Candid street portraits are one thing – asking to take a picture is another. And there’s no harm in asking, especially if the subject is willing or doing something to attract attention.
Or if you’ve just had the third consecutive lunch in his restaurant. The Shinjuku district of Tokyo is coming down with cafes and restaurants – many at inflated tourist prices. There are however plenty of cheap noodle bars – often without any English menus or signage. This particular place had a vending machine to select from a picture which then printed out a ticket. You give the ticket to the guy in the photo and he’s cooks up some noodles. No need to speak – just some positive body language, a smile and a thumbs-up. After the third day, I asked to take the photo. He obliged.
Then there are those who are on public display. The guy above hangs around Shibuya station with his signs. Other than that I’ve no idea what he’s about, but he likes his photo taken.
The girl below was intent on selling me a t shirt. I resisted. I’m a bit old for Mickey Mouse which she seemed to eventually agree.
All above shot on the Nikon F60 and Fuji Acros 100. Having an old film camera also seems to help with street portraits
Every so often it’s good to do a studio shoot using a few flash heads. I’ve nothing grand – a cobbled collection of eBay-sourced Interfit units with cheap backdrops and stands. It’s a basic setup with a soft-box facing the sitter and two units at 45 degrees on to the white cloth, then using a black backdrop with a soft-box and brolly two-light arrangement.
To make things interesting, the session with my good friend and singer/songwriter/guitarist Thomas, was to be captured on full-frame digital ( Canon 6D) and on 35mm black and white film (Kentmere 100) using mid 70’s basic manual camera, the Ricoh KR-5. Without a flash meter, the plan was to get a setting on the 6D that looked ok, then set something similar on the Ricoh. So 1/125 at f8 – then play about with the lights.
First up – some low key against the black backdrop,
Then a white backdrop with the softbox straight on.
Next up was a repeat of this lighting with the Ricoh. It’s a very basic but solidly built mechanical SLR. And it did ok
As is often the case, scanning a low key image is a bit tricky – the real test will be darkroom print – but the high keys portraits on the Ricoh were near the mark with the full frame Canon digital.
So a quick photo shoot to compare digital and 35mm black and white film. Next will be to compare negative scanning with a darkroom print scan as well as an indepth look at using the Ricoh.