Charlie C

Sherry McClead 6/18/2008 7:03:13 AM

Wow John... such emotion... wonderful capture of a great subject... I stand in awe.
Sherrybear :} #944327

John H. Siskin 6/18/2008 9:38:33 PM

Hi Sherry.
I shot this with one light panel and a strobe. The combination is very effective, gives you lots of options. I had known the subject for a couple of years before I shot him. I think this helps a lot, give the shot more connection. He has a very expressive face, but his life has been hard. Thanks for your interest! John Siskin

M.Christine Duncan 6/19/2008 8:55:03 AM

John, I don't know how many times I've passed on to others the advice on making a light panel that you once gave me, it's so easy to make one and is invaluable. This is such a wonderful photo, the light is dynamic to say the least! The fact he's looking out of the photo adds to his tough and withdrawn demeanor. Great portrait! #6078300

John H. Siskin 6/19/2008 7:36:17 PM

Hi Christine,
Thanks. It can be so satisfying to make a good photo. I really like turning people onto the techniques Iíve used to control light. I have seen a lot of people make this more difficult, like a magic show. Really there are two and a half important things: color, the size of the light source and the direction is important in relation to the size of the light source. The bigger the light source is the less direction is critical, which is why I think it is a half important thing.
John Siskin #6082255

Laura E. Swan 6/20/2008 12:01:06 AM

The way you have positioned the light here looks to me like he is looking down. Out of a window wondering what his future will bring. He looks worried. I like how the light even hits his Adam's apple, John. As if part of his worries are ones a man alone holds. -Laura #6083141

Sherry McClead 6/20/2008 5:09:55 AM

John, I would be interested in this light panel ... my son and some of his friends would like me to do their senior pictures for them.
Sherrybear :} #6083947

John H. Siskin 6/20/2008 12:37:03 PM

Hi Sherry,
There is an article about building a light panel here at BetterPhoto, check it out:
I think the light panels are really useful tools. Iíve built about five of them.
Thanks Laura, he was really interesting to work with. The sense of worry and depression seem built in with Charlie. I hope his future is kind.
John Siskin #6085824

marci D. 7/10/2008 12:10:31 PM

Wow, very impressive, dramatic portrait! I'm going to go out on a limb here and ask an ignorant question: Other than the format (light panel is free-standing) is a light panel the same thing as a reflector? #6163747

John H. Siskin 7/10/2008 12:25:08 PM

Hi Marci,
The light panel can be used as a reflector, but the primary difference is the size. The panel here is 3.5X6.5 feet, a large light source. You won't get the same light from a 2 foot reflector. What is important is the size, not the material. Each point in a light source lights each point in the subject, so large light sources give a very different light from the more common small light diffusers. Thanks, John Siskin #6163797

Jesse C. Plummer 7/15/2008 6:50:53 PM

Impressive. I kind of thought there just wasn't much more that could be done with human subjects in the photography world. You proved me wrong. This is outstanding. The emotion, the burden, the weight of the world is on his shoulders. You captured it well. #6184455

John H. Siskin 7/16/2008 9:22:40 AM

Hi Jesse,
I think this shot is particularly effective because I had known Charlie for a long time when I made the photograph. Portraits are about an intimacy, and that is hard to achieve instantly. Thanks so much for your feedback on this image. John Siskin

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Made with a Mamiya C-330 and the wonderful 180 super lens. Used Normann lights an a large diffuser.

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Uploaded on 3/23/2006 1:56:40 PM

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