Join Douglas Kirkland for an in-depth discussion in this video Softbox portrait critique, part of Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Shooting with a Medium-Format Camera.
I feel the shoot with Owen went really well. He is a great subject, and I…want to really just show you some of the things that we did, and go through the process.…We shot with a Polaroid to begin with, because that's the only way you can…really see what you are getting with a film camera.…Let can't look in the back of the camera. It's not there.…So we do Polaroids like this, and when we do Polaroids, we look at a number of…things--first the lighting.…Here I'm using two soft boxes. There is one, the key soft box,…that's really just above the lens, and that's the overall light. And then there is…another one that's very weak down below, and you can just see a little twinkle…in his eye from that one. But in the background, about two or three yards back, we…have a spotlight on the background, just to give this slightly bright glow and…darken the edges slightly.…
But there is one remaining element that I want to talk about because I felt it…very much as I was looking through the camera, and I had to make choices.…
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.