Simon did it again. Unbelievable. He managed to hook us up with two very beautiful ladies who were willing to go with us on a shoot, so we could provide them with glamorous photographs. I'm so lucky to be his wing man ;-) This time it was the sisters Farah and Noor, who really wanted a shoot at a nearby lake. As we also liked the idea we went ahead with it. The girls picked us up with their car and together we drove to the location, with the boot of the car loaded with Simon's gear (Canon 5D mark IV, various lenses two Godox Ad200 and a Godox 95cm Soft Box).
Simon and I often talk about potential models and the type of photography we could practice. Because my model acquisition skills aren't as developed compared to Simon's, it is always Simon who provides the subjects. He makes it possible that we get to hone our photography skills, while the model ends up with some very nice images for free. So everybody's happy. Those conversations about potential models mostly consist of Simon having a list of names and describing (maybe strangely enough) the character of each potential model (instead of her looks) such as confident, wild, happy go lucky, talkative, etc. and the kind of work she does. When I think of models, I think of young women. The kind you see in most magazines. So when Simon asked if I fancied joining a photoshoot photographing Henry, I was a bit confused. Didn't hear that name drop before and the name didn't sound very feminine to me. As it turned out, he wasn't.
Yesterday, on a beautiful warm summer evening, I stepped into my car, put on the AC and went on my way to a park not too far away. I took my dog Nikki with me, as being outdoors in nature makes her a lot happier, then staying home alone. She might also come in handy for the activities that would take place later on. In the park I had a meet up with fellow photographers and a model (all colleagues of mine), for a photography session with the theme "natural light", organised by portrait photographer Simon Sutcliffe. When I arrived the group was complete and after a short walk we arrived at a large field with tall grass. Simon explained to the group the basics of how to shoot a subject in relation to the direction of the light coming from the sun, without using a flash or a reflector. Showing the effects when doing it wrong and demonstrating how to get it right. After this short demo the photoshoot started.
About one and a half weeks ago I gave myself a small birthday present and I bought the Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster 25mm f/0.95. It's a relatively small lens, feels well build and looks perfectly at home on my Olympus PEN-F. Since I have it, I want to take it everywhere with me and if feels like it brings an extra dimension to my photos. It is not a perfect lens by any means, but in my opinion its flaws often are somewhat similar to those of a good vintage lens (like the Super Takumar M42 lens). Those "shortcomings" feel like part of its personality and they add extra character to the photos you make, rather then distract from their beauty.
I regularly post my pictures on Flickr. Most of the time they get a handful of faves and a couple of comments. But sometimes they attract more than the average amount of views and faves. I find it hard to predict what makes a picture popular. Part is due to the exposure it gets when it gets invited into the Explore group (or other invite only groups). Which guarantees a lot of views and therefore also much more faves. Sometimes people seem to like something I cannot explain. Don't get me wrong, I post the pictures I like myself. But the pictures I like most aren't always the same as the ones liked most by the Flickr community.
Here are the top 10 photos on my Flickr stream according to Flickr stats, sorted on number of faves with their original title and the number of views and comments.