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Scott Alan Photography

Creating portraits and documenting life!

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portrait photography

Simple set-up to big results…

A couple of years ago I got a photo gig where I’d be photographing a hip hop artists for his upcoming album release. The album was to be released not only digitally but on CD and vinyl as well. The concept was going to be “dark” as the name of the album was going to be “Dark Side of The Cacoon.” It was storming that day so I headed over to his house. I brought along my studio background stand that I bought for around $120 or so. I brought along some black fleece fabric I picked up from Hobby Lobby for around $20 And of course I brought my Vivitar 285 flash that I’ve had for at least 15 years or so (which can be had for around $20 to $30 used). For a light modifier I used a 60″ octabox. The result was a photo that ended up being on the front of a nationlly and internationally distributed album. You don’t always necessarily need expensive gear to get big results.

(Camera was a Fuji xt 10 with the 18-55 kit lens)

Triple Exposure

Here is a shot I did on film… Kodak Portra 400… I left the shutter open and had the subject pose. I popped the flash and she moved to a new pose. I popped the flash again, and she moved to the third pose and I popped the flash for a third time.

Kodak Portra 400

I shoot more black and white film than color but when I shoot color I have 3 film stocks that are my go to for different reasons. They are Kodak Ektar 100, Fuji Superia XTRA 400, and Kodak Portra 400. I generally shoot Kodak Portra 400 when I’m doing portraits. I’ll even shoot film and use Portra on paid portrait shoots. Portra is a pretty versatile film and it looks good at box speeds as well as over exposed by a stop or two. Here are some examples of what Kodak Portra looks like. These are unedited photos straight from the film scans.

Ricoh GR

One of my all time favorite digital cameras is the Ricoh GR. And I’m assuming if I had the GR III, which is the newest model released, that would be one of my favorites as well. When I had this camera I really enjoyed the pocketability of it. That camera was so stealth. I mostly used it for street photography. I did use it during a couple of portrait shoots to get a different look. I do regret selling it. Here are two examples of portraits done with the Ricoh GR.

ISO: 200

Aperture: f16

Shutter speed: 4 seconds

ISO: 400

Aperture: f8

Shutter speed: 1/125 sec

More Photos made from the Fuji XT 10

So after investing in the Fuji XT 10 system I ended up with 4 lenses: the 18-55, 55-200, 60mm f2.8 macro, and a samyang 12mm. I had this system for about a year and a half and I had to reluctantly sell it to pay off some bills. I do miss the system and I’d buy into the Fuji system again if I could justify it or had the opportunity. Here are more images that I made while I had that camera.

Back to digital with the Fuji XT 10

In previous posts I explain how I got out of photography for a while and then got back into film photography. I explained that I eventually got back into digital with the Fuji x20. I eventually started doing some paid gigs again and I knew I needed something with interchangeable lenses. In 2016 after doing much research, I decided the right fit for what I wanted and my budget was the Fuji XT 10. I bought that with the 18-55 kit and the 55-200mm. Here are a few shots from one of the first shoots I did with the Fuji.

Fuji x20 continued…

And here is more from the Fuji x20…

Fuji X20

I recently wrote a blog about when I quit photography for a little while in 2012. I stated that I ended up getting back into photography but I started shooting film again. While I enjoyed film photography more than digital (and I still do), digital is at times more practical. I ended up purchasing a Fuji x20, which when it was released, was a “higher end” point and shoot type digital camera. I ended up doing a shoot and I brought it along to make some photos with it. I wanted to see what this little point and shoot could do. Here are a few photos that I did with the Fuji x20.

I utilized the hot shoe on the camera so I could shoot with off camera flash.

Work The Angles. Work The light.

The most important thing in photography is light (either ambient or flash) and knowing how to use it. Off camera flash can bring a completely different dynamic to a shoot, specially depending upon your surroundings or the environment you’re working in. Working the angles and getting in close can help as well. The first image in this article is basically showing the environment we were working in. We were at a park, under a pavilion, surrounded by picnic tables.

Using flash and different angles I was able to “get away” from the “shooting at a park” look which was my intent.

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