Following on from my interview with Eduardo Izq, I’d like to introduce you to another portrait photographer who works almost exclusively in monochrome. Betina la Plante’s black and white portraits are beautifully lit and composed, as anyone with an eye for photography could tell you. But there’s something deeper going on in her work, driven (I suspect) by the interesting life she’s led and the people she has met along the way. This is character driven photography at its best, the personality of her sitters captured in their expressions and the emotions conveyed by their eyes.
In Slow I wrote about, amongst other techniques utilising slow shutter speeds, using intentional camera movement to create expressive photos that capture atmosphere and emotion. David duChemin takes that idea further in his new ebook The Visual Imagination, released this week at Craft & Vision.
Lightroom isn’t just a tool for processing Raw files. The power of the program comes from its ability to organise your photos in the Catalog and help you export them in the size and format best suited for the intended use.
Some of you will already be familiar with the portrait photography of Eduardo Izq. His style is very natural: he uses natural light, and portrays his models without make-up and often without fashionable clothing. It’s the opposite of taking portraits of people to make them look pretty the conventional way, with make-up and styling. But it works, and on a much deeper level, as he captures both beauty and character in his portraits.
When using Lightroom it helps if your photo files are well organised before you import them. My recommended folder structure is simple. Keep all your Raw files on an external hard drive in a master folder called Raw, in subfolders organised by year, month and subject matter. The folder structure looks like this:
Craft & Vision have just released Striking Landscapes, the newest ebook by Martin Bailey. Like all of Martin’s ebooks it’s well written, beautifully illustrated, easy to understand and thorough. Martin is an experienced photographer and writer, based in Japan. He has written a wonderful guide for those of you who are either starting off in landscape photography, or wondering how to step it up a level and take photos worthy of comparison with those taken by the best practitioners of the genre.
Lightroom’s Graduated filter tool is named after a type of filter used by landscape photographers to darken the skies in their photos. Neutral density graduated filters come in different sizes, strengths and even colours, as anyone who remembers the once popular tobacco coloured graduated filter made by Cokin knows.
The popularity of Instagram has been well documented, but what you may not know is that there is an easy way to imitate the effect of Instagram’s filters in Lightroom. The benefits of this way of working are:
Since the release of Mastering Lightroom: Book Two – The Develop Module several people have asked me why they would use Lightroom instead of Photoshop. Here are the specific questions: