1956 Packard Hardtop in Black and White

1956 Packard Hardtop in Black and White

1956 Packard

This is Chris with his 1956 Packard.  We were able to get some nice photos in spite of the rain. This was a luxury automobile in its time.  With a push-button transmission and torsion bar suspension, it was smooooth!  And nothing like a V8 engine when you have cheap gas.  Gas was $.23 (23 cents!!!) a gallon (a GALLON) in 1956.  I think when I started buying gas it was about $.35.  And we complained even then.   Pretty sure 1956 was the last year Packard built cars.  Or anything for that matter.

The camera

Photos were taken with a Nikon Z6 and 50mm 1.8 S series lens.  Great combination.  Fast, sharp focus for these old eyes.  I do have an adaptor and tried an old manual wide angle lens - that did not work out well at all.  I've used the adaptor with a Tamron 70-300 Zoom quite successfully.  But the autofocus works in that combination.  

Working with the time we had.  It started snowing about three minutes after we completed the photo shoot.  I used my 50mm 1.8 and took a few shots with the adapter with an old 28mm manual lens.  Great lens but my eyes are not what they were.  There is a new Nikon 28mm (Autofocus) that I really need.  Will be getting that as soon as is available.  Tamron has excellent lenses as well and are developing some for the mirrorless cameras.  But not sure I can wait, although they are great.  I have a Tamron 70-300mm  zoom that I use.  I've had it for years and is one of my favourite lenses.  I love it. I've used it with the adapter for the Nikon Z6 and works wonderfully.

the model

Chris was great.  Pretty sure he'd not done anything like this before.  Comfortable and took direction, what there was of it, very well. He is selling this car and getting another in the Spring, so we will likely shoot again.

For more portraits see my Portrait Section

#packardcar #1956packard #vintagecar #classiccar #moneypit #model #malemodel #blackandwhiteportraits

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Horse Portraits

Horse Portraits


Some different portraits.  Sometimes horses are like 8 years olds, especially when you are trying to photography them.  They don't stop moving.  I was taking some photos of a friend's boys years ago.  They were 5 and 7.  Mom was in the studio trying as she might to get them calm and posed.  I finally had to ask her to leave the room.  There was no way those two boys were going to sit still with her in the studio.  Truth be told, they weren't a hundred percent better but I did get some great shots.  Almost like with the horses here.  They are such curious beasts.  One of the biggest challenges, often, is getting them to stay far enough away that I can get a decent photo.  They come up and are all curious about the camera!  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them.

See some photos of Bella here

#horses #horse #portraits #horseportraits #portraiture

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Antonio and the Hat

Antonio and the Hat

Antonio and I met and became friends when I was at my son's wedding recently.  I immediately wanted to photograph him when we met.  Later when he was wearing the hat, well, that clinched it.  Here are three from the shoot.  That overcast northern California weather at the time was perfect for outdoor shooting. 

Some more recent portraits here

Here is a link To purchase a straw Trilby

#thehat #portrait #portraiture #headshots #portraits #strawhat #fedora #bilby

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Selfie – Self Portrait

Selfie – Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Dramatic Portrait

I was getting revved up last Fall to do more portraits.  I had viewed a bunch of videos done by .  Excellent course available on ProEdu.com if you are interested. 

There is no shortage of material on Youtube and elsewhere for learning studio photography and lighting.  My learning process goes a bit like this.  I try and find someone’s photos I like, then figure out the lighting and do exactly what the other photographer did. That’s the first step.  The great thing with someone like Chris Knight is that he guides you through step by step.  I honestly knew a fair bit of the material in his video course but there were definitely some hole that needed filling in.  But more than that, the course showed me how to apply what I knew to what I wanted to do. 

The other thing that continuous learning does, is keep it fresh. 

Once I’ve duplicated exactly the techniques of whatever photographer I’m emulating, and after I’ve done it one or several times, I gain more understanding of what does and doesn’t work for me. 

At that point I can make some decisions of what to add or subtract or alter using other bits of knowledge that I’ve acquired.  Without the first step, I never really get to this third step.  But here I can add other things like some of the techniques of head shot guru Peter Hurley

And studying Dutch masters and how they used chiaroscuro or Leonardo’s “Divine Proportion” and working with these until they become second nature will go a long way to making your photos really communicate.  The way to do this is duplicate whatever process you are trying to learn. Do it over and over and over.  The more this is done the better your understanding and then the better you will be able to put your own create or spin on it. 

All dressed up and no-one to photograph because the world shut down!

So, I took to shooting a few photos of myself.  All the lights I used had modelling lights but that wasn’t a lot of use except for the backlight.  As a result I made more trips back and forth to the camera than I care to count.


The photo here was accomplished with four lights.  Camera right and very near and on the same plane I used a Strobepro 63” Para-Deep Parabolic Umbrella with STROBEPRO 600M Studio Strobe. Camera left, a 4 foot Octabox with grid and StrobePro 400M Studio Strobe.  Camera right behind subject (me) a 4 foot rectangular soft box with grid. Light for this is ProFoto  500. And to shed a little light on the back a small 80MM with a snoot. (StrobePro.com)

The model was very patient while I went through various combinations of power on the lights.  Thank god for the remote firing thingamajig!

Some tweaking in Lightroom and Photoshop and this is the result. 

Never stop learning.

Tastefull Nudes

#portrait #dramaticportrait #headshot #portraiture #studioportrait #chiaroscuro

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Self Portraits

Self Portraits

Photos of Me

Some Self Portraits

Hacking around in the studio.  I would love to be taking photos of someone different every day but alas the powers that be in this day and age will not allow it ...  So, here are a couple of self portraits done in a studio environment.  Thank god for remote shutter release. d

The setup

Four lights.  Big one behind the camera.  Octabox camera left.  Strip Camera right behind subject, which in this case happens to be me.  And a small backlight.  

My Portrait Page - lots of updated portraits

#selfportrait #selfie #portrait #studioportrait #studiolighting

Posted by Martin in Blog, Portraits, 0 comments