10.06.2020

A New Portrait. We did this one right before the initial pandemic shutdown. I just recently got the client's selections.

Vera.

Vera owns an advertising agency in Austin. I do work for them from time to time. She contacted me just before the holidays last year and asked if I could do a portrait in my favorite style of black and white photography. 

I set up the studio and we spent a quiet hour making portraits. I used the Lumix S1R and set the camera to shoot in a 1:1 (square) crop. The original files are in color and I did most of my post processing in Photoshop and then switched to Luminar 4.x to do the conversion to black and white. 

The lens was the Sigma 85mm Art lens for the L-mount. 

I'd love to hear your responses to the work. Thanks. 

22 comments:

Chappy Achen said...

This Photograph reminds me of my Hasselblad days. It is soft and flattering to the subject and not over retouched which I really like. It portrays your subject in an intimate way and yet believable style, Thanks for sharing.

LeftCoastKenny said...

I think it is a beautiful photo. The focus looks perfect to my eyes too. The one change I'd make, if was just for myself, and if it needs to be square, would be to crop it so her face is more prominent. Leaving the top alone, cropping on the left but leaving some small space between her arm & frame while bringing the center point directly below her right nostril & parked about half way down her upper lip would do it for me.

Stay safe. Be well.

James Weekes said...

Lovely and beautifully “printed”. Wonderfully smooth. I love square format and shoot in it 90% of the time. Keep these coming.

Tom said...

Hi Kirk. Like the image and even more like the absence of acute sharpness and structure. This is so film like with lovely soft tones...really nice. I would love to hear your views on black and white conversion and especially the use of Luminar 4, that is, if you do not mind! Cheers.

James Moule said...

Awesomely perfect lighting. I would crop so that the subject's eyes & nose were perfect centered. This would "balance" the body in the frame.

I feel that this photo reveals the subject's personality.

crsantin said...

I find this portrait pleasantly soft. I don't mean lacking in sharpness it just has a proper soft look to it. So many modern lenses are razor sharp, too sharp for portrait work almost. I like the tonality as well.

Anonymous said...

It compares very favorably with your film portraits. Superb high values and no harshness. Just wonderful.

Jay

Nicolas said...

Beautiful lighting and tonality on the face, good posing and generally a wonderful portrait. If i had to find something else to say i would comment that i don't like the background treatment - it looks too much like you shot it a bit light and then burned in around the figure and left a light outline which is distractingly artificial - i am more of a fan of backgrounds that look randomly dappled or otherwise somehow regular, but the light outline around the subject is not one nor tother - probably be better to let the background and the black top come close to merging towards the bottom or in some random seeming way.

nicolas

Anonymous said...

Nice. Pleasingly filmy in rendering. Looks better full size - the compression on the blog preview (viewed on my phone) draws the eye to the top/backdrop interface in a way the actual photo doesn't.

Main kudos goes for coaxing/catching a Mona Lisa smile

Great stuff. Twas your portraits that first brought me here.

Mark

Allan Jackson said...

It's a very striking shot both in the expression captured and the processing. I was very pleased to see your blog come to life again and was wondering if it wouldn't serve you to schedule time off from it occasionally as Thom does.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Allan, Thanks for the feedback. Your "time off" suggestion is interesting. My schedule isn't as rigid as Thom's but it's certainly something to think about.

Henry Lesesne said...

Hi Kirk !
Your caught a hint of good humor and personal likability. Well Done ! Technically nice and mellow softness with no harshness...Soft lighting and soft focus. The most difficult accomplishment is a subtle capture of her spirit. It reminds me of Karsh's work and a little bit Mona Lisa.
You get an A+ Grasshopper.

Raymond Charette said...

Quite beautiful, Kirk.
The model's pose and poise is flattering. Your rendering, highlights and shadows, are perfect, in my opinion.
Thanks for showing us this example.

Malcolm said...

OK, a question from a wannabe portrait photographer. The subject's face in central, however, her left arm touches the right edge of the frame and there is space next to her right arm on the left of the frame. Having equal space on either side of her arms would move her face left in the frame. Can you please explain why you have chosen face-central over body-central?

Also, is it lit by a single light above and to the right of the frame, or is there another light (rim?) for the background?

As I say, I'm looking to learn, not criticise! Thanks :)

Glenn said...

Simply beautiful on so many levels. It looks a lot like the wonderful Hasselblad film portraits in your portfolio. Thanks for sharing this.

David said...

I am commenting because you asked. But fitst I don't do portrait and generally don't like photographing people.

However, this image is interesting. You need to look at it more than 3 times. First I didn't like it. Second, I was drawn to the light that seems to be coming from above. As if looking to beyond life.
Third time I catch the suttle back glow off the subject. The soft tone on the face and the heavenly glow from above. As if the subject is transcending beyond this world to the next.
I hope she is ok, as this image speaks to me as her spirit is moving on.

So that is what I think. Take it as you will.

DGM said...

First: It's all about the comfort level. She does not have that typical corporate head-shot look that either says; "Somebody is standing behind me with a gun...." or "I am the shnizzle, bow before me...".

Second: Locking off comments on your most recent post was probably wise, although I did not get to voice my complete support for every aspect of that masterful essay!

Antonio Ramirez said...

Absolutely gorgeous.

pixtorial said...

A lovely, nuanced portrait. I would love to see this as an actual print, there is no way a web post is doing this image justice.

Bob said...

Good photography captures the soul. I think you nailed it. Oh, and, "In one sense the camera market, under constant pressure from the influencers, is becoming tribal and divided as never before." Well said, and an astute or acute observation of the atmosphere in general.

Anonymous said...

Utterly lacking that horrid taxidermic quality too many equate with fine portraiture.A living person caught just after settling into a likeable pose. Hard to do. You saw it here and captured it--again.

christer3805 said...

Sorry for being late, wasn't expecting much on this site any more. Glad you are back.

I agree with all the positive comments, also those on cropping.

However, I would have liked some more details in the black sweater.
Perhaps they were there but got lost in transmission.