Orange Juice, ETC

The blog of Elias & Theresa Carlson

Tag: portraiture

Impromptu Portrait Session

Sometimes inspiration strikes and you’ve just got to go for it. While taking an afternoon break from work I came across the incredible photography portfolio of Ramon Haindl and was intrigued by one of his portraits.


I was struck by the simplicity of the lighting in this particular portrait which uses a sheer curtain as a backdrop, and a handheld LED panel for a fill light. The curtain acts as a giant softbox and provides beautiful wraparound rim light on the subject. It seemed like a fun style to emulate, since Theresa and I have a large sheer curtain hanging in the main window of our apartment. So we grabbed Theresa’s black sequin jacket and a LED camping headlamp and started playing around.

I couldn’t achieve the same fill effect with my tiny lamp, in part because the bright afternoon sun was simply to strong to overcome the minimal output of my headlamp, but it did serve to add a bit of sparkle to the jacket, and gently highlight a few strands of hair. After I’d satisfied my curiosity with the first setup we started to play around with the curtain. It’s amazing what a difference you can achieve with a few adjustments in position and exposure settings.





The Methow Valley Portraits

It’s become something of an annual tradition for Theresa and I to organize a Halloween party. The rules are simple: a few close friends, two Halloween themed movies, and heaps of delicious food. Usually we enjoy our Halloween get-together in the comfort of our tiny apartment here in Seattle. However, last year we decided to change it up and take our friends to my grandparent’s tiny cabin in the Methow Valley – old post here. We were all so blown away by the beauty of the Methow in Autumn, that we decided to do it again this year.

I knew that the valley would provide a stunning backdrop for a project that’s been bouncing around in my head for a while. The idea is pretty simple. I wanted to create a diptych portrait series of my friends – in a beautiful natural setting – using my 6×6 medium format Minolta Autocord. The medium format size would allow me to capture all the gorgeous detail of both the people, and the settings we found ourselves in. The diptych format meant that I could structure the portraits using two different perspectives. A full-body shot, and a close up head & shoulders shot.

It’s a bit of a miracle that each of these shots turned out so well. We only shot one frame for each picture. No redos. So each of these portraits is the one and only picture of its kind. As you can see, the valley didn’t disappoint us, providing a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for this little series.

**Don’t forget to click on the pictures to see them larger, in all their medium format glory**