Join Douglas Kirkland for an in-depth discussion in this video Preparing for the shoot, part of Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Shooting with a Medium-Format Camera.
So here is our setup.…This is the wonderful camera we are going to work with, which I have done…through the years, always, on these images.…We have a special tripod here.…It's good for medium format because the camera is heavier, and this is the 100 to 200 zoom.…It allows me to make more than one picture very quickly.…I can shoot one waist and up and then quickly just swing over and I have his…head and shoulders in a second. And frequently something like that really helps,…because again, I hate to stop and be changing lenses if it's avoidable.…
I will stop if I need to get like a 50 wide-angle or something, but short of that…I try to do most of it here, because again, always, Owen is the one who is going…to get my attention here today.…Actually, Jer, could you push the table and chair from the camera to your right?…Okay, thank you. I am good.…I just wanted to do that so I have a little more room here in this space.…Normally, I don't have my subject-- today it's Owen--sit in until we are pretty…
This installment follows Douglas as he creates a portrait for Kodak's On Film series, which features portraits of directors, cinematographers, and other major players in the film industry. Douglas has shot nearly 250 portraits for this series over the past 20 years.
The course begins with a discussion of the unique qualities of film—its clarity, definition, and tonal range—and of film's enduring importance in today's digital world. Next, Douglas tours the Mamiya RZ67 medium-format camera, demonstrating its components and comparing its format to 35mm film. He then demonstrates a variety of lighting, posing, and styling techniques while photographing Owen Roizman, an award-winning cinematographer, in the Kirkland studio in Los Angeles, California.
The course concludes with a critique of the resulting photographs. Douglas also shows how he resized and cropped the image to fit a print advertisement.