Join Douglas Kirkland for an in-depth discussion in this video Shooting a softbox portrait, part of Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Shooting with a Medium-Format Camera.
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Douglas Kirkland: Hi Owen! Owen Roizman: Hey Douglas!…Douglas: Hey how are you? I am glad we can do this today.…Owen: Oh yeah. Douglas: We have done once or twice before;…Douglas: I've been in front of your lens I think a few times.…So Owen, we are going to do a Polaroid.…Turn away from me just a little, yeah.…That's right, maybe a little more, yeah. That's cool.…That's nice, nice, nice, nice, great!…If you don't mind, try the opposite side, swing the other way.…You know, by the way, it's interesting,…I like this side of Owen, because you will see a different look on different people.…Frequently, like I have with my part I think on my hair this way, and if I was…on this side, it might not be as good as if I was on that side. But you don't…have to tell your subject about that; just observe it. Say to yourself, "Which is…the best side?" Don't get into a big conversation about it, because remember,…your subject may be very nervous.…
Nice, one, two, three, good. See how easy that was?…Okay, this time I am timing 30 seconds, this time, so in a half a minute we'll…
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.