Category: Portrait of the Artist

Amy 1

Earlier this week myself and another photographer had a photoshoot with a cheerful and talented teacher and musician named Amy. I used three different cameras, so I will do three different blog posts. Tonight, I am starting off with the 4×5 and1860’s Petzval lens, shot on HP5+. This lens has a knack of picking up interesting expressions 🙂

Amy with the Guitar

Portrait of Artist: Brent Morris

It struck me in a moment of after-the-fact obviousness that my images of Brent needed to be in my Portrait of the Artist series. As a podcaster and video game designer, Brent has a lot of creative depth, and as I work more with the vintage Petzval lens for portrait work, to my eyes it is a great lens for capturing the depth of a person’s character, and Brent does have a lot of depth and character!

All images were created with my Speed Graphic 4×5, shot on EFKE Ortho 25 film.

Brent with Petzval lens

My Friend Brent

Brent with Petzval lens

Ready for the Moment

Today, another image of Justin Miller during his back stage transformation into Pearle Harbour. This image does not capture a pose; Justin was applying a spray-on fixative to set his complex make-up. I saw it and instinctively clicked the shutter.

The pose


Nikon D7100 DSLR, 18-200 Nikkor lens
Post precessing in Aperture and Nik Efex


This past Friday evening I photographed actor Justin Miller’s transformation into his character Pearle Harbour. Along with the digital images, I shot a roll of Tri-X at EI 800 on my Bessa R rangefinder, with my late 50’s-era Canon Serenar 50mm/1.8 lens. I was shooting wide-open at f1.8, at 1/30th of second, and I like the available light look of the image.

Justin Miller

Justin Miller

Justin Miller

The Face of Comedy

I had a fun time shooting Kat Letwin and other performers last evening at Kat’s Solo Combo comedy show at Comedy Bar here in Toronto. A challenging shoot due to low lighting, but I am happy with a lot of the images.



Nikon D7100, 18-200 Nikkor lens
Shooting at ISO 6400
Post-processing done with Lightroom and Nik Efex

Portrait of the Artist: Natasha

It was lovely to work with Natasha again. Since we last worked together she has discovered she has a great talent for drawing, so a portrait of her makes a nice addition to my long term “Portrait of the Artist” project. In her expression I see the same thing I have been privileged to see in a number of artists: the joy of imagination, and the ability to tap into it. Shot in late afternoon in a fall day with the light rapidly fading, the Tri-X/Diafine combination made this film image possible.



Rolleiflex E3, 75mm/3.5 Xenotar lens
Tri-X @ EI 800 developed in Diafine

Portrait of the Artist: Ashley

Today’s image is part of my ongoing “Portrait of the Artist” series.  Ashley has actually appeared in my blog before, but behind the camera, as the make-up/prosthetics artist in the Jennifer Gears Project, here and here. She is holding an airbrush of the kind that she very skilfully used for that shoot, and she is truly an artist in that regard.

While her vocation in a sense is “behind the scenes” she also has the instincts of a performer, and feels at home in front of the camera as well.

DSC_6147 - Version 2


(Nikon D7100 DSLR, 18-105mm Nikkor lens, Post-work done using Colour Efex Pro 4) 

In the Moment

I had a lot of fun (except for balky flash triggers!) yesterday in a photo shoot with Kira Hall, a talented Toronto actress. She did an amazing job with hair, make-up and wardrobe, and as an actress, she was able to provide great expressions!

Kira - Instant Negative Scan 1

Shreeti, Part 3

Today’s image is the final one from my recent photo shoot with Shreeti. The first post featured a colour digital image. The second was a negative scan from an instant print. Today, traditional black and white film. I feel each different technology captured something different from the shoot. For me, black and white does the best job of capturing the detail of the lovely clothing worn by Shreeti.

Shreeti in Black and White

(Mamiya 645 Pro TL, Ilford Delta 400, negative scanned and post processed with Nik Efex pro)

The Thought Behind the Eyes

Today’s picture is of a model named Galana; she is posing with my Super Baldina 35mm rangefinder. A very interesting person; we ended up discussing education and when I mentioned that I had a degree in Russian and Chinese history, she asked me “Has there ever been a Communist state?” I’d have to say that all the models I have been shooting for this series have shown a lot of intelligence; the stereotype of the ditzy lightweight and vain model has been completely absent; each model has brains to go with beauty.