Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Alpha Studio Experience

In my not so many years of dabbling with photography as a hobby, I have never had a chance to shoot in a studio setup before. It was therefore not a surprise when one of the recent Sony workshops on Studio Shooting was announced I immediately signed up for a spot. It was held at Pudu Plaza this afternoon, and conducted by the famous Kevin Ng, a passionate Sony photographer. 

I have mentioned a few times I am not exactly a good portrait shooter, but since the beginning of 2013 I have told myself to be more open minded and dared myself to explore new territories. That also means, I should not say no when I have the opportunity to do something which I rarely or never did. Studio portrait shooting may be one of the most common and popular kind of photography, and there is much I can learn and pick up from this workshop. 

All images were taken with Sony Alpha A350 and DT 50mm F1.8 lens

Part 1: Glamor Cover Girl Style 
Low Key 







Part 2: Geisha Look
High Key





Behind the scenes


Photo taken by Kevin Ng




It was a full house for today's workshop. with over 20 participants attending. We only had one model, hence the time allocated for each person (we took turns and lined up) was very limited. Nonetheless, the aim of this workshop was to provide new photographers exposure to the environment of studio shooting and have a hands-on experience on how to handle lighting and model posing. Though I did not get to shoot that much, I finally found the itch (or more politely put, interest) to explore the world of portraiture more. Surely, this will not be the last arranged portrait shooting session you see from me, and I do find studio set up portraits quite exciting, for the first time. Or maybe I have just been reading Kirk Tuck's blog too much lately, who passionately shoots portraits and shares his love for portrait shooting in his blog.

Special Thanks to:
Workshop Trainer: Kevin Ng
Model: Sheena Liam
Make-Up Artist: Shireen Loo

38 comments:

  1. I've something to say regarding the subject....

    With all due respect, but the portrayal of "geisha", especially the make-up and attire is not accurate at all. In fact, I think it's an insult.

    White face, slightly painted lips and overly-done red eyelashes doesn't make one look like a "geisha".

    For reference, this is how a real geisha looks like:
    http://flic.kr/p/caovqN

    I know it's not your fault at all, but the organizers could take a little more effort to portray a "geisha" more accurately next time hopefully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please leave a name when you comment next time.

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    2. Apology for the previous anonymous status.

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    3. Thanks for that, it is easier for me to speak to the organizers. People usually do not entertain comments if they were anonymous, no matter how true or valid your feedback may be.

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  2. WOW! you look too different in the last pict, compared to when i met you before...

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    1. More handsome right? hahahahaa

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    2. How can you say that your portrait work is not so good? It's that bloody Milo you're drinking! This is excellent work. The first shot, the low-key portrait is a real stunner. The model is gorgeous, the skin tone beautiful, beautiful colors and lighting and tack sharp to boot. Top notch work! The other shots are very good too, the 3rd from last of the "geisha" shots (axinometric view) is excellent.

      Not good, my foot (and that rhymes!). Keep up the good work, Robin! You're much better at this than you give yourself credit for.

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    3. Thanks for such kind words Andre, always appreciate your feedback.
      I felt that there was lack of communication between myself and the model, and if more time was spent, perhaps I can create a better connection to her. It does felt like I was rushing the shots. Nonetheless, I am still new, a lot more to learn and explore !!

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    4. You're right, connecting to the model (and make her feel at ease) is very important. Time, these days, comes at a premium - everybody is in a hurry, unfortunately. But look at the great results when it "clicks"! The "geisha" shot I was talking about (hands up to her face) *is* an example of good, effective connection. She's completely at ease, and the expression on her face and in her eyes is priceless.

      She is a very good model, and you're one heck of a photographer! I'd love to see more of your studio work.

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    5. I wish I have more chance to shoot studio too !! Lets see what else happens in 2013. Lets make it a good year.

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  3. Very nice work Robin. I also like that first one. For the latter "geisha" shots: I usually try to avoid more than one catchlight in the eyes - but that's maybe just me. May I point you to an article about great lighting? Oh, and having Kirk's books of course also helps... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Wolfgang,
      Thanks for the feedback. We had no control over the lighting, they were already being set up. We were introduced to the mechanics and basics that worked behind them.
      Thanks for sharing the pdf file, much appreciated.

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  4. Hi Rob,
    Thanks for sharing. The first two shots are real stunners and are my favorites, I really like the soft lighting and skin tone. The high key shots are also nicely done. We also have Robin Wong signature head shot too! I also think that think that the low key lighting was nicely setup.. Bravo!

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    1. Thanks Johan !!
      I just thought the make up was very well done, hence some close up shots should be done !

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    2. Same here. First two, especially the first.
      Also a note to your previous entry (Thaipusam) there were some awesome shots there!

      Robin, do you think you could review the new 75-300, once it is available? If it only depends on Olympus Malaysia, give us the email address and I'm sure couple of us will write and ask them to loan you one :)
      (I'm really disappointed they have't made the lens faster.. would love to have a high quality 200-300mm (400-600mm equiv). Maybe they will release a 300mm prime? and I'm sure that will be pricey)

      Delete
    3. Hello JE,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      I would surely love to have the 75-300mm for review, if they have made it available. Lets see what happens !

      Delete
  5. Nice work! I've shot in those group sessions and it can be challenging to get unique shots in the time you have. I just started going to them recently as well and ended up becoming a full member of the studio so I can use it for allotted periods each month. I set up a FB page a few weeks ago to house the shots. I haven't updated it much yet, but feel free to check it out when you have time. I shot with an a99 and the Zeiss 24-70, but I might end up downgrading to the Tamron 28-75 to afford to do more studio work and most of the studio work is shot at F/8 anyway so no need for something like the Zeiss. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Costumeget/142145602603875

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    1. Hello Wataru,
      Surely I will check the shots out later. Thanks for sharing.
      Indeed you were right, we do not need bright lenses for studio work, they were mostly shot with narrower aperture for more depth of field !

      Delete
  6. If I had a chance to work with such an amazingly beautiful and talented model, I'd have a big silly grin on my face, too. :)

    Seriously, though, this is great work!

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    Replies
    1. Hello Dwaine !!
      It was a privilege to work with the beautiful and talented model !

      Delete
  7. Hi robin..really like pic no 3 & d last one..its a new experience for me during d session..d setup n condition is totally different..happy n cheer during d session even we need to take a long que to take a shot..thx for d tips n lesson to all participate..hopefully there are more studio shoot session after this..
    *hadi nik*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, lets attack future workshop sessions !

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Beautiful images.
    Great work, Robin.
    Though I like to shoot portrait but I think I need more training and photography knowledge even to try studio photography.
    Frankly I have limited knowledge in all photography department but I will give my best to ultilise the techniques that I have learned. Actually I have learned alot from you. Thank you.
    I may give it a try in years to come.
    Happy shooting.
    John Ragai

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks John !
      I think it is good to be exposed to studio photography, even though with limited experience and knowledge, it is an interesting way to create photographs.
      Just give it a go, you may like it, who knows !

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  10. Great set of images, Robin. I really like the first photo! I'm not sure about the high-key Geisha girl, though... Oh your photography of her is superb, but there is something disconcerting about her that bothers me personally - so much so that I can't see through to the beauty that she surely possesses. It must be something similar to why a circus clown is scary to some children. I don't know if that's accurate or not, but there is something about the crusty white make-up that disturbs me.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Gregg,
      I blame Stephen King and his 'IT' !!

      Delete
  11. hallo robin. great photos as usual but the low keys is much better. i think that the geisha is too sharp in face skin for a beauty work.

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    1. Hello Ugo,
      thanks for the kind works !

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  12. Robin, your considerable talent is not wasted in the studio if I - and all the others - can judge from these pix. I did my time with lights and pretty girls back in the film days of the 1960s but soon lost interest... I soon came to feel that this kind of photo is a genre of no little interest for me. On the other hand, I would love to see you turn your talents to studio portraits of real people whose life experience has not been obscured with makeup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Bob,
      Thanks for the kind words. If we were to shoot people without make-up or being "dolled up", I would say street photography would be a better choice to portray the human subjects as they are, honest and direct.

      Delete
  13. Ahh.. Nice work bro.. i'll be hanging around your blog now ;-)

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    1. Hey Wan !!
      Glad to find you here. Do stay around !!

      Delete
  14. Seriously, no bad at all for a first timer Robin. I took one round only & then I stopped as I think the other photographers deserved more attention from Kevin. I'm still learning & we'll learn together. Cheers, Joseph

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  15. did sony a230 can add aquamarine effect ???

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  16. did sony a230 can add aquamarine effect ???

    ReplyDelete
  17. Highly energetic article, I loved that a lot. Will there be a part 2?



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    ReplyDelete