Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Gear review

From: Narrative Portraiture: On Location in Texas with Keith Carter

Video: Gear review

Here I thought it would be fun to talk a little bit about the gear that I used when creating the portraits of Keith, everything from the extraordinary to the ordinary. I'll start over here on my far left. This camera is here almost more symbolically to represent Keith's camera. This particular camera though is mine. It's my Hasselblad, my film camera. I didn't use that one. I did use Keith's. And I have that there just as a point of reference, because working with Keith's camera was so fascinating. Obviously it was interesting to look through the lens, to see the blur and distortion, but also to work with film, to wind the camera up, and somehow that winding motion does something to me.

Gear review

Here I thought it would be fun to talk a little bit about the gear that I used when creating the portraits of Keith, everything from the extraordinary to the ordinary. I'll start over here on my far left. This camera is here almost more symbolically to represent Keith's camera. This particular camera though is mine. It's my Hasselblad, my film camera. I didn't use that one. I did use Keith's. And I have that there just as a point of reference, because working with Keith's camera was so fascinating. Obviously it was interesting to look through the lens, to see the blur and distortion, but also to work with film, to wind the camera up, and somehow that winding motion does something to me.

It slows me down. And then of course shooting with black-and-white film. When you're shooting with black-and- white film you're thinking about color as tonality, brightness value, trying to compose with that in mind. And then I have these two cameras here. These are mine. They're both Canon 5D Mark IIs. I work with this camera body a lot. I like it because it's small and compact, and the images that come off the sensor are really good. And then I have a few different lenses. Now, this weren't the only lenses that I packed. I had a number of others, but these are what I brought with me to work with Keith.

The reason I chose these lenses was because I wanted to capture a certain story. I wanted to tell something about Keith in a particular way. So here is how it works. I have the 50mm lens, and that one's a really ordinary perspective. It's straightforward. I wanted to create images that are honest. In that image it requires that you move, and you may have noticed in the footage, I was moving a lot, changing my perspective from left to right, top to bottom, low to high. And I liked that. I like that that lens, it gets my feet moving.

It's almost like turning a song on your iPod or on the radio; it just kind of gets you going. Yeah, it's a real authentic and honest lens. Next to it and related to it is a 35mm lens. This one allows you to capture a bit more of a wide perspective, take in a little bit more of the scene, capture an environmental portrait. Yet it's not so wide that there is distortion. In other words, both of these lenses are relatively normal. You almost have to think harder when you use them, because you can't rely on the lens to give you amazing capture of this wide scene or compression that you get from a telephoto lens.

I also chose these lenses because I knew that I would be working in a small space. I needed to work close and intimate, at arm's length or maybe two arm's length away. And then over here, closest to me, I have a lens which is the 16-35, a wide-angle lens. This one, I almost think of it like a hungry lens. It takes in the whole scene and, yes, there is distortion, but it allows you to really absorb everything there. It's great for those picture of Keith in the middle of the studio and the whole studio surrounding him, or Keith in the middle of his darkroom and all of the darkroom around him.

And my positioning of the subject near the middle of the frame, he isn't distorted, but there may be some distortions on the edge, but that's okay. And so in this case I have the ability to tell a few different types of stories. I should also point out that a lot of times I shoot wide open. In other words, these lenses are really fast, or they allow me to have a small area in focus. I can create an image where Keith's eyes are in focus and other things are completely blurred and out of focus. And that's important to me, because I love blur.

I love being able to focus in on one image, draw the viewer to one aspect of the frame. And this then was my setup, and it was a nice setup, I think, because it was pretty mobile and it helped me, again, communicate the stories that I wanted to tell. Now, what's most important, I think, for you and for your portraits is getting familiar with your gear and getting familiar with it perhaps from this perspective of your gear's personality. What stories can you tell with these different types of lenses? And the more you learn about that, the better and more authentic your photographs will become.

And it's not necessarily whether you have the best lens in the world, or it's not necessarily if this one has the best reviews or costs the most; rather it's about how does this lens work, how does it see, and how can I use these characteristics or how can I utilize these characteristics of this lens in order to tell the stories, in order to create the portraits that I am most interested in telling?

Show transcript

This video is part of

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Narrative Portraiture: On Location in Texas with Keith Carter.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.