Friday, July 8, 2011

39/52 Leo Rosen

It's always nice to be able to integrate an artist's style and technique into their own portrait. I've done a few shots like that recently, and this one is along the same lines.

Leo Rosen is a Chicago-based fine art photographer. His area of concentration is often the urban environment, frequently focusing on the ubiquitous dilapidated store fronts and display windows as viewed from the perspective of a pedestrian. His work excels where many others fail: at showing the every day details of urban life as something not only worthy of note, but as a thing of true beauty. I've admired his images online for quite some time, especially for their decentralized subject matter and beautiful use of reflections in glass. Leo also runs a company with his brother Sam, called The Resin Man. They offer photo printing and mounting services, coating the photos in a layer of clear epoxy resin. The result is a stunning crystal clear protective coating that adds a glossy shine to the image. The business is quickly expanding, and the brothers are looking into renting warehouse space to help them deal with their increased production.

We decided to stick pretty close to Leo's process. We went out and walked around. We ended up at a storefront at which he had already taken a really awesome photo. The majority of the shoot consisted of me photographing a reflection of him. I faced the window, he was behind me to my right, and I placed the key behind me and to the left. I did this to avoid specular reflections of the umbrella and the light of the flash.

I was really close to making this the official photo for this week. I only took a few of him standing between me and the window, and it just so happened that I think one came out pretty much perfect. I actually like that I can be seen taking the photo in the lower center of the frame. I think that keeps with Leo's themes very well, and overall it's a great photo.

When I was lighting him behind me, I had to slightly overexpose Leo, as to leave the other reflections slightly darker, and to avoid over exposing the blinds behind the glass. Thank you, Light: Science and Magic! Here's a shot of the setup:

I've decided that as long as my camera bag weighs 50 lbs, I don't need sandbags.

Strobist Info:
SB-800 back camera left through silver-over-white umbrella

Camera Settings:
1/100 f/5.6 at ISO 400
Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 @ 50mm

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