The Canon D10 Digital SLR
Oh, my, yes...I've
fallen in love! This time it was at PMA 2003. I can't say that
it was a surprise, however. Canon had their new EOS 10D shipped to me
a week in advance of the show. I barely had time to run my hands over
her body, but I already knew that she was for me. But it wasn't
the only camera that got me going at the PMA show in Las Vegas. I was
teamed up with two great Canon photographers, part of their "Explorers
of Light" team. The first was Jack Reznicki, one of the world's
greatest commercial photographers of children...and I'm sure
a lot more. I just knew that whenever I looked at a Toys "R"
Us catalog or saw a great kid's face in some commercial shoot,
they were all shot by Jack. The other photographer was Douglas Kirkland,
one of the world's greatest glamour photographers. He had just
returned from a European shoot of glamour together with fine jewelry.
The three of us were there to demonstrate Canon's new camera. It wasn't just the 10D camera that I fell in love with. Believe it or not, I also flipped out with the lighting that Doug and Jack were using. It was totally different from what I've been doing for the past 50 years. They were using two softboxes almost directly in front of the models' faces. They were of equal intensity, the upper light just slightly closer to the subject and, thus, a little stronger. That was the main light.
The lower light was a wide
strip-light softbox. The light carried all the way from the left to the
right, past both sides of the face. It was so low, it was almost to the
floor. I had always had my fill light coming from above camera level.
I believed that light coming from below was incorrect. Catchlights always
had to be at 11 o'clock or at 1 o'clock. But I shot this way
to try it out...and loved the effect of the lighting coming from below.
I was still getting modeling from above, but the faces were taking on
an entirely different appearance with the low fill light. What I noticed,
too, was that the pupils of the eyes looked great when the light came
from the low level. The three lights were triggered by Quantum's
(Above) I brought along a beaded collar that I wrapped around her shoulders for this next picture. Yes, I'm still observing the three basic facial angles. It's just another approach to lighting that I had never used before. A few camera tilts helped a lot in this series. I was working so fast, I didn't have time to even use a tripod. I felt just like the photographers that you see in the movies.
(Below) Continuing with the lead from Jack and Doug, I used a wind machine to put a little more action into some of my photographs. This time it wasn't her hair that was blowing but a little fluff collar with which I framed her face.
As we were photographing on
the stage other Canon people were making 13x19 prints on their new tabletop
printer, the S9100. The Canon wide format W2750 printer was pushing out
huge, wall-size prints for everyone to examine while we were still photographing
the same session. The prints were actually made from fine JPEG files,
rather than from the RAW files that the camera was generating at the same
time. No retouching was done, because we wanted to show everyone how incredibly
sharp the system is.
(Above) As I watched Jack and
Doug photographing I got ideas that I had never used before in portraiture.
Jack, for instance, was playing peekaboo with some of the children he
was photographing. So, naturally, I used the same concept for this next
(Above) Red clothing for a
portrait? Why not? If you're using a similar red cloth for a background.
The whole thing has always been to blend the clothing with the background
to make the subject stand out. Hey, it works! A small piece of satin fabric
held up slightly behind her was all that was necessary for these next