Portrait frenzy!!

I had a lovely job on Tuesday evening, setting up a little studio in the First Site Gallery at RMIT for local gold & silversmith Claire McArdle’s exhibition opening: “Public Displays of Attention” – featuring some really charming, meticulously crafted (hand dyed!) wearable art, that the ensuing CROWD of people took to with some glee – more so, since they were encouraged to try them on, and, of course, have a portrait made by your author here!

So, given the white walls and low white ceiling in the space, I reasoned I’d only need two lamps – a key (little umbrella) and a side/backlight (big umbrella) – deciding that all the fill light would bounce off the walls. The camera I set at ISO100, and 1/160th second shutter for sync, and guessed around f/13 – which turned out to be fine (I say guess, but really, it’s a known – I use my 80’s Bowens ALL the time, and have a fairly good idea of their power over a given distance by now). Certainly makes setup quick – and everything’s triggered by those handy pocket wizards – which seemed an insane investment way back, but have never ever failed to work brilliantly.
And then, smiling, happy folks flooded the gallery, and I worked feverishly, making 124 portraits in all. At various times, there was even a queue!!
In this one you can see the sync & power cable dangling in the corner, pre crop – the other thing was that I only used a 50mm lens – which is a “portrait” lens in the APS-C format, so for a shot of three folks, I had to stand back a fair bit (“excuse me, excuse me… etc”).

I would have to say, that this is a stand-out as one of the more jolly, community-spirited photo events I’ve had the pleasure to be involved in, and I believe Claire is making prints for all the subjects who so enthusiastically engaged with the work!

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