Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting the gear, part of Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith.
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As photographers, the gear that we choose really affects the type of…pictures that we can make.…And so with this portrait shoot of Rodney, I want to talk a little bit about the…cameras and the lenses that I chose, and I want to talk about talk about why I…chose those particular setups.…Well, one of my first choices was this camera here, the Canon 5D Mark II, and a 85-…millimeter focal-length lens.…Now I like this one because this particular focal length, it allows me to get close, …to maybe even create an intimate, or an authentic, or a strong, portrait, where…I'm just removing almost everything but the face. And I wanted to create some of those pictures.…
And I put this lens on my body with a vertical grip, because that reminds me to…not just shoot this way, but to turn the camera…so I have that nice portrait orientation.…Another setup that chose was this one-- again, Canon 5D Mark II, in this case…a 35-millimeter lens.…And I like this focal length, because it's wide, but not too wide.…It takes in a lot, but not too much.…
The course begins with a wide-ranging conversation between Chris and Rodney, during which they discuss Rodney's work, his approach to photography and models, his love of film and of black and white, and the importance of creating photographs that both ask questions and tell stories. Next, Chris tours Rodney Smith's studio, including the darkroom, to get more familiar with Rodney before photographing him.
Chris then takes a series of portraits of Rodney. Along the way, he reviews his gear choices and the compositional decisions he makes, and discusses the importance of committing photographs to paper, particularly in today's digital age. Finally, Chris reviews the images and shares some insights from his conversation with Rodney.