Full face portrait

Full face portrait · Thu, 3 Dec 2009 · © Copyright 2009-2015 Luis Gracia. All rights reserved
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Inspired by the (to me) newest commercial from American Express. Not a smiling portrait, though.

Note: I am having problems uploading this image. Here is a small version until the problem is resolved.

Full face portrait

Portrait practice I

Portrait practice I · Mon, 22 Jun 2009 · © Copyright 2009-2015 Luis Gracia. All rights reserved
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Let’s start with a poll before I loose everybody with the photog stuff:

I need a name for my new model, suggestions are highly appreciated!

Back to the photo-geek post. With this post I start a new pool of photos dedicated to, duh, portrait practice, or lightning practice, as you wish. The idea is to use the mannequin as a static model. I know it would be much better with a living model (interaction, reality,…), but this one doesn’t move (actually, at all), doesn’t ask for beers (or wine, sangria, …) and doesn’t complain (or say anything). My solely idea is to study lighting patterns and the behavior of different light modifiers, … Nothing more, nothing less.

For the first image I used two strobes. The main light was a backlight with a small shoot thru umbrella (I would have used a big one as a reflector, but space contraints didn’t allow it). It simulated a strong window ligh from the back of the subject. The second strobe used the big umbrella as a reflector and is my fill light. The ratio between both was 8:1, that is, 3 stops difference, the main being at f11. I allowed some spill of the main light to fall in the front side of the face and the eye. To pop up the eyes a bit I used a white reflector.

Salman Rushdie and Paul Auster at the Instituto Cervantes · Fri, 1 May 2009 · © Copyright 2009-2015 Luis Gracia. All rights reserved
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I was fortunate enough to hear two great writers today. President and Vicepresident of the PEN American Center we both invited to give a small speech at the Instituto Cervantes as part of the PEN Voices of the World Festival. I am, of course, talking about Salman Rushdie and Paul Auster. In the main photo for this post I am depicting Salman Rushdie’s speech, with Paul Auster’s back slightly out of focus. First to talk, Paul Auster gave a marvelous speech which included references to Lorca, the poet. Salman Rushdie gave a more informal speech about the PEN American Center and announced his continuation as President of this institution.

Here are a couple of extra photos taken at the same event. Enjoy!

instituto cervantes pen festival

Paul Auster

instituto cervantes pen festival

Paul Auster and Salman Rushdie

instituto cervantes pen festival

Salman Rushdie

instituto cervantes pen festival

Garden at the Instituto Cervantes

instituto cervantes pen festival

Garden at the Instituto Cervantes

Anagrama 40th Anniversary

Anagrama 40th Anniversary · Wed, 29 Apr 2009 · © Copyright 2009-2015 Luis Gracia. All rights reserved
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I was today at the 40th Anniversary celebration of Anagrama, a Spanish publishing company, as part of the Pen World Voices Festival. The celebration took place at the Instituto Cervantes, in New York. In a panel organized by Eduardo Lago, Director of the Insituto Cervantes, Jorge Herralde presented 5 writers as a representative ensemble of their authors. In response, they talked about their relationship with the Editorial company. In the photo we see, from right to left: Enrique Vila-Matas, Francisco Goldman, A. M. Homes, Eduardo Lago,  Jorge Herralde, Siri Hustvedt, Paul Auster and Daniel Sada.

Self Portrait

Self Portrait · Tue, 14 Apr 2009 · © Copyright 2009-2015 Luis Gracia. All rights reserved
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In preparation for tomorrow’s shoot I took my lights out of the closet for testing. Once tested I had to do something fun with them, a self portrait? I used one light at its lowest power right behind the subject (myself) and the other light was set to give an f/11 at 1/125 s and placed high at the left of the camera. Both were using umbrellas as reflectors, which can be guessed in the portrait.

I think it portrays me with honesty, capturing my preference to hide behind the camera and out of the frame. What do you think?