Technical Advice...how'd they do that?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by qnardi, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. qnardi

    qnardi TPF Noob!

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    Hi!
    I know this might seem terrible, but I really like the work of child photographer, Bethann Frillman and I'd like to try to mimic her style...but am clueless and was wondering if you could help me figure out what she is doing...if you go to her websitehttp://www.bethannfrillman.com/index2.php
    I am looking to replicate her technique of (under galleries, check out featured session of Jack) She says she uses natural lighting and obviously the baby is set up by a window...but does it look like she is using a flash or any other special techniques to get those rich blacks and the creamy skin tones...Bethann forgive me...but imitation is the highest form of flattery, no?
    And thanks to everyone who has any ideas they can give me...
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    They're of excellent quality and the depth of field is quite shallow in each of them. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say she's using something like a Contax 645 with a prime lens, probably an 80mm f2 or thereabouts.

    I would say the lighting is pretty much natural, although a couple of shots show two or more light sources, so possible an on-camera very light fill flash and a reflector.

    The main thing you notice about her work is that the shots are clean with no clutter in the background and a suitably shallow DOF which allows for the attention to be completely devoted to the subject. The lighting is very good, mostly soft which is flattering. Most kids that age are very photogenic as they tend to have clear skin and a medium colour, thus making them quite easy to entrust to in-camera metering.

    My guesses are that she's probably great with kids and has a repertoire of worked out tricks which generate the sets of expressions she has grouped the galleries into. Additionally, children require a fast camera as they're usually moving quickly.

    So... to conclude. Spend a few years studying portrait lighting. Spend further years with other people's kids and practise entertaining them and involving them in something. Then get a camera capable of very high shutter speeds and wide apertures. Hmm... but they're very good pictures and to totally emulate them you're going to need a lot of practice!

    Rob
     
  3. qnardi

    qnardi TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Rob...your response is very much appreciated...2 other questions for you...1) is it possible that she could have shot those with a 35mm and if so, what kind of film would you guess that she used?
    Thanks again!!
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Entirely possible. I just get a vibe that they're taken with MF. I'd guess, Ilford Pan F Plus. The odds of that guess being correct are lottery-esque. As they've been web optimised, many of the original features are disguised.

    Rob
     
  5. qnardi

    qnardi TPF Noob!

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    thanks again!
     

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