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In the Narrative Portraiture series, photographer and teacher Chris Orwig explores how to use location and natural light to create images that tell stories about their subjects and produce a strong emotional connection.
In this installment, Chris travels to Texas to visit two artists: David Cargill, a Beaumont sculptor who works with bronze and marble, and Charles Stagg, another Beaumont sculptor but in recycled and found materials. Chris takes their portraits and spends time discussing the composition and lighting in each session.
Chris also reviews the photos he took, and discusses the gear he used and the lessons he learned while visiting with and photographing these artists.
Before we take a look at the photographs that were captured of David Cargill, I thought it would be helpful to talk a little bit about the gear that was used to capture those images. Over here on my far left is a Hasselblad camera. I had it loaded with black-and-white film, and it has an 80-mm lens, which is really a normal perspective for that camera. And as I mentioned earlier, I like this camera because it slows me down. It also helps me think a little bit more artistically. How can I create a black-and-white frame that says a bit more? And then I had two other camera bodies, a Canon 5D Mark II, both of these, and then two lenses: a 16-35 and a 50.
That 16-35, it gives you that wider perspective. The 50, it's a little bit more normal and straightforward. It requires that you think, that you move. So this was the gear that I chose for this shoot. I wanted to keep it relatively simple, yet I wanted to have some options. I knew that this space was going to be tight because we're going to be an artist's studio, so I needed at a wider-angle lens to capture more. But I also wanted something a bit more normal so I could get close, so I could stand maybe one arm's or two arms' length away from the subject and create some pictures in that way while we are talking, in between the conversation.
So in the next movie we will review the photographs and you'll see how I worked with these different setups and how each of these different cameras and lenses helped me create different types of photographs.
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