Join Douglas Kirkland for an in-depth discussion in this video Profile portrait critique, part of Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Shooting with a Medium-Format Camera.
Another of the looks I created with Owen was what I call a classic profile…look, done with direct light.…Here's one of our Polaroids, and I did this first with his glasses off, and…there's just a very kind look on his face.…I love this man, and that's the kind of a guy he is, but that's what we want to get.…So here's another version, for example. But ultimately, I decided it was probably…better without the glasses on. But I tried them both ways, so here it is, and the…Polaroid is our last look before we take pictures. Unlike the digital camera,…there is nothing looking in the back. So let's go and look at what the contact…sheet looked like when it came through.…
But at a certain point I thought, "Let's try his glasses on, because maybe it looks…more natural with his glasses," and I looked with a loop, or magnifying glass, and…ultimately, I look carefully obviously and always focus and everything, and I…selected this one. And what I loved about it was there is a warmth and a…naturalness about his face. And when I was shooting I remember vividly bringing…
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.