Tag Archives: Terry Richardson

Choosing the Right Street & Fashion Photography Lens: (35mm)

The 35mm is very much an underrated focal length. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because when you type “35mm” into the search bars, all kinds of 35mm film cameras pop up. Maybe it’s because its longer brother, the 50mm, has been stealing its thunder ever since Henri Cartier-Bresson mentioned how much he preferred the mighty 50. Maybe people are superstitious about odd numbered focal lengths? Who knows? But what I do know, is that some of history’s best street and fashion photographers have relied on the 35mm lens as their main lens of choice. And here is why.

A Flexible Working Distance

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Terry Richardson using a 35mm Nikkor lens with the gorgeous Emily Ratajkowski.

When shooting in confined alleys or with a live model, working distance is a very important but not often talked about concept. Working distance is basically the distance between you (your camera) and the subject.

Fashion and portrait photographers don’t regularly shoot 200mm telephotos because standing 50 feet away would make connecting with the model difficult. Not to mention, most urban studios are hardly big enough even for a 135mm.

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Why Do We Still Shoot Black & White Portraits?

Why do we still shoot in black and white? Nobody really shoots film anymore. When do we decide to throw away beautiful skin tones, luscious blonde colors, and late afternoon sunlight? Why would we want to go grayscale?

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If you’ve been following my photography, you’ll notice that I rarely shoot black and white portraits, and this is on purpose. Not because I prefer one over the other aesthetically, but I personally feel shooting color is more difficult and challenging, and it is something I constantly strive to practice.

I’m ambivalent about b&w portraits and b&w photography in general. I’m very confident in b&w. Some of my best published works are monochrome. It is striking, it is clean, and it is minimalistic, all qualities in which I love. But a part of me also feels it’s cheating.  Continue reading Why Do We Still Shoot Black & White Portraits?

Teen Model Mikaila Storrs

Fifteen is a wonderfully difficult age, full of possibilities, transitions, and uncertainties. The world belongs to you, the young, to correct our mistakes and to live up to impossible expectations. But amidst the restlessness, your energy is undeniable. Your skin flawless. Your spirit disaffected. Your heart unbroken. A boldness radiates from deep within your eyes. They say, no, they shout, “Look at me. Here I am. Come and get me.”

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Mikaila wearing a floral print top with black skinny jeans. Image processed with the Terry Style Clean preset for Adobe Lightroom.

Mikaila Storrs is a gorgeous 15 year old aspiring model based out of Southern California. iLHP had the pleasure of doing two photo shoots with her, one for our Holga Portrait series last week and another in a beautiful downtown LA studio loft. We take time in between shoots to speak with her candidly about her experiences as a young model.

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Mikaila wearing a tribal print top, black cut off shorts, and a classic pair of white Chuck Taylors. Image processed with the Terry Style Yashica preset for Adobe Lightroom.

iLHP: Hi Mikaila, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Could you tell us about yourself? 

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5 Reasons You Should Try Digital Holga Portraits

Remember when life wasn’t so complicated, when there wasn’t a million things to remember, and when photography wasn’t a serious hobby but just . . . for fun? Holga remembers.

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A featherweight at 38g. A bargain at $15.

There is freedom in simplicity. You can pour over MTF graphs online and ridiculous DxO Mark scores, or you can do-it-yourself and experiment with something deliciously old school.

As I’ve mentioned recently, I’m in love with this $15-25 plastic Holga lens. We took it out to the LA Arts District, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica Pier for several model test shoots.

The Holga lens is available for a variety of focal lengths and mounts. We used a 25mm f/8 for our Sony A7, but other versions are available as follows:

5. The Lovely 35mm Film Look

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Peyton Lake rocking her AC DCs in the back of a 325i. Makeup by Jordan Takeda. Image processed with the Terry Style Clean preset for Adobe Lightroom.

Digital is clean, precise, and sterile. Film has a texture to it, or as Patrick Bateman might say, “the tasteful thickness of it.” But the problem with 35mm film is the time, expense, and effort of dealing with a physical media, not to mention, the way we consume photography has long changed from printed photo to digital websites.

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Favorite Lenses of Famous Photographers

As much as photographers distance themselves from their cameras, saying that it is merely a tool, photography as a whole is much more intertwined with technology than traditional art. Our cameras and our lenses set the boundaries of our perspectives. This is why, we’d thought it’d be interesting to look at some famous photographer’s favorite lenses.

We’ve compiled a list of 7 famous photographers. We wanted to see if there is a trend. Are 85mm lenses really the preferred portrait focal length or is it more marketing? Is the 24-70mm  zoom really the industry workhorse? We wanted to see if there is reason behind the madness.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (50mm)

Genre: Street and Photojournalism

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One of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s most famous photographs, a man jumping over a puddle taken at the right moment.

The father of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson is a master of candid street photography and an early adopter of the 35mm format. He helped develop street photography back in the 1940s and 50s with  his Leica rangefinder and a 50mm prime.

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In an interview with the NY Times, he said:

“[The 50] corresponds to a certain vision and at the same time has enough depth of focus, a thing you don’t have in longer lenses. I worked with a 90. It cuts much of the foreground if you take a landscape, but if people are running at you, there is no depth of focus. The 35 is splendid when needed, but extremely difficult to use if you want precision in composition. There are too many elements, and something is always in the wrong place. It is a beautiful lens at times when needed by what you see.”

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