William Shatner #Portrait Photoshoot Studio City #LA

William-Shatner Portrait Los Angeles Photographer Rory Lewis London Actors HeadshotsCaptain James .T Kirk, TJ Hooker, Denny Crane, icon William Shatner sat for a portrait session in Studio City, Los Angeles last month.  From the age of 7 I have watched Star Trek, and admired William Shatner as an actor. Now was my chance to meet and work with a screen Legend. Arriving at his Office in Los Angeles, I could scarcely believe my eyes, as I spotted William Shatner through the window blinds. Taking a few deep breaths, I got to work setting up my portable studio kit. With a number of ideas floating in my head, I explained to Bill, that I wanted to achieve a ‘plain simple expressive look‘ he replied jokingly ‘I don’t do plain‘, I quickly redescribed the look as ‘emotionless‘, and ‘Bill obliged me with a series of wonderful expressions. (Rory Lewis)

 

William-Shatner Portrait Los Angeles Photographer Rory Lewis London Actors HeadshotsI then changed my lighting and, directed Shatner’s expressions to a more fierce look; ‘Bill’ has always played hero’s in the majority of his work and I wanted to make him look more villainous’. Mr Shatner had some fun with these expressions, saying, I’ve played many hero’s I always get the girl.’  It was wonderful to work with,  Mr Shatner. As a photographer having the opportunity to photograph an icon is indescribable. I’m looking forward to returning to Los Angeles in June for a series of portrait photography courses. All images where taken with Mamiya Leaf Credo 40 + 645df with MAMIYA SEKOR AF 110 MM F2.8 LS Lens. Photoshoot was supported by lighting and equipment from Calumet Photographic.

Fix Prime Lenses vs Zoom Lenses

Fixed Prime Lens vs Zoom Rory Lewis Portrait PhotographerThis question torments a great deal of lens buyers- Should I purchase a zoom lens or a fixed prime lens? When it comes to versatility  and convenience, zoom lenses deliver a wide range of focal lengths at the flick of your wrist; without having to constantly change lenses. Quickly enabling you to frame and capture a moment with the appropriate focal length. This is a advantage for zoom lenses but also their biggest weakness. Their is a compromise in image quality. Complex arrangements of large groups of elements inside the lens moving back and forth to enable the zoom, reduce the optical quality of your images.

 

Despite their versatility Zoom lenses can cause a several issues with your photography. The Sharpness of your images is the first victim, barrel and pin cushion distortions can often appear at the wide-angle and telephoto ends of your lens zoom range. Zoom lenses can also cause vignetting, a reduction of an image’s brightness or saturation. You can also expect an increase in chromatic aberration (known as colour fringing around high-contrast edges in a scene). This effect is most commonly seen when you’re using large apertures at the wide-angle end. Zoom lenses are also more susceptible to ghosting and flare.

If  you choose a high-quality prime lens, distortion and vignetting will be much less noticeable. Their are fewer moving parts; prime lenses are optimised to a specific focal length or purpose. Which means optical performance is generally better and lenses an be made with larger apertures. The Sharpness of your images  will also be unparalleled, so you can really make the most of the high-resolution sensors fitted to current digital cameras.

Ian McKellenAnother advantage of using prime lenses is that they’re generally ‘faster’. Which means they have a larger maximum aperture, which enables faster shutter speeds. For example, a typical 18-55mm zoom lens has a maximum aperture of roughly f/4 at the wide-angle end, shrinking to a mere f/5.6 at about 50mm. If you Switch to a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens the largest available aperture is four stops faster. In low light you’d be limited to a shutter speed of, say, 1/15 sec with a typical zoom (unless you increase your ISO setting). However, an f/1.4 lens will enable a much faster shutter speed of 1/250 sec. An f/1.8 lens is 3.3 stops faster than an f/5.6 lens, and even an f/2.8 model is two stops faster.

 

One more big advantage is that you can get a much concentrated depth of field, enabling you to isolate the main point of interest in a shot by blurring the background. It’s common practice in portraiture, especially when the background is cluttered and would otherwise be a distraction.

An important factor to consider when you’re buying a prime lens is which focal length to choose. Back in the old days of 35mm film, a 50mm prime was considered a ‘standard’ lens. That’s because it gives the same perspective as viewing a scene with the human eye, without the magnification of a telephoto lens or the shrinkage a wide-angle lens uses to squeeze more into the frame. I would recommend the following lenses, for landscapes the, 18mm or 21mm, full body fashion/editorial shots 35mm, for portraiture half length a 50mm is great but for tightly framed head and shoulders an 80mm, 85mm, 100mm or 110mm is best. As a professional portrait photographer, currently in my bag I wield an 80mm F2.8 and 110mm F2.8, these are the best two portrait prime options. The 80mm great for editorial portrait photography, capturing the person and some of the setting, and the 110mm for closely framed head-shots.

Halo & Co Jewellery Photoshoot

Halo & CO Jewellery commissioned me to Photograph their Autumn Winter Collection at the Liverpool Studio. Model Jordann Ebbitt and Makeup Artist Jessica Campbell did a wonderful job and the collection looks stunning.

Product Photography Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, London

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Natasha Actress Showreel

I have been Photographing Actors Headshots for over 10 years and in 2015, I am pleased to offer a new service in Liverpool & London, Actors Showreels. An actor’s showreel is a short piece of video or film footage showcasing an actor‘s previous work, usually four to six minutes in length. Actors who have a showreel are more likely to get work as it becomes much easier for them to promote themselves to acting agents and casting directors. Nowadays, every Actor needs a showreel in order to secure an agent or to add more to their Spotlight Page. I film with broadcast quality cameras and edit with industry standard software in HD quality, using direction and inventive scenarios to show your Acting Ability.

 

Actress Natasha Rebuck Booked me for an Actors Headshots session a few weeks ago, and upon learning about my new Actors Showreels Service arranged a Session at the Liverpool Studio. Natasha selected my Two Scene Package, performing a poem, and a piece from Shakespeare.

General Sir Nicholas Houghton

General Sir Nicholas HoughtonGeneral Sir Nicholas Houghton is Chief of the Defence Staff of the British Armed Forces. At the beginning of this year, I wrote a letter to Ministry of Defence Head Quarters at Whitehall to invite General Houghton to Sit for a Northerners Photography Exhibition Portrait, the General being from Otley, Yorkshire. General Houghton’s Office replied to my invitation with his Acceptance and the Photoshoot took place in October. The General’s sitting was quite challenging, I have never photographed a high ranking military officer before let alone the highest ranking officer of the British Armed Forces.

On many occasions the General has been Photographed and Painted in his Ceremonial Dress Uniform and wanted to step away from the ceremonial image. General Houghton is regarded as “The Soldiers, Soldier” and Preferred to be Photographed in his Combat Uniform. Shot at at a slightly higher angle, I really wanted to Capture the General’s commanding presence, and with a combination of subtle lighting the images turned out really well.

 

With only a short time and shooting on Location at the MOD in London, I made use of my portable Studio Backdrops, Lastolite Popup Grey Backdrop and Calumet Earth Tone Muslin Backdrop. Both images where Photographed with the Hasselblad H3D-39100MM F2.2 & Profoto B1’s  Provided by Calumet Rental at Drummond St in London.

General Sir Nicholas Houghton Rory Lewis Photographer

 

Julian Glover Actor Portrait Photoshoot

Julian Glover Actor Portrait  Rory Lewis PhotographerLast month I had the esteemed honour of Photographing Veteran Actor Julian Glover at the London Portrait Studio. Julian who Trained at RADA has had a rich illustrious Stage, Film and Television Career. Staring in Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, James Bond For Your Eyes Only and of course Game of Thrones to Name a Few. The Prospect of working with Experienced Actors is a real treat for a Portrait Photographer. With so much character and experience, I wanted to bring this through in the Final Images. To begin with we sat down to discuss the session I was interested to learn about Julian and his work. At present Julian is Staring in the Scottsboro Boys a Powerful West End Musical the Story of a Group of Nine Black Teenagers, brought together by fate in a case that sparked the American Civil Rights Movement. Julian has also played a great deal of Villains in his time and through our conversation I decided to create two looks; a Simple Plain Thoughtful Character Portrait, then turn it around and capture a Portrait of the Villain’s Julian has Played.

Julian Glover Actor Portrait  Rory Lewis Photographer

 

Rachel Levine Actress Headshots

Rachel-Levine-Actress-Headshot3Aspiring Actress Rachel Levine, booked an Actors Headshots Session at the Leeds Photography Studio this month. For over 10 years I have been creating Actors Headshots for Established and New Talent. If you are in need of a photoshoot to update or start your portfolio please Check Out My Packages. Based in Liverpool and holding sessions monthly in Manchester, Leeds & London Rory has developed his own unique style of working with actors ensuring their photographic headshot experience is an enjoyable; relaxed session; to create the very best in Actors Headshots.

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