Photography News Issue 52

Photography News | Issue 52 | photographynews.co.uk

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Interview

With Hi-Sync heads and awesome consistent output it is a force to be reckoned with. I personally don’t shoot too much high- speed sync, preferring to shoot with ND filters to bring down the ambient light. I shoot mostly with the Pentax 645Z which has a top flash sync of 1/125sec. Formeit’saboutrecyclingtimes,lowweight, consistency of output and colour temperature, it’s a go-anywhere attitude whilst still being tough. If it’s as half as good as its grandfather (the RX) then I’ll be a happy man. What is your preferred modifier? My most-used I’d say is the Elinchrom 135cm Octa (the shallow version). I also use the 6ft indirect Octa when shooting in flat light or indoors coupled with my favourite 44cm square dishes with grids. What kit, typically, do you take with you on a location shoot and how big is your support team? Kit-wise for portraits and location shoot I use the following: Pentax 645 with 90mm and 55mm lenses; Elinchrom ELB 1200 and Ranger RX, 135 Octabox, two 44cm beauty dishes with grids. Accessories include three LeeNDfilters andwide-angle hood, numerous Manfrotto stands and weights for the stands, Manfrotto and Think Tank bags, CTO filter gels, scissors, five PocketWizard triggers, batteries and chargers, extension leads and a smoke machine. My support team is one: Richard. What is your most common headache when it comes to your shoots? Sometimes we use a smokemachine to give the light some purchase, purely to give a haze or a fog to the images and to create an atmosphere. This can sometimes cause headaches, such as having to be near a mains socket. There are battery operated smoke machines I know about but they don’t last too long. We have on occasion used chimney pellets as an alternative. It’s the haze we are interested in, not filling the woods with smoke. How much editing is done on your images, or are these more or less straight out of the camera with some basic edits?
 It may surprise some people that for weddings I shoot JPEGs. I always have done and see no need to change. You can’t mess it up too much when you shoot this way, so if anything I think it’s made me better and a tighter shooter. With my portrait and medium-format work, I usually shoot TIFFs, process them in Phase One’s Capture One and then into Photoshop. I do a little colour grading in curves and a few other things but nothing too heavy. Have you any advice for would-be location portrait photographers? Prepare for the shoot. Make sure everything is working 100% but also be prepared to go off track. Some of the best shots I have taken have been during a break or while setting up for another shot. Sometimes over-planning,

especially if it is just you on the shoot, can be inhibiting. If you’re using models go with your gut instinct when choosing. There’s nothing worse than being on set and working with a model that either doesn’t fit or doesn’t want to be there!

I can seemyself shooting a lotmore this year on location. Portraits in particular. Weddings are still a huge part of my business and we again this year have some fantastic weddings booked already. I will continue to push the commercial and portrait side of the business and the style of photography that I have been building. My wish is to find an agent to push this work even more to wider markets and on to pastures new.

Above Shot using a Pentax 645Z with 90mm lens and Lee Filters ND filter, main light provided by an Elinchrom ELB 1200 and an 135 Octa softbox. The model is Laviniana Otetaru with make-up by Jo Leversuch, hair by Gareth (Aqua The Salon) and assisted by Richard Woodside.

It may surprise some people that for weddings I shoot JPEGs. I always have done and see no need to change

What next for Brett Harkness? Hmm, a big question…

To enjoy more of Brett’s images, visit his websites. Weddings at brettharknessphotography.com Portraits at brettharkness.co.uk For training brettharknesstraining.com

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