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First Studio Portrait

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 12 May 2010 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

This is my first ever studio portrait.

Rebecca is pictured here in this photo. She and her Mum were kind enough to come along to a studio photography tutorial evening organised by the camera club that I'm a member of in Cheshire - the NCPS.

She looks very composed and confident doesn't she - much more than I was anyway!

On the NCPS club website you can see the way in which the studio lighting was set up by fellow NCPS member Geoff Robinson. It's the second photo from the top on this link:

For the benefit of the technically minded amongst you the photo was taken using my new Nikon D700 camera and a Nikon 50mm f1.4G lens at f8

NIKON D700 1/125 second F/8.0 ISO 200 50 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

MK from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

a good start, well done

12 May 2010 5:05am

@MK: Thanks MK!

Jane from Christchurch, United Kingdom

Lovely portrait!!!

12 May 2010 5:19am

@Jane: Thanks Jane!

Alfredo J. Martiz J. from Panama City, Panama

Very nice portrait!

12 May 2010 6:07am

@Alfredo J. Martiz J.: Thanks Alfredo!

Mags from Paris, France

The lighting is really nice, well done :)

12 May 2010 8:00am

@Mags: Thanks Mags! (PS - the lighting was set up already for us)

Corporate Photography Services from Singapore

We at <a href="" rel="nofollow">pixsync</a> uses the Nikon D700 as well. It is a fine camera. Lovely photograph, in no way does it say it's your first time. You must have done quite a bit of research before executing it. Cheers!

12 May 2010 9:12am

@Corporate Photography Services: Thanks very much.....well I did manage to read all 450 pages of the manual LoL and I use NX2 which means I can do things like retrospectively alter picture controls. With this one I altered the settings from 'standard' to 'neutral'.

Marie LC from Dauphiné, France

Nice portrait and model Ian. Nice work too, a difficult art.

12 May 2010 9:14am

@Marie LC: Thanks Marie!....Yes, Rebecca is a natural isn't she!

Scene by Sharon Photography from Kingston, Ontario, Canada

lovely portrait

12 May 2010 10:08am

@Scene by Sharon Photography: Thanks Sharon!

Ian Smith from London, United Kingdom

She has the face of an angel! Similar to those you find in old paintings. I think you've done a good job here.
Looking at the link you posted, with the studio set-up - just curious to know if they turn off all thos artificial lights before the shoot? As when I used to do this we were always being told about the difficulties of different colour temperatures in the same shot. (though converted to B&W I suppose it doesn't matter).

12 May 2010 11:38am

@Ian Smith: Hi Ian. It was a lovely lighting set-up that Geoff organised for us. Although the artificial room lights stayed on I didn't seem to get any issues with different colour temperatures (although I know nothing about this kind of studio photography). There's a link here to the original colour version of this photo: (click on the photo when it appears to get a larger version)

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Masterful lighting and the skin tone couldn't be more lovely... so natural and delicate! An amazing first portrait!!!:-) Congrats Ian!

12 May 2010 2:59pm

@hugo poon: Thanks very much Hugo!.....I feel a bit of a fraud even though I really like the photo as I didn't set up the lighting and the skin tones are pretty much straight from the camera combined with Photoshop CS3 on it's default B&W settings.

I do love the delicate tonal transitions that are possible with this new camera.

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

A wonderful portrait reminding me of old masters. Her subtle smile is amazing!

12 May 2010 3:25pm

@MadScientist: What a nice thing to say....thanks!

Rebecca really has that 'Mona Lisa' smile doesn't she.

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

This is a fascinating spectator sport watching you venture with a little unease into portraits. Having watched you climb to the summit of landscapes perhaps I speak for many in saying we are right behind you as you step into a world that many of us have not. I thought your first attempt outside OT didn't connect and the guy looked puzzled if not uncomfortable, but a big hand for stopping him in the first place...I know I would not have!
This however, represents a step up in class and despite the adage of never working with adults and has really paid off with a charming mono portrait (you know they do a coloured D700 now though?!!!)
The one thing I would say though is your crop perhaps is different to the one on your Flickr set perhaps (?) as I think I've seen a version with her hands on hips that reveals much more of her character and attitude...which for me raises the issue of portraits being more than simply head and shoulders? drawer Ian!

12 May 2010 7:33pm

@Ted: Hi Ted!'s been really great to be learning something new. I'd love to do more portrait photography but, for the moment at least, it doesn't feel that it's as easy to organise as taking photos of landscapes (even though it should be a lot easier)

Re the crop on this photo....I think the guys at Flickr were right and that the way that I framed the photo made the hands look a bit too separate from the rest:

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

yes...take on board what you say about the hands!

13 May 2010 7:54pm

Victoria from United States

I must say that this picture is amazing - thank you for the copies. Victoria (Rebecca's mum)

14 May 2010 11:29am

@Victoria: It's really great to hear from you Victoria and I'm so pleased to see that you liked the prints! Which print did you prefer.....the colour one or the B&W?

Annie Viguié from Bordeaux, France

Wonderful work !

15 May 2010 7:51am

@Annie Viguié: Thanks Annie!

Victoria from United Kingdom

I preferred the black & white one, it's being framed at the moment... Thank you again! / Victoria

17 May 2010 1:42pm

@Victoria: me too.....I'm pleased you liked that one! (send me an email if you would like me to send you the high resolution digital file of that photo)

1/125 second
ISO 200
50 mm (35mm equiv.)