints on decently generous intervals. 

A nice way to get your heart rate ramped up before heading off to work. 

Speaking of work...today will be the first event shoot of the year for me. I've got today and tomorrow booked for a corporate event in one of the downtown hotels. Lots of stuff to shoot and a client request that we deliver both raw and Jpeg files at the end of both days. Good thing I got those Lumix S1 cameras so I can put the raws on CFast cards (damn, those things are expensive....) and the medium sized Jpegs on the SDxx cards. 

I'm packing light today. We'll see how it goes with two cameras and four lenses. The lens choices are: the Sigma 20mm f1.4 Art, the Lumix 50mm 1.4, the Lumix 24-105mm and the Lumix 70-200mm. I'll toss a flash in the bag and a smaller MacBook Pro in the front pocket of my Think Tank rolling case. The case is for transport and extraneous gear storage. A big, black, tattered Domke bag is the main, mobile camera container. That's what I'll drag around the event. 

I can hardly wait to kick off the event and get shooting. My only big decision is whether or not to get my haircut before we start. I'm working on being more eccentric so the ever growing hair is part of the schtick. But then again....corporate. Ah well, what do I know?

Go out and have fun. Life's too short to sit around pouting...

12 comments:

atmtx said...

Wonderful portraits, Kirk. And, a great collaboration. I especially love the third photo, the full length portrait with the subject looking off to the left. It has such a classic and elegant look, especially with the gray background.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Thanks ATMTX. It was fun!

EmptyDays said...

In January 2008 I heard on radio very intersting discussion with addictologist doctor from one of the local hospitals(I am living in Prague). When asked what is the definition of an alcoholic he was silent for a moment. The answer was, that based on his many years of experience alcoholic is a person that cant take six months without single sip of alcohol. I said to my self that as a social drinker I will take that challenge. I didnt have a singe sip for year and a half until July 2009 when my first son was born. Beside that I didnt fell so good since I was 16 it was also an interesting social experiment. Basically any social activity in our society is with alcohol only. Often I was finding myself in the group of more then ten people where I was the only one that was not drinking. Since July 2009 I continue as social drinker but I had several few months brakes just as feel to do so. Good luck Kirk:-)

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Doing just fine so far. It's helpful that my spouse is pretty much a non-drinker. She might have a glass of Sherry once a month or so. If I don't buy a bottle of wine then there's probably never going to be one in the house. Thanks for offering your take. I'm up for the challenge. Anything that will make me swim faster has to be good. Except sharks. Definitely not sharks!

Michael Matthews said...

More about Luminar, please, when you feel you’ve had time to explore it. Nice portrait series.

David R Munson said...

Any chance this was for Coming of Age Day? Every year in January in Japan, this day celebrates all the young people turning 20 that year, so a kimono shoot with a young woman in January would make sense. Earlier this week, I did such a shoot myself. It's a lot of fun, a very happy occasion.

Incidentally, I'm also taking a break from alcohol this month and have had similar observations re: sleep.

Nooluk said...

Such beautiful people. Lovely portraits. Keep on!

Terry Rogers said...

Lovely images Kirk. Nicely done.
Re alcohol, also nicely done. Harsh truth is that alcohol is a poison which benefits no organ system in the body, despite what the wine makers would have you believe. No matter what might ail you, if you are a drinker and stop, you will improve. Just sayin'. I work in the field. Keep it up!

Ross Nolly said...

Is t just me who would like to see Panasonic (or Nikon) put out a smaller full frame body about the same size as a Nikon Z50 (if possible!). A sorta bare bones body as a take everywhere/project camera and a line of smaller primes? It seems that even Nikon is going the way of ginormous prime lenses.

I like the look of the Z50; but prefer to stay with Panasonic and their photographer-centric ergonomics..... At the moment I use the LX100 as a project camera and have it set on step zoom so I can use it like a set of fixed primes.... A handy full frame and compact 35mm and 50mm lens would suit me down to the ground.....

crsantin said...

Kirk I was never much of a drinker but I would enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer on a hot summer day from time to time. I gave up all that completely some years back and it was a great decision. I drink only water now with a very occasional treat of ginger ale (Canada Dry). There are no health benefits to any form of alcohol. Don't believe the claims of wine being good for the heart. I also gave up coffee and tea. I found it was doing funny things to my heart rate and I didn't even notice until I cut them out. Maybe it's age (52 in a few months) but I find I am much more sensitive to what I eat and drink and I need to be much more careful. Sleep is another issue. Let's call it inconsistent. Growing old sucks. That's one of the few universal truths I have complete faith in.

Greg Heins said...

In the spirit of fun, please:
I'm interested in results. So: what did Robert Frank eat while he was shooting for The Americans? What was Vivian Maier's diet? What was Josef Sudek's exercise regime? Saul Leiter's? What were Roy de Carava's lunches? (We do know that Weston was pretty much a vegetarian, but wound up with Parkinson's in his fifties.)
These irreverent musings were prompted by reading Fran Lebowitz's profile of Toni Morrison in the TIMES Magazine a couple of weeks ago, with the line, "I was never in a car with Toni where, if we passed a McDonald’s, we did not stop." Which of course reminded me of Mr. Tuck's breakfast under the golden arches a few years ago...

Jerry said...

No need for haircuts any longer, Kirk. You've paid your dues, done the corporate thing, been the sharp dressed man, toed the sartorial line for clients, and now you can return to the long haired counter culture you that you've missed the last 40 years. I cut my hair at 25 to join the working world and when I turned 60 (5 years ago) I returned to my hippy youth.

I put alcohol in the same category as cigarettes.